I have a confession. I didn’t brush my sheepskin as often as I should have. And now my rug will never look as good as it did when it was new.
Working every day with sheepskin you would think I should know better!
I have a beautiful sheepskin rug that I use at home. This was placed on a small footstool and I put my feet & legs up on it over the winter (very cosy). I have to admit that sometimes I was wearing my shoes or my slippers.
Over six months the wool started to compact down and felt-up, mostly in the middle. Friction rubbing back & forth it can make the wool tangle together and start to turn into felt.
Now if I had given it a quick brush with a wool carding brush every month I could have avoided the worst of the felting damage.
A wool carding brush is a specialty brush with strong metal teeth similar to a pet brush but much stronger. We don’t recommend that you use a pet brush as the metal teeth could break off and become embedded in the wool causing injury to your family.
As you can see the sheepskin rug was looking really terrible. Wool naturally wants to clump together back into its natural form, like is it on the live sheep in a paddock. When we brush the wool fleece it fluffs up and separates these wool clumps. And it looks and feels soft & bouncy.
As I started to brush out the tangles, a lot of wool was coming out in the brush. This is normal but if I had been good and lightly brushed the sheepskin more often then I wouldn’t have needed to do a hard brush and a lot more wool would be preserved.
You can see the big difference between the brushed and not-brushed areas in the photo above.
The final result looks much better but the middle has lost a lot of wool and will never look like new again. I decided that it didn’t need a wash but if I was going to wash it then the brushing is an important first step.
So the moral of the story is that to properly maintain your sheepskin rug you do need to give the rug a light brush with a wool carding brush about every 4 weeks depending on how much use the sheepskin receives. Don't leave it as long as I did.