What is Sheepskin Leather: All You Want to Know

Sheepskin leather is a unique type of leather that has been used for centuries for various kinds of garments and accessories. It has a luxurious, soft texture that makes it ideal for clothing, footwear, and other applications. Not only does it have a luxurious look and feel, but it also provides tremendous protection against both cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions. Sheepskin leathers come in many styles, colors, and textures, making them ideal for a wide range of clothing products such as jackets, vests, boots, mittens, and hats.

What Is Sheepskin Leather?

Sheepskin leather is made from the hide of a sheep, tanned, and treated with natural oils to create a beautiful finish. You can also find the term shearling – leather from the recently shorn sheep. It’s one of the oldest forms of leather and is used to make clothing and other products due to its soft texture, durability, and versatility.

Compared to traditional cowhide leathers, sheepskin is lightweight yet still offers superior protection against both cold and wet climates. It’s renowned for its insulating properties that provide warmth in winter. With its natural lanolin oils, sheepskin provides water-resistant properties as well as an anti-fungal coating that helps repel dirt and grime from everyday wear.

Sheepskin leather has a soft texture that feels luxurious against the skin when worn as clothing or other accessories like gloves or bags. Additionally, it is pretty much durable and resistant to wear over time.

How to Identify Sheepskin Leather

You can recognize sheepskin leather by several specific characteristics that stand out from other types of leather. The first, and most obvious, it’s the presence of wool. Even if you don’t know much about leather, you can easily recognize it, especially on the inside of a leather jacket.

Another significant difference is texture: soft and fuzzy, velvety on touch. It is often described as “napped,” meaning that it has a raised, fuzzy surface. 

Also, you can identify sheep leather by its thinness: it is typically notably thinner than other types of leather. It is one of the most noticeable differences from bovine leather.

The smell of sheepskin leather is also a good indicator of its authenticity. The smell, or, to be correct, its absence. Real sheepskin has a weak, slightly sweet scent, or has no smell at all. That is distinct from other types of leather. If the leather has a chemical, synthetic smell, or smoky scent, likely, it is not real sheepskin leather, or it is of bad quality.

How Sheepskin Leather Is Made

The process of manufacturing sheepskin is very similar to ordinary leather processing, but it has some peculiarities. First, the sheep’s hide is cleaned and trimmed to remove any excess fat or tissue. Unlike other leather types, in most cases, the wool remains intact. Next, the main step. The leather is tanned using chrome tanning or the more environmentally friendly vegetable tanning. The tanning process – is what gives the leather its unique properties, while also protecting it from decomposing. Finally, the leather is finished with dyes to enhance its appearance.

Uses of Sheepskin Leather

The soft yet durable texture makes it an ideal material for a variety of garments such as gloves, jackets, coats, hats, and boots. It is also often used to create delicate linings or trimmings on other types of apparel. Additionally, sheepskin provides a luxurious finish to home furnishings like rugs, pillows, and upholstery fabrics. It’s also commonly found in car interiors because of its excellent durability and resistance to wear and tear.

sheepskin leather sofa

Benefits of Sheepskin Leather

Sheepskin leather offers a range of benefits that make it an ideal choice for high-end products. 

The softness and comfort of sheep leather make it a pleasure to wear or use. With its plush texture and luxurious feel, the material guarantees maximum comfort while also giving any product an eye-catching look. 

It is also breathable yet durable. The combination of air circulation and strong fibers makes this type of leather stand out from other fabrics. Its ability to resist water damage and stains means that spills won’t cause any lasting damage while still giving you the luxury look you want. Sheepskin leather also ages well over time – so no matter how much wear your products gets, it can still maintain its beauty for years to come.

How to Clean Sheepskin Leather

Cleaning and conditioning are two important steps in sheepskin leather maintains.

When washing your sheepskin garment, always use cold or warm water at a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius or less. The heat from higher temperatures can damage the fibers and cause them to deteriorate over time. To cleanse dirt and dust particles from the surface of the fabric, use a mild liquid detergent specifically designed for delicate materials such as wool or cashmere. Be sure to stay away from strong detergents which can strip away natural oils from the surface of the skin and cause discoloration or cracking over time. Hand-cleaning sheepskin leather is always recommended, especially for shoes. But for some products, machine washing is also allowed.

Applying a suitable conditioner regularly will help maintain the look of your sheepskin product for years to come. When choosing a leather conditioner, be sure to select one specifically designed for this type of animal hide – creams made with natural ingredients are usually preferred as they can provide superior protection without damaging the material over time.

The best way to store sheepskin leather is by using a breathable bag or container made of natural materials such as cotton or canvas. Packing it with acid-free tissue paper will also help maintain the shape of the product while protecting against dust particles that could cause fading or discoloration over time.

Different Types of Sheepskin Leather

Sheep leather comes in two main varieties: Nappa and Suede.

A smooth finish with a slightly glossy sheen to it – Nappa leather. It’s softer than other leathers due to its fine grains, and its durability makes it ideal for use in products like shoes as well as jackets, vests, and gloves.

On the other hand, a surface with tiny fuzzy fibers – is Suede, with its signature velvety touch. This type of leather is perfect for creating stylish accessories such as shoes and cases as well as upholstery like chairs and sofas.

Also, lambskin, that is softer than Nappa but not as durable so it’s often used to make fashionable accents on clothing such as collars or cuffs.

Shearling is the heaviest grade. It is thin and pliable, but still with high insolation, which makes it perfect for winter coats that provide warmth without adding much bulkiness.

Sheepskin leather jacket


For those looking for alternatives to sheepskin leather, there are a few possibilities that offer similar appearance, quality, and affordability while being more sustainable.

One alternative is vegetable-tanned cowhide. This type of hide is produced using vegetable matter such as tree bark or leaves. It makes the process more environmentally friendly compared to traditional tanning methods. The resulting product is soft yet durable with an attractive finish that closely resembles sheepskin leather without the same negative impacts on the environment. Additionally, it can be easily dyed in various colors with natural dyes making it an ideal choice for fashion products like bags or jackets.

Second is microfiber suede, which is a popular alternative to sheepskin leather; it is soft and durable, but much less expensive than real hide. It also comes in a variety of colors and finishes that can mimic the look of genuine leather products.

Another option is faux fur fabric. This material has a similar look to sheepskin but is made entirely from polyester fibers with no animal hide involved. Furthermore, its softer texture makes it more comfortable to wear than other materials while still providing warmth in cold temperatures.


In conclusion, sheepskin leather is a great choice for any products or garments that require soft leather which is both durable and luxurious. It can be used to create anything from jackets to vests and offers an array of colors and textures. It is also more affordable than many other types of leather products, making it an even more appealing option. Furthermore, sheepskin leather has many unique qualities that make it truly stand out among the rest.


Is sheepskin leather good quality?

Sheepskin leather is considered as a high-quality material with great longevity and strength. It is renowned for its ability to provide warmth without compromising on breathability. The wool fibers embedded within the hide help to keep heat in while still allowing air circulation. This helps keep you comfortable during both hot and cold weather conditions.

Is sheepskin leather good?

In terms of quality, sheep leather is top-notch. It is incredibly durable for its thinness and can withstand everyday wear and tear without losing its shape or color. Additionally, it’s resistant to water damage and stains, which means it’ll last you much longer than other types of leather. Not only that, but it’s also breathable so your feet won’t get overheated when wearing shoes made from this material. So the answer is – yes.

How to soften leather on sheepskin?

One of the easiest ways to soften leather on sheepskin is by using a leather conditioner. A quality leather conditioner will penetrate deep into the fibers of the sheepskin which helps keep it supple and soft.

How durable is sheepskin leather?

This unique type of leather offers a superior level of durability and protection from wear and tear than traditional types of leather. It is well-known for its toughness, making it ideal for everyday use. Its abrasion resistance ensures that sheepskin will last longer than other types of leather when exposed to everyday wear and tear.