The care for sheepskins is related to the tanning method.
There are various methods of preserving sheepskin by tanning. Depending on the tannery, the care instructions also differ.A distinction is made:
Alum salt is used to preserve the coat. Alum is also known from deodorant or shaving stones or as an additive in the food industry. Characteristic for this tanning beard is the refined surface of the fur, as the tanning process is very gentle on the fur. The leather on the back is white, hence the name of the tan.
Red tannage/herbal tanning
Tannins from plants, mainly tree bark, are used to preserve the skins. This type of tanning is hardly used today, as the process takes a very long time and is therefore uneconomical. Brownish leather dyeing Fat tanningGrease is rolled into the leather to make it durable. Especially in the traditional costume sector, the so-called "Sämischgerbung" (Tran) is still used. Yellowish leather dyeing
ChromIII salts are used to make the coat durable. Chrome tanning has a bad reputation due to the resulting waste water and the EU-wide ban on chromeVI salts in leather with skin contact. However, it should be mentioned that in Europe only ChromiumIII salts are used in approved plants. Bluish-white leather dyeing
Medical or Relugan tanning
Relugan is a synthetic tanning agent from BASF, which is considered to be particularly safe. Medically tanned skins are therefore often referred to as "baby skins". Yellowish leather dyeing as well as fur dyeing
If you have purchased a coat from Vehi Mercatus, as mentioned above, it is either a white tanning or a medical tanning.
Care instructions for white tanning: White-tanned hides should be cleaned by mechanical or dry cleaning where possible. Mechanical cleaning means that the fur can be brushed, vacuumed or beaten. As a rule, this is sufficient as the wool grease contained in the fur, the so-called lanolin, has a self-cleaning effect.Particularly well suited for combing out dog brushes with burls on the tips. For basic cleaning, it is also recommended to lay the coat in winter, if possible with the side of the coat in the snow and pat it out, or in summer on a particularly hot day for an hour in the sun to clean the coat with UV radiation.Another cleaning option is dry chemical cleaning. For this purpose, please contact a cleaning company near you.White-tanned skins are not particularly suitable for washing, as the tanning agent has only limited water resistance, but it is possible. However, we recommend washing the fur as little as possible. On the one hand the sheep's hair tends to mat, on the other hand the leather becomes a little less supple/harder with every wash.Please use a special fur detergent for washing. The washing itself must be done by hand. This is gentle on the coat and the coat is not in the water as long as with machine washing.After washing, the coat should dry well spread out. Do not lay in the sun or on the radiator. From time to time, knead the leather and pull it long enough so that it does not become hard when dry. By kneading the leather, the remaining tanning agent is distributed and the leather becomes almost as it was before.Attention: The drying process can take 24-36 hours depending on the temperature etcWhite tanned hides can be washed about 3 times until the leather becomes very hard and rigid. So only use the wash as a last resort.After washing, the coat must be combed thoroughly to loosen tangles in the hair. Due to the strong tendency to felting, we only recommend washing short pile skins. Long-pile skins should always be cleaned mechanically and dry-cleaned only.
Care instructions medical tanning:
Medically tanned skins are particularly easy to wash. Nevertheless, mechanical cleaning is also very effective and usually sufficient as described under white tanning.However, you can also wash the coat at 30°C in the wool wash cycle using a coat detergent. Do not spin-dry or tumble dry.Spread out to dry and pull into shape from time to time. Do not place in the sun or on the radiator. In spite of the good washability, the leather will also become slightly stiffer than before due to the washing process.Attention: The drying process can take 24-36 hours depending on temperature etc.