Wonderfully warm and classic in style, sheepskin is an essential part of country fashion. Crafted using traditional methods, it also requires a touch of care to keep it looking at its best.

But unlike other popular materials, washing it isn’t always as easy as popping it into a washing machine.
From handwashing to air drying, we’ll walk you through the best ways to clean your sheepskin clothes and slippers to refresh this exquisite natural fibre. We’ll also touch on a few ways you can protect sheepskin to preserve its timeless, heritage look for years to come.

The first rule of cleaning sheepskin clothing is to keep on top of any marks and spot clean them as soon as you can. If you don’t, it will set and become much more difficult to remove.
To spot clean small stains, blot the area with a damp cloth but make sure the fabric doesn’t become soaked. Gently dab the mark until it fades. Rinse out the cloth and finish blotting the area to remove any leftover residue. Finally, use a paper towel to soak up any residual moisture and leave the garment to air dry.
However, larger accidents can mean that spot cleaning with water won’t always be enough. 
The delicate nature of sheepskin calls for the utmost care and attention when it comes to cleaning, which is why handwashing is the best at-home method. It gives you the most control and you can be especially careful when handling the material. 
Before you get started, always check the label for the manufacturer’s care instructions. Every sheepskin item is different and cleaning advice can vary from garment to garment.


Reversible shearling jacket
For sheepskin clothing that has a suede or leather lining, the lining shouldn’t ever become saturated with water. The sheepskin side requires a special cleaning product as the chemicals in your regular laundry detergent can be too strong and damaging. Some sheepskin-friendly products to use are:
  • Semolina.
  • Starch.
  • Talcum powder.
  • Baking soda.

Because these products are dry, they are especially effective for soaking up grease stains. To get your clothing looking its best, use the ‘dry’ method:
  1. 1. Vacuum your garment using the brush nozzle.
  2. 2. Apply a generous layer of your chosen cleaning product to the sheepskin surface of your clothing. Let it sit for 30 minutes to soak up any grease or wet residue.
  3. 3. Use a coarse-bristled brush to brush away the powder. Make sure to move the brush in sweeping motions in the same direction.
  4. 4. Reapply more cleaning product and repeat the above steps.

  1. Sheepskin gilet
If your garment has fur or shearling, you should use the ‘wet’ method with a sheepskin, wool, or cashmere shampoo. Look for one that contains lanolin, as it will help to maintain the fleece and add lanolin back in to the fabric.
1. Fill up your sink or bathtub with cold or lukewarm water. Never use warm or hot water.
2. Add the recommended amount of shampoo instructed by the manufacturer to the water and swirl your hand in the liquid to agitate it.
3. Place your garment into the water. You may need to push it down so that it’s fully submerged and saturated with water.
4. Gently massage the garment in the water to loosen any trapped dirt. Always use slow, gentle motions to prevent damage.
5. Leave it to soak for 10 minutes.
6. Remove your item and drain the water before refilling with fresh, clean water.
7. Move the clothing back and forth in the water to remove any lingering shampoo suds. Double-check this with your shampoo instructions, as some don’t require rinsing.
8. Gently squeeze the excess water from your item, taking care not to wring or twist it.
If the care label specifies that your garment can be machine washed, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. 
Here are some general tips to consider when washing sheepskin in the washing machine:
  • Always use a sheepskin shampoo or one that’s designed for washing natural fibres.
  • Choose the gentlest cycle that you can, for example, a delicate, hand or wool wash. This will cause the least disruption to the material.
  • For temperature, choose a cool wash. Never wash at higher than 30 degrees.
  • If you can, turn off the extra spin setting to keep rotations to a minimum.
Sheepskin coats can be tricky to wash as they often have a mixture of suede and shearling as well as sheepskin, and each material has its own washing requirements.
The suede shouldn’t ever become saturated with water, so use the dry cleaning method to remove any stains, deodorise and refresh. 
If you need to give it a stronger clean, mix the shampoo with some cool water and apply it to the sheepskin fabric using a cloth. Make sure to keep the cloth away from the suede areas and wring the cloth out so any excess water is removed. Gently wipe the sheepskin in long, sweeping motions and hand blot any areas that need a little extra TLC. 
Sheepskin coat

Sheepskin slippers are a luxurious comfort for lounging at home, and as well as being stylish, this fibre is excellent at repelling dirt and water. However, giving them a clean every once in a while can help to maintain their appearance.
To take care of them properly and enjoy their cosiness for longer, here are a few tips for cleaning sheepskin slippers:
  1. Regularly air out your slippers — Sheepskin is a porous material that easily absorbs odours. To keep them smelling fresh, try to air them out regularly. Keep them in a dry, shaded area that’s out of direct sunlight. A sprinkle of baking soda can also help to absorb any odours — just don’t forget to vacuum it up before you slide your feet into them.
  2. Keep them out of the washing machine — while many traditional slippers can be put into a wash, you should avoid machine washing your sheepskin pair. As they spin around the drum, the rotations can cause damage to the fabric.
  3. Hand wash with a damp cloth — As many sheepskin slippers have an outer made of suede, it’s best to wash the inner sheepskin using the damp cloth method. Mix your sheepskin shampoo with water, wet a cloth, and wring it out before wiping it over the wool.
  4. Brush the fibres after washing —  Once you’ve washed your slippers, use a stiff brush to comb out the wool fibres. Take care to avoid the seams so you don’t snag the stitching, and always use a suede brush for suede or leather areas.
Sheepskin slippers

Sheepskin gloves should be treated like a coat; if they’re made without any suede or leather, they can likely be placed in the washing machine on a cool, gentle cycle. If they do have suede or leather, spot clean the wool with a damp cloth.

Sheepskin gloves

Once you’ve washed your sheepskin garments, drying it is the easier part.
Important: Sheepskin isn’t durable enough to withstand the heat of the tumble dryer, so always be sure to air dry it.
1. Choose a well-ventilated room to dry your sheepskin clothes in. 
2. You can either lay it flat on a towel to dry at air temperature or hang it on a hanger. Make sure it’s out of direct sunlight and away from any sources of heat, like a radiator. Heat can cause the fibres to draw closer together, leading to shrinkage and loss of softness in the fleece. 
3. Without heat to speed up the process, it can take a few days for your garment to fully dry. Before it does, while the fabric is still slightly damp-to-touch, carefully stretch the garment to reshape it. 
4. When it’s completely dry, use a stiff or wool brush to comb through the sheepskin fibres. This step is essential for loosening up the fleece and fluffing up the material.

While washing sheepskin will restore its beauty, there are also certain steps you can take to protect it between washes:
1. Brush the long wool fibres regularly — Brushing can help to dislodge any debris or dust that’s built up. It will also smooth out the fibres to help keep them soft.
2. Air out your sheepskin garments — Instead of tucking your sheepskin coat inside a cupboard immediately after wearing, leave it out to air dry for a few hours. 
3. Store in a garment bag — After airing, store your sheepskin clothing in a garment bag to keep it free from dust. 
4. Spray with a suitable water-repellant — Sheepskin is naturally water-resistant, but giving it a light spray with a suitable water repellent can offer extra protection against the elements. Always do a patch test before applying it to your entire garment.
5. Seek professional help — If your sheepskin becomes significantly soiled or requires a deep clean, we strongly recommend seeking the help of a professional dry cleaner. While you can attempt to clean it yourself, if you don’t follow the right measures, you might do more harm than good. Instead, rest assured knowing that a specialist can restore your garments to a beautiful condition.

Enjoy the luxury of sheepskin for longer
Cleaning sheepskin clothing or slippers can seem like a lot of work, but the reward of luxuriously soft sheepskin is utterly worth it.
Explore our full collection of sheepskin clothing and footwear to add to your collection.