Normal size range: 32″x20″ to 48″x32″
Sheepskins come from real live sheep that were butchered for their meat, the skin is a recovered byproduct that would otherwise be buried in the dirt. We recover these pelts and pay farmers for them on a scale, encouraging them to do a good job butchering so you get a better product.
Our grading system is completely subjective, by the opinion of Tyler and his wife.
These are tanned with a Sulphonic Acid agent that has been synthetically manufactured. This agent is considered by it’s manufacturer as environmentally friendly, especially compared to chrome tanning. The finished product is White leathered, soft, durable, and stretchy. They have no “shelf life” and do not fall apart with age. The finished sheepskin is nontoxic and extremely resistant to microbiological attack. Mechanical damage is the main reason these type of skins become unserviceable.
Grade SS Sheepskins
Every once in a while, we are able to make a supreme skin of masterful craftsmanship from the butcher to the tanner. They are perfect. These are grade SS.
Most grade A skins would be SS, but usually some level of damage occurs during butchering.
Grade A Sheepskins
Grade A means of best quality we are able to manufacture without extreme costs to the customer. The leather is free from any major defects or large holes, and it is soft and pliable. The fleece is mostly free of debris like grass. It is impossible to remove every piece of grass from longer staple fleeces.
Small holes around the edges, especially near the neck, are very common and we generally leave these in so the sheepskin can be larger for you. You can trim off the hole if you like. The fleece may have an area of very light green, pink, or blue hue due to marking spray that could not be washed out, but often this is not noticeable.
See: Grade A Sheepskins
Grade B Sheepskins
Grade B skins have more than a minor defect that would otherwise prevent it from being graded “A”. This is either because of a defect in the leather, such as a hole far from the edge that could not be trimmed off (or sewn) without significantly shrinking the skin.
Usually sheepskins are Grade B because the fleece has too much debris around the neck and back from being a hay-fed sheep, and we could not justify spending many hours getting it clean enough to be graded “A”. We do try to clean every sheepskin to a minimum amount free of debris, but we stop after a certain amount of time. After that time if the fleece is still filled with an abnormal amount of debris, it is labeled Grade B. Sometimes when we have extra time we will continue cleaning these and they will be upgraded to Grade A.
Sometimes the fleece will have noticeable marking spray.
Grade B skins are generally very good, and suitable for utilitarian use.
See: Grade B Sheepskins
Grade “Special” Sheepskins
“Special” sheepskins can either be exceedingly good and require special pricing because of their uniqueness, or have a major issue, such as being small, a very odd shape, oily leather, a large rip or hole from butchering, or felted wool.
Here: Special Sheepskins