What makes a Dinsmoor Sheepskins different?
They are made in America. They are made by hand. They are genuine Whidbey Island, Washington sheepskins. We are a small family business, a husband and wife. This is not a mass-produced and distributed product, like almost all of our competitors. Most of our competitors import their sheepskins from Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden. If you look at the product pictures of various “genuine sheepskin rugs” you’ll quickly find they’re all the same imported product, rebranded.
The only other small business that operates like we do (a handcrafted tannery), that we know of is Dartmoor Sheepskins in the UK (Unrelated to Dinsmoor Sheepskins) and Vermont Natural Sheepskins in Vermont, USA (which is only a custom tannery and does not sell stock like we do)
What can I do with a sheepskin?
- Stay warm at home
- Stay warm camping
- Stay warm in your car or truck
- Stay warm in bed or on the couch
- Decorate your living spaces
- Make sheepskin slippers
- Make sheepskin seat cover
- Make a sheepskin coat
Whatever you want. I like to use them to keep my feet warm at the computer, and in bed at night. Sometimes I’ll use the shorter shorn skins as a seat cushion for my pickup truck or even fold it up as a wool pillow.
Why don’t you make shoes, seat covers, etc?
We are leather makers, not leather workers. A small family tannery, not a leather shop. It would be prohibitively expensive for our customers and since we are not leather workers you would get an inferior product. We encourage you to turn your Dinsmoor Sheepskin into your next pair of boots, or a hat. It’s leather and wool, and as a raw material your limit is your imagination.
Where can I purchase a Dinsmoor Sheepskin?
A sheepskin is on backorder. How long until it is ready?
This depends on the butcher schedule of our farmers, and the butchers themselves. We are at their mercy. It can be a month or more. Processing time is 3 weeks after we get the raw skin. Your order will be processed in the order received. If your order is “on hold” (backordered), you are free to request a refund at any time. We do not butcher sheep for their pelts, we collect the pelts as a byproduct of their meat, so we cannot immediately procure a skin simply because you have purchased it on backorder.
What process do we use? Are they nontoxic?
We use a submersible tannery-quality system with mostly natural and some synthetic components that produces a washable stretchy rug. The sheepskins are nontoxic and biodegradable once they are out of service. Just put them in your compost and they will break down into the soil after some time.
How long will they last?
They will generally last as long as you will take care of them. Eventually, like all leather products, they will degrade over time until they are unserviceable. If you follow the care instructions, they should last for many, many years.
How are the sheepskins sourced?
Whidbey Island is home to many shepherds and farms. We partner with local farms when their sheep are harvested, and that’s where the majority of our sheepskins come from. Sometimes we will include information on where the sheepskin came from with your order (not all of our independent farmers wish to be identified). We also keep a few sheep for the purposes of their wool, meat, and milk on our land. Whenever we harvest our sheep, I also process their hide for personal use, and sometimes sale.
Can the sheepskins be used outdoors?
Yes, but this voids the warranty because of the harsh conditions. Outdoors for camping, hiking, or hunting is a real comfort bonus, but is hard on the skins. We plan to sell a beeswax-olive oil leather crème and a cover that can be used to increase the weather resistance and maintain flexibility. If you intend to use the skin as a bedroll, then make sure it has a backing to prevent direct contact with the earth and is out of the rain.
Why do you have some sheepskins with names?
These are sheep from our small farm, which have been raised in the cleanest and healthiest possible way, are of a superior wool breed, and are generally going to be the highest quality sheepskins we produce, because we have control over the entire lifecycle of the animal. None of our sheep are harvested for their pelts, they are primarily raised for their milk, meat, and wool.
What kind of wool are they? Poofy, soft, or what?
Unless you otherwise specify, they will be a random wool type (random breed) and a close-to-natural finish. This means that unless you tell us that you want your sheepskin to be “extra soft” or with a “extra thick skin” for your purpose in mind, we will give you what we have in stock. We do this to keep our inventory system simple for us and our customers. We are always happy to communicate and accommodate special requests, but we don’t know what you want unless you tell us. Feel free to email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does “Washable” mean?
It means that the skin will not go bad if it gets soaking wet, and is dried normally by laying flat and air dried. Non-washable skins shrink severely, get rock hard quickly when drying, or rot and smell terrible and the wool comes out. Washable does not mean indestructible, so refer to our care instructions included with your order, or find them here on our website.
Do you sell any aftercare products?
Not yet, but we plan to soon.