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Jonval Leathers and Furs Discusses Sheep Skin

After a lengthy discussion on all the different types of leathers there are, Jonval Leathers and Furs finally transitioned onto the other side of things—furs! We have been discussion all the different animals from which quality furs are made. We spoke about beavers, and chinchillas, and rabbits and coyotes. Then we got on a string of blogs discussing all the different types of foxes from which furs come.

Jonval Leathers and Furs is finally ready to move on from discussing the many different types of foxes out there and begin a discussion on the next animal from which furs are made. We will move onto what will likely prove to be another lengthy discussion on furs. Our next animal to explore when we think of fur clothing and accessories is, sheep skin and fur, or wool.

Sheep skin
So why are we talking about sheep skin when we have moved on from discussing leathers and are now exploring furs? Well, it is complicated, but we shall attempt to explore these subtle differences. 

Not exactly leather
To begin with, sheep skin is a type of leather, however the process for making this skin ready for wear is rather different. Unlike other leathers, sheep skin, or sometimes called, lamb skin, is tanned with the fleece, or fur, intact. This makes it similar to a pelt. Cue the flashbacks to the sheep skin ‘rug’ that occupied my father’s office in our home. I do not want to begin to tell you the amount of fun friends had with that.

Wool, fleece, fur?
We have a lot of terms to clear up when it comes to this little animal, the sheep, or lamb. It gets tricky, so stick with me.

This one gets really tricky, so here goes. Fleece has two definitions and they are often the opposite of the other—oh the joys of the English language. Our first definition of fleece is to refer to the woolen coat that is obtained after the shearing process of a sheep or a ram. Thus, in some ways fleece and wool are synonymous. This shearing process is usually done once a year at the end of spring.

A sheep’s coat can also be called as fleece. This term can also be applied to a yak or goat’s coat as well.   Interestingly, the wool from just one sheep is called the fleece, while the wool from many sheep is called a clip. It is dependent of the genetics, breed, nutrition of the animal, and the amount of time between shearing how much wool or fleece is obtained. 

Ok, so I have just given you one definition of fleece. In our next blog we will move onto the other definition and finally understand all the confusion. I will give you a hint—the other definition is often how you call a certain article of clothing...thus the confusion.  We will explain it all in our next few blogs. Til then, stop by Jonval Leathers and Furs today for all your leather and fur needs.