Note: The contents of this page can also be found on Furcare.org, an affiliate website owned and operated by the American Fur Council.
Beautiful, durable and versatile, shearling continues to be a popular, and practical, fashion outerwear choice. Keeping it beautiful requires its own easy, yet unique, brand of care. Shearling outerwear is made from sheep or lamb skin with the leather side usually sueded. The fur (wool) is commonly worn on the inside and the leather on the outside, although they are sometimes made to be reversible. Creating a shearling coat or jacket is a craft that requires the skills of a trained and talented design artisan. While caring for your shearling is not difficult, it is necessary to keep a few things in mind:
- Store your shearling garments in cold storage when you are done wearing them for the season or not using them. The more time a shearling garment spends in cold storage the longer it will last. Like fur, the natural oils in shearling keeps it soft and pliable. Colder temperatures and proper humidity control slows down the evaporation of these necessary oils. Shearling and fur have the same storage requirements.
- While at home, do not keep shearlings in a cedar closet, with mothballs, or where it is exposed to direct light or heat sources.
- The fur side of shearlings should be cleaned every year to keep it in good condition. Clean the leather (suede) side of shearlings only when necessary (not annually) if it gets soiled or spilled upon. Cleaning of the leather side can cause wear or characteristic changes to the leather finish of a shearling. (i.e. uniform color changes, smoothing of suede, temporary stiffening, etc.) These changes may be unavoidable but, are not necessarily a negative. In either case the consumer should be made aware of the possibilities and risks by their Authorized Furcare Specialist℠ prior to cleaning. Cleaning the fur only will not change the look of your garment or cause unnecessary wear when done properly.
- If there are no visible stains, spots, blemishes, or dirt on the leather, then have only the fur side of your shearling cleaned.
- If stains, spots, blemishes, or soiled areas are visible on the leather then have it cleaned prior to storage as well. Heavily soiled areas can become very difficult to remove with time. If a dirty area or spots can be seen, this is when cleaning becomes necessary. Your Authorized Furcare Specialist℠ will be able to advise you on whether or not to proceed with cleaning.
- Winter salt and solvents may accumulate on your garment and can lead to discoloration and drying out. The longer these remain on a shearling the greater damage they can do. Have these areas cleaned by an Authorized Furcare Specialist℠ as soon as possible. (Note: Salt removal from leather causes little to no wear)
- Do NOT attempt to clean a shearling, leave it to an Authorized Furcare Specialist℠ as you may cause irreparable damage. Like all fine suedes and leathers, cleaning shearling garments requires special processes (including equipment, tools and cleaning agents) to prevent discoloration, drying out, cracking or extensive wear to the sueded side or damage to the fur side. The cleaning and restoration of shearling and sueded leather truly requires the skills of a trained professional to be performed successfully, without causing damage.
- Never put your shearling into a washer or dryer!
- In case something is spilled on the sueded leather side, gently blot the excess with a damp cloth while being careful not to rub it in further or spread it into a larger area. Take it to an Authorized Furcare Specialist℠ as soon as possible for professional treatment.
- At home hang your shearling on a broad hanger and never in a bag or covered. Allow room so that it is not pressed tightly inside your closet.
- Hang your shearling away from heat sources such as heat vents and radiators. Direct heat exposure can cause the material to dry and crack.
- Hang your shearling away from direct light. Overexposure to light can alter the color of your shearling.
- Rain, sleet or snow will not damage your shearling if treated properly. Accumulated moisture or light wetness should be shaken from the garment and the garment should then be hung to dry, away from heat but in a well-ventilated area. (Do NOT attempt to dry it with a hairdryer, space heater, etc.) If the leather becomes saturated, take it to an Authorized Furcare Specialist℠ or Leather specialist to be reconditioned. (excessive wetness can cause a mottled change in color or misshaping)
- Sueded areas smoothed by wear may be able to be restored by an Authorized Furcare Specialist℠.
- Your Authorized Furcare Specialist℠ may offer a weather protectent application service to help guard your shearling from the elements and various types of stains.
- When in doubt or if you have specific care questions always contact an Authorized Furcare Specialist℠.
LEGAL INFORMATION. The information contained on this page is intended only as a Guideline. The recommendations on this website are generally accepted good practice options for care of fur garments. Please see a professional, Authorized Furcare Specialist℠ for a physical inspection of your fur garments to determine condition and advise on proper care treatments and courses of action. Although the individual businesses listed as “Authorized Furcare Specialist℠” have been reasonably verified to specialize in fur products, AFC and its operators do not endorse, nor imply endorsement, of said business entities. It is the consumers responsibility to verify that their chosen furriers facilities and services are suitable for their garments specific needs. Furcare.org assumes no liability and is not responsible for recomendations and services provided by “Authorized Furcare Specialist℠” listed herein. AFC and its operators do not settle disputes between consumers and businesses, nor does it retain any obligation to act as a third party arbitrator. Due to the biological nature, variation of products, unknown origin, material sources and manufacturing processes of individual fur products discussed on this website furcare.org and its operators are not responsible for the effects of the care recommendations listed on this website on any such products that you may own.