SHEEPSKIN RUGS, SIZES, QUALITY, BREEDS

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Sheepskin rugs are available all over the internet but there seems no consistency as to their description and presentation.

Dealing with measurements............the most accurate measurement is top side end to end down the backbone and width across the middle.  Those that wish to create an impression theirs are larger will measure them across to the longest point which is across the diagonal. Not really a true representation. BEWARE your rug will appear smaller when you receive it.

Another interent trick is to picture a large rug but then in small text tell you the actual size.  What you receive will be nothing like the one pictured.  Again BEWARE!

Quality........rugs come in various standard qualities from A (1st class) to grade D.  For those not aware they could be offered a 1st class rug but receive something entirely different.  1st class describes quality of fleece (upper side) an unimpaired under side and most important size and SHAPE.  A miss-shape cannot be 1st class A grade.  Some rugs will have sews on the underside which can be caused by the stretching process during tanning.  It degrades the rug to maximum B grade but will not affect the look (aesthetic), unless of course it is a multi rug (double, quad, sexto etc)

Where do rugs come from?  Well let's get real here.  There is only one tannery left in the UK plus a few smaller units that offer organic tanning.  Some sellers even discribe the sheepskins as organic.  Unless fed on organic material and reared on an organic farm, they CERTAINLY are NOT.

Sheepskins are sourced all over the world, some are recorded (mainly Australian) but others are just sheep from anywhere.  Icelandics don't come from Iceland. The best come from New Zealand or Australia, or coincidentally UK

Sheepskins are a very large international trade and the majority end up in old Eastern Block countries but mainly China. This is due to the fact that it is virtually impossible to run a traditional tannery in UK or modern Europe. Quality does vary but most are acceptable.  Anyone offering sheepskins with a specific origin, ask for some kind of explanation or proof.  It may have come from Devon or Wales but unlikely unless tanned locally.

Finally if you are buying sheepskin rugs off the internet, read the description thoroughly. Check sizing, check colouration, check quality.  If someone is offering a extra large A+++ grade rug for £25........BEWARE.  Descriptions stating suitable for pets or use for re-enactments etc are probably accurate.  Postage is always a feature.  A rug will cost about £7 to post by Royal Mail, bear in mind it will cost you that to return it if you end up with a donkey instead of a sheep........

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