Our Materials – Sheepskin

Sheep and Lamb Skins

For our clothing & accessories collection and our lifestyle, rug & beanbag collection we use only sheep and lambskins, these skins are 100% a by-product from the meat industry.

The skins we use are chosen by us for the ultimate end purpose of the product, whether that is heavier pelts from mainly UK, Europe or Australasia that will be used in lifestyle products with heavier wear; or much lighter pelts/breeds such as Merino’s & Toscana’s from Spain & Italy that are selected for their super fine finish, ideal for clothing and accessories.

Ironed wool is just that, in the tanning process the wool has been ironed and polished to bring out the superb luxurious feel and finish.

Curly wool is when the wool has been left with the curl and characteristic is much more as nature provided, this makes them slightly firmer to touch than the ironed wool version.

Outerwear and Ready to wear accessories.

Merino Sheepskin (Shearling)

This skin is recognised as being the finest shearling in the marketplace, these exquisite skins come with either plush ironed wool or naturally curly wool, both are of equal quality, the wool finish is just a design choice and therefore a personal preference.

Garments that have been hand cut from Merino have the most wonderful way of “draping” it is second to none and the “handle” of these pelts has to be felt to be believed – it is buttery soft and super sensuous like silk.

Merino skins are available in Suede or Napalan finishes: –

Sueded Sheepskins

Many people recognise Sueded Sheepskin as what traditional sheepskin (or shearling) looks like, and understandably as it is by far one of the most popular sheepskin finishes.

The shearlings that we use at Owen Barry have all been hand-selected to ensure that the suede surface is always soft and sensual, with a slight velvet nap on the suede.

Napalan (leather) finishes

This skin is one of the most tactile, buttery soft skins in our collection.

The team at Owen Barry has been selected and handcrafting garments from leather & shearling for over 70 years, and still, today when these Merino Napalan skins come through production we stand and stroke them – Yes really!  these skins are so delightful and soft in hand that we love to handle them, appreciating the quality and technical expertise in tanning skins to this level of finish.

Napalan Merinos has a fine leather surface, that is particularly suitable for reversible garments. Additionally, the leather surface can offer more protection against staining and grubbiness. Napalan merinos can have ironed or curly wool.

Hurricane Napalan

Hurricane has been a long-time favourite in the Owen Barry Shearling collection. It is a hard-wearing skin with a stunning texture in its curly wool.

Hurricane Napalan has an aged look which it distresses more over time accentuating the vintage look, this makes Hurricane Napalan our first choice for more casual styling as it gives jackets & accessories a real outdoors feel.

Tigardos Lambskins

Tigardos is luxurious Toscana lambskin in its more natural form, the stunning curls originally provided by Mother Nature give this skin it’s soft texture and depth.

Very luxurious, Tigardos skins are European in origin and are super supple and cosy to wear, the unstructured look of Tigardos makes it a very versatile skin to wear, it can be dressed up for impactful sophistication or paired with jeans and a chunky jumper for a casual boho look – the best of both worlds.

Toscana Lambskins

Toscana is nature at her most elegant, guaranteed 100% a by-product of the food industry.

Toscana lambskins are a tribute to both Mother Nature and the skill of the world’s leading tannery technicians.

With stunning ironed and polished wool, and super silky suede, these skins offer the ultimate in luxurious warmth and style.

Very often Toscana’s have tipped wool which makes them look like fur – but please rest assured they are NOT fur, in fact, they are the opposite, Toscana is the only true environmental answer to real fur, it is 100% by-product and biodegradable.

It is obviously ethically better than real fur, but also far better for our climate & oceans etc. than the chemicals and waste generated in the production and disposal of synthetic or faux fur.

Lifestyle products – Beanbags/Rugs, Cushions , Hot water bottles etcs

Luxe Sheepskins – long wool

Our Luxe Sheepskins are mainly of UK, Australian or New Zealand origin, the lush beauty of their habitat can be appreciated when handling these skins;

The long-polished wool, whilst very hardwearing have luxury, softness and warmth..

These skins are ideal for areas of heavier usage, they are robust and easily refreshed with a good shake, brush and airing on the washing line.  They can easily be spot washed, and fully hand washed. – please check out our product care area of the website.

Swedish Sheepskins

These sheepskins have been especially hand-selected for their characteristic round curly wool, their short Nordic wool is reminiscent of a Gotland sheep profile and therefore very popular with on-trend designers and home-lovers who want to bring a Scandi flavour to both contemporary and classic lifestyles.

Very hardwearing, but tactile and flexible these skins are perfect for rugs, throws, bench & chair covers as well as a variety of soft furnishings.

Requiring very little care, they are hardy and robust, can easily be spot washed, plus a good shake and air on the washing line will refresh, they can be hand-washed, check out our product care guide.

UK Domestic Sheepskins

Owen Barry use these British skins, especially for our interiors and lifestyle collection, we believe they are absolutely stunning.

Our inherent knowledge acquired over 70 plus years of working with sheepskins has enabled the Owen Barry Team to develop and perfect this stunning British short wool shearling.

UK Domestic sheepskins are glorious on both sides of the skin, they can be reversed and used either wool or suede up, offering texture and individuality to different interiors.

These skins are strong, as you would expect with hardy British sheep, you can easily spot wash, comb, shake well, or air on the line for a refresh, the Sueded side can easily be revitalised with a soft brush or scouring pad (dry).  Check out our product care section for more information. 

Yetti Sheepskins

This skin was originally developed back in the 1980s in Somerset by Fenlands an artisan tannery, just down the road from Owen Barry. Nowadays these are mainly all Australian origin skins.

Yetti got its name from the Himalayan Snowman: but this Yetti skin is a far more robust and practical version of the Tibetan/Mongolian rugs/plates .

For everyday use Yetti is unbeatable, it has the stunning shaggy wool profile, which is very easily maintained, being hardwearing and a head-turning accompaniment in any household.

Yetti has a texture that improves with usage, but it can easily be spot washed, refresh with a good shake and hang on the washing line, combing won’t “hurt” but it will open the natural curls and ringlets, these will reform over time, but you might have to suffer the fuzzy bad hair day for a while.

For more information check out the product care section of this website.


If you would like any swatches of any of the above skins to aid you in your selection please complete the form in the customisation area and we will be pleased to supply these free of charge

Or if you wish to discuss the sheepskins Owen Barry select in any further depth, please contact us here at the factory.

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