Below is a general guide to the best practice product care for OB products.
If you have specific questions not covered below or need to clarify any points, please don’t hesitate to drop us an email at [email protected].
Please remember, we all get a little older and shabbier over time, a well-loved and well used OB product is far better than one sat in the wardrobe, never being enjoyed.
Sheepskin Clothing, Accessories and Double Face Sheepskin Throws
Storage; please keep your OB sheepskin item in a clean dry dark place, preferably in a sealed dust bag, poly bag or garment cover.
Unfortunately, moths can get into sheepskin, especially if it is stored for long periods with other fabrics that attract moths. Similarly, if boxed in a garage for any length of time, rodents will attack it for bedding.
Do not store uncovered in open natural or fluorescent light, both will fade the exposed skin quite quickly.
Sheepskin – Sueded
Overtime as sheepskin gets grubby, we would suggest the following:
Buff the suede with a DRY scouring pad; the kind that you use for washing up, with the rough texture on one side and the foam on the other.
We suggest you use the scouring pad to generally brush off any grubbiness and revitalise the ingrained flattened suede nap. When brushing, try to use longer more fluid strokes rather than concentrating on a small area. Make the area you are working on quite generous ,then you won’t strip the colour from a single patch.
Please use the foam side first, and only progress to the tougher rough textured side if really dirty and the foam isn’t having any impact.
Shake and vacuum! After you have done the above, you will be surprised how a good shake and a vacuum will lift the dusty grubbiness.
Rain spotting and rain in general
Always let the product dry naturally in an airy warm environment but away from direct heat. When dry, if there are rain spots on the suede, use the same scouring pad method above to brush the suede this will level the rain spots out and revitalise the suede nap.
Rain downpour; If you get your OB sheepskin piece saturated, let it dry naturally in a warm airy place but still well away from direct heat. When it is dry, you may find the pelt has become rigid so you have to “break it open”.
You do this by manipulating it, twisting it around, kneading it and basically opening up the fibres of the pelt to make the skin softer and more flexible again. Now take your trusty scouring pad (above) and start revitalising the nap. Brushing will bring back the velvety suede that has been flattened by the rain.
Fading: As sheepskin is a natural product, prolonged exposure to light will cause it to fade.
Leaving a product static and uncovered is eventually going to cause it to fade (electric lighting as well as natural light will do this), moving product and regular usage will diminish this, and whilst not necessarily stop it completely, will ensure that any colour change happens at a more organic pace and is balanced across the item.
Red wine, fruit squashes etc – all of these types of stains will benefit from spot washing ASAP, use a tepid mild soap or colour free gentle shampoo solution.
Spot wash and spot rinse with clear water – DO NOT IMMERSE.
Don’t focus on just the stain in a small area, it is better to work on a larger area, concentration in one place could have the effect of bleaching colour as you remove the stain.
Grease, oil & ink-based stains are NOT good and are very hard to remove. If you do get any of these onto your product, it’s best that you contact us directly, as different stains need specific help.
Sheepskin: – Napalan or Hurricane finish; both are leather-based
finishes. These finishes should offer an amount of natural dirt repellent protection as a matter of course, however, if you get anything ugly on the napalan, please contact us directly for help.
Sheepskin: – Wool side; all the above suede treatments can apply to the wool side but use a comb or brush instead of the scouring pad. The only exception, if your product has tight curly wool, this will fuzz if you start to comb it. So, it is better just vacuuming, shaking and spot washing.
DRY CLEANING – Owen Barry do not recommend dry cleaning. HOWEVER, if none of the above has produced the result you want, then you could consider specialist dry cleaning;
Please note sheepskin & leather does not benefit from dry cleaning because whilst the cleaning process might remove dirt and grime from the skin, this process also removes some of the natural oils that soften the skin and the substances that colour the skin. This means your sheepskin garment will no longer feel the same and it is very likely there will be some colour change.
Please use a specialist dry cleaner to diminish the risk but there is always a very high likelihood of some change. The standard dry cleaners response to this change is to blame the quality of the skins, strangely not the process or the chemicals they use. You will also be asked to sign a waiver – we don’t feel that this is the best solution.
In light of all of the above, if you need any further help or advice, never hesitate to contact us.
Sheepskin – Wool Out Interiors Products
Did you know? Sheepskin wool has an inherent dirt repellent, making it easy to keep looking great.
For all our lifestyle products, we would suggest regular brushing, vacuuming and shaking. Any or all of these will keep the wool from getting too matted and grubby.
If accidents happen and something gets spilt on your interiors product (especially red wine, or something sticky – jam – arghhhh !!) then all of these stains will benefit from spot washing ASAP. Use a mild warm soap or colour free gentle shampoo solution, spot wash and spot rinse with clear cold water. Towel dry – Do Not Immerse and try not to get overly wet if possible, purely because it takes a while to dry.
Please never focus just on a small area, it is always better to work on a larger area as concentration in one place could have the effect of bleaching the underlying colour as you remove the stain.
Melted chocolate or mud are always two favourites! So, just let it dry/harden and pick off as much excess as possible, then brush/comb off what is left on the wool fibres. If the wool, has been stained – spot wash as above.
Really, you can’t go wrong – but if you have any questions never hesitate in giving us an email or phone call.
Fading: As sheepskin is a natural product, prolonged exposure to light will cause it to fade and the wool to change colour.Leaving a product static and uncovered is eventually going to cause it to fade (electric lighting as well as natural light will do this), moving product and regular usage will diminish this, and whilst not necessarily stop it completely, will ensure that any colour change happens at a more organic pace and is balanced across the item.
Leather Upholstery skins for Lifestyle products
These are pretty robust skins (they have to be) as they suffer everything life throws at them. Keeping our leather beanbags clean is a very simple task; wash with a warm gentle soapy solution and buff polish clean – that’s it! Not much should penetrate this leather. Prolonged oil /grease or ink are the worst things and really once those stains are in the skin there is very little you can do to remove it – sorry.
We can quote for replacement panels if this was something you would like to investigate.
Handbags and Small Leather Goods
All of our handbags are hand cut and made from quite “naked” natural leathers. That said, we feel they should last the test of time and like all of us, age and grow old comfortably.
At OB we like all the leathers we select to have character and a tactile feel, so that they are good to handle and lightweight to carry. However, this softer finish does mean that over a period of time the leather could start to distress and “wear” and could mean that the surface and colour will start to fade and dull. The corners could start is rub slightly too and sadly there is very little that we can do or suggest that will prevent this.
For everyday care, if you wish to wipe the bags down, now, and again with a soft damp cloth this will keep any surface dirt at bay.
We can supply you with a leather protector which can be applied regularly. This will act as a barrier and help to feed the skins.
For everyday care, cowhide is pretty much self-sufficient. It has an inherent repellent within the skin that stops it looking very grubby. If it does get dirty, then a gentle vacuum will lift dust. You can brush with a clothes brush or wipe down with a damp cloth – none of these things will hurt.
Cowhide can be damages by repeated rubbing and wear and tear in the same area. Every cowhide (like every animal) is different and some will have more robust hair than the next, meaning that some hair will be softer and finer and more prone to thin or bald. There is no way of identifying this in the manufacturing stages.
Like the knees on your jeans or the elbows on your jumper, regular and hard wear will have the effect of rubbing away the fibres/hair exposing the leather below and sadly this cannot be repaired.
Many people love this aging effect but if you do want to keep your cowhide item looking perfect then careful handling will certainly aid this.
Over time as suede gets grubby and the nap flattens, we would suggest the following: –
Buff the suede with a DRY scouring pad, the kind that you use for washing up, with the rough texture on one side and the foam on the other.
We would suggest you use the scouring pad, to brush off any grubbiness and revitalise the ingrained flattened suede nap. Ideally try to use longer more fluid strokes rather than concentrating on a small area at a time. If you work in a generous area then you won’t inadvertently overwork and strip the underlying colour from a small area. Please use the foam side first, and only progressing to the rough texture side if the foam isn’t having any impact.
Rain spotting and rain in general
If your bag gets wet, always let it dry naturally in an airy warm environment but not on direct heat. When dry, if there are rain spots on the suede, use the same scouring pad above to brush the suede this will level the rain spots out and revitalise the suede nap.
Rain downpour; If you get your OB suede bag saturated let it dry naturally, in a warm dry airy place and never on direct heat. When it is dry, the skin may have hardened a little, so now you have to “break it open” by manipulating it, twisting it around, kneading it and opening up the fibres of the pelt to make the skin more flexible again. Now take your trusty scouring pad (above) and start revitalising the nap, bringing back the velvety suede that has been flattened.
If you have any questions or want any further specific information never to hesitate to contact us, we will always be pleased to help you.