Frequently Asked Questions


Product Care


How do I care for a sheepskin?
NOTE: Washing any lambskin may change its character. Brushed lambskins may revert to more natural locks or may look matted. (Brushing with a wire dog brush will restore the brushed look.) The leather may become stiff and will need to be stretched during drying. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CHANGES THAT OCCUR FROM WASHING.

Some Meridian Jacobs lambskins are tanned in Pennsylvania using a method to make them washable. The older washable lambskins have a a 3-digit and a 4-digit number on the back. The more recent washable sheepskins have a number preceded with "P". The following instructions are provided by the processor of the washable lambskins:

"Hides are processed to be washable, however, we highly recommend for best cleaning results, you can send them back to us for cleaning*** (2.00 - $10.00 per hide). Machine or hand-wash (we strongly suggest hand washing for the sake of your washing machine as well as the hide) in cold or warm water (do not exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not use Woolite, laundry detergents or fabric softeners. [I recommend Unicorn Fiber Wash.]
For Hand Washing: Put the skin in the tub and hold it under the water until the skin is thoroughly saturated with water. Gently churn the skin to get the soap moving around the fibers and let soak for 5-10 minutes then rinse. Gently squeeze out excess water. For Machine Washing: Set to gentle cycle. Once skin is thoroughly soaked, allow machine to churn briefly. The more churning, the more the wool will mat. Let soak 5-10 minutes. Spin cycle briefly to remove excess water. Rinse if necessary. Dry. NEVER tumble dry. This will mat the wool more. Line dry (NOT IN SUN) or dry flat (wool side down) and stretch to shape while damp. Brush with soft wire brush when wet, when damp, and when dry. Do not tumble dry. Heat will damage sheepskins, resulting is shrinking and hardening of pelt. We do not guarantee the skins through washing."

If there is only a 4-digit number and/or CA your sheepskin was tanned in Turlock, California. Sheepskins with a number preceded by S were tanned at New Method Fur Dressing in San Francisco. California-tanned sheepskins were processed in accordance with California water quality regulations without the chemicals used in the processing the washable ones. The leather is not washable, but you can use any product appropriate for leather on it.  I recommend shaking out your lambskin and spot washing the wool by using a small amount of water and a mild soap if necessary. If the leather gets damp continually stretch it during the drying time.

How do I wash a wool blanket?
It is easy to care for your handwoven wool blanket. Just follow these steps (and read the warning below) to wash your blanket in the washing machine:

1. Fill washing machine with lukewarm water.
2. Add mild soap or detergent. I use Unicorn Fibre Wash. (Can purchase on the website soon) Turn machine OFF.
3. Add blanket. Let the blanket soak for a few minutes and then gently swish it around a little.
4. Turn dial to spin and spin out water. I spin just until most of the water is gone and then I stop the cycle to prevent creases from being spun into the blanket.
5. Remove blanket, To rinse, repeat steps 1 to 4 without adding detergent.
6. Spread blanket out on a sheet or large towels to dry.

You can use the same technique for washing in the sink or tub but you won't be able to spin out the water. Wet wool is heavy. It is helpful to put a piece of netting under the blanket to lift it out of the water and allow it to drain before further squeezing out water.

WARNING To prevent felting (irreversible shrinking):
Do not agitate.
Do not run water directly on your blanket.
Do not change water temperature drastically.
Do not use the dryer.

How do I wash a wool scarf or shawl?
Read the instructions for washing a wool blanket. The same method works but if you are washing just a small piece you probably do not want to use the washing machine. Instead you can wash your scarf in the sink, letting the scarf drain in a colander between washing and rinsing. After the scarf is rinsed gently squeeze out water. Roll the scarf in a towel to absorb more water. Then spread the scarf on a dry towel or hang to dry. Pay attention to the felting precautions in the blanket instructions.


Wool


How do I wash a fleece?
Your fleece can be washed in anything that will hold water. I use the washing machine for large quantities of wool but you may prefer to wash your fleece a little at a time using a bucket, a bowl, or the sink. I use a screen in my sink drain to catch stray wool fibers.
1. Fill container with hot (140°F) water using 2 gallons for each pound of wool. Add Unicorn Power Scour (may be purchased on the website soon) at the rate of 1 Tbsp (1/2 ounce) per pound of fiber.
2. Add fleece to water. Press the fleece into the water gently but DO NOT AGITATE. If using the washing machine TURN IT OFF. Leave the wool alone for 10 to 20 minutes—not so long that the water cools off.
3. Drain water or lift wool out of water. (A lingerie bag or a basket made of window screening is handy for this.) If using the washing machine, use the spin cycle to remove the water and then remove the wool.
4. To rinse, fill your container with hot water. Repeat steps 2 & 3. One rinse may be all that is necessary. Use Fibre Rinse in the final rinse, if desired, at the rate of 1 Tbsp per pound of fiber.
5. If you have spun your wool in the washing machine, it will be light and fluffy and will dry quickly outside in warm weather. In the middle of winter I spread my washed wool on old sheets that I can move to the warmest location indoors or out. If you have not used the washing machine to spin your wool, you may want to roll the wool in a towel to absorb some of the water and then spread it out to dry.



How do I wash a wool blanket?
It is easy to care for your handwoven wool blanket. Just follow these steps (and read the warning below) to wash your blanket in the washing machine:

1. Fill washing machine with lukewarm water.
2. Add mild soap or detergent. I use Unicorn Fibre Wash. (Will be added to the website soon.) Turn machine OFF.
3. Add blanket. Let the blanket soak for a few minutes and then gently swish it around a little.
4. Turn dial to spin and spin out water. I spin just until most of the water is gone and then I stop the cycle to prevent creases from being spun into the blanket.
5. Remove blanket, To rinse, repeat steps 1 to 4 without adding detergent.
6. Spread blanket out on a sheet or large towels to dry.

You can use the same technique for washing in the sink or tub but you won't be able to spin out the water. Wet wool is heavy. It is helpful to put a piece of netting under the blanket to lift it out of the water and allow it to drain before further squeezing out water.

WARNING To prevent felting (irreversible shrinking):
Do not agitate.
Do not run water directly on your blanket.
Do not change water temperature drastically.
Do not use the dryer.