Shearling vs Sheepskin: The Battle of the Furs

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Shearling vs Sheepskin

Many people wonder 'Is shearling the same as sheepskin?' Definitely, there are! It's common to hear that "sheepskin vs shearling is used interchangeably. Sheepskin is the skin of an actual sheep, while shearling is the skin of a lamb. In order to retain body heat, the wool side is typically placed on the inside while the animal skin hide side is displayed.

Sheepskin coats are naturally water-resistant and offer superior protection from snow, ice, and wind chill. However, you can care for your shearling coat by protecting it from water, as it won't seep through the thick wool. Therefore, coats, jackets, and accessories made from shearling vs sheepskin are not only warm and cozy but also practical and long-lasting. Wear them with confidence knowing that your sheepskin coat will not be damaged even if it gets wet from light rain or snow.

So, is shearling real sheepskin? It is. Sheepskin shearling is one of the many types of leather. It refers to the hide of a young sheep which is tanned with the wool attached to it to make shearling leather.

What is Shearling?

Shearling, unlike shorn wool, is a sheepskin pelt that is tanned with the wool still on it to achieve a uniform feel and depth throughout. There is a big visual and tactile difference between shearling and sheepskin. It's largely because there are so many unique kinds of sheep.

The furry interior of shearling provides perfect insulation, while the tough exterior keeps the cold air at bay. You'll stay toasty warm in subzero temperatures thanks to the jacket or coat's ability to retain heat. So, understand, what is shearling coat? It is an astounding winter coat with wool lining, which is one of the popular types of lining materials, to keep you warm and cozy when the temperature drops. The wool lining provides insulation, helping to trap heat within the coat and keep you comfortable in colder weather.

Types of Shearling

Among the many types of shearling Toscana shearling, Merino shearling, Tigrada Shearling, and Tornado shearling are the most popular.

Toscana shearling

With their long fur interior and leather or suede exterior, Toscana shearling pelts provide the most insulation of any shearling pelt. Aside from its obvious use in jackets or coats, sheepskin also makes for great decorative accents like pillows, cushions, and rugs.

Merino shearling

Merino shearling is highly prized because of its lightweight and lustrous and fluffy fur interior, which is coupled with a leather or suede exterior.

Tigrada shearling

Tigrada shearling is distinguished by their interiors' presence of extremely long, curly fur. The exterior is still crafted from leather or suede, with the best materials coming from tanneries in Spain and France. This specific breed of sheepskin performs admirably as a warm and cozy outer layer during the colder months.

Tornado shearling

The tornado shearling, with its distinctive curly fur finish on the inside, is the best material for making jackets and coats that can be dressed in milder temperatures.

What is Sheepskin?

Sheepskin is also called lambskin or shearling; it is defined as a kind of leather made from the hide of a sheep. Sheepskin in contrast to regular leather is tanned while still retaining the wool or fleece.

Tanning refers to the treatment of animal skins or hides in order to produce leather. This process involves treating the skin to change its protein structure, making it more resilient and invincible to decomposition and ready for possible coloring (or dyeing).

Types of Sheepskin

Different types of sheepskin leather are given below:

Shearling Sheepskins

Shearling is a type of sheepskin that is naturally sheared, much like mouton lambskin. As a finishing touch, it was sueded.

Since it's made from all-natural materials, so you can wear it no matter the season. The shearing's natural fibers insulate you from the cold, and its breathable threads wick away wetness to keep you dry when it rains.

Mouton Sheepskin

The fur of this sheep breed can be dyed either black or brown and has a silky, water-repellent texture as its hair can be straightened and treated.

Tibetan Lambskin

The long, luxurious hair of this sheep breed is naturally wavy. As a result of its attractive off-white or white-bleached color, this variety is frequently used in wool pads. In rainy conditions, it requires special attention to prevent the onset of frizz.

Shearling vs Sheepskin: A comparison



Made from the skin of a young sheep that has been shorn once.

Made from the skin of a sheep that has been shorn.

Has a woolly side and a leather side

Has a napped side and a woolly side

Commonly used in making outerwear like coats and boots for its warmth and insulation properties.

Commonly used in making clothing, accessories, and home decor items for its warmth and insulation properties.

Known for its robustness and longevity.

Known for its warmth and insulation properties and robustness and longevity.

Are shearling coats worth it?

Shearling coats are notoriously long-lasting. They aren’t bulky like other fur jackets, but history has shown that lambskin is an effective insulator against the cold. So, are shearling coats worth it? Shearling coats are really worth it. 

When it comes to outerwear, mens shearling coats are a wise investment. Their developed composites, timeless allure, and sturdiness make them truly worth it. Though, women shearling coats can be quite pricey and need special care to look and last their best. However, not everyone may find the use of animal skin in shearling coats appealing due to ethical concerns.

When it comes to choosing between a Sherpa and shearling coat, consider the factors that are most important to you. Both materials offer unique appeal - shearling for its luxurious and unique look and Sherpa for its superior warmth and coziness. Consider your budget and the climate in which you'll be wearing your coat before making a decision on a sherpa vs shearling coat.

FAQs: Shearling vs Sheepskin

Is shearling a lamb or sheep?

A shearling is a lamb that has been sheared once just prior to slaughter. This term refers to leather made from a sheep that still has its fur attached.

Is shearling warmer than fur?

Shearling is likely to be warmer than fur as it has lambskin with wool making it warmer and cozier while the fur coat has just sheep haircuts. Moreover, shearling has a lightweight and advanced fabrication process which makes them much more comfortable and cozier than bulky fur coats.

Do feet sweat with shearling?

Contrary to popular belief, shearling does not cause your feet to sweat. It has the opposite effect. The naturally breathable wool fibers are exceptionally absorbent, wicking sweat away from your feet. Shearling being a naturally antimicrobial, will not harbor bacteria that cause odor. It may sound contradictory, but the shearling is simultaneously insulating, cozy, and sweat-wicking in nature.

Final Thoughts

As far back as fashion history can be traced, shearling vs sheepskins have been and will continue to be a mainstay. Sheepskin refers to leather made from sheep hide while shearling refers to the leather made from the shearing of lamb with the wool attached to it. So, wearing a shearling coat is considerably more effective at retaining heat.

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