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Thread: Sheepskin Rugs – which of your products do you recommend for cleaning and conditioning?

  1. #1
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    Default Sheepskin Rugs – which of your products do you recommend for cleaning and conditioning?

    Which of your products do you recommend for the sheepskin rugs I am about to clean? I would like to do a gentle hand wash, wring dry with a towel and lay out flat to dry out of the sun. The skins are supple enough, not stains to care for, but they seem dry. I need to trim them some but the edges are coming off in patches. I want to be prepared to restore the skins after cleaning and maybe simply give them more conditioning and luster without a wash.

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    #3 Edge Separating
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    #4 Edge Separating
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    #5 Patch Crack
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    #6 Patch Hole
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  2. #2
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    >>> Which of your products do you recommend for the sheepskin rugs I am about to clean?

    This Sheepskin Rug Care Kit-SR3 is what I use to deliver professional result myself, take a look at the instructions for cleaning and rejuvenating the skin side; and cleaning and conditioning the wool side too.
    Will also need Impregnator-26 to strengthen the leather structure and Bond-3D for repairing cracks and holes.
    http://www.leatherdoctor.com/kit-sr3...-rug-care-kit/

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    Leather Doctor® Kit-SR3 is an innovative leather-safe (pH 3 - 5) system formulated for keeping both the sheepskin wool at their highest level of appearance, and enhancing their suede skin structure suppleness thus prevents premature ageing that leads to stiffness, curls, rips and tears. Rejuvenating the suede skin side is accomplished by Hydrator-3.3 first to relax and separate the stick together fiber prior to fatliquor replenishing. Fatliquor-5.0 with its fat plumps the skin structure and the oil lubricate for softness without darkening effect. Cleaning to the suede side is performed with Clean-3.8 follows with Rinse-3.0 using a suede Brush-3 / Eraser-5 and towel extract. The wool side is clean with CleanWool-5.5 with a pH value that matches the pH value of the wool thus wool-safe and sanitizes at the same time reducing the common odors diffusing while the wool dries. Rinsing is done with RinseWool-4.0 towel extracts and grooms with suede Brush-3 that further closing up the scales of the wool reducing the splitting at the tips. Protector-S imparts is silky-feel rub-resistant protection lubricating the wool from abrasion wear when the wool is rubbed and a non-stick properties to shield the hair from sticky soiling as preventive care. Note that the mentioned product suffix number denotes its pH value in this leather/wool-safe holistic care system for sheepskin rug.

    Instruction:

    Skin Side Cleaning and Rejuvenating:

    Sequence-1:
    A) Dry Soil Removal:
    Instruction:
    A1) Vacuum off foreign soiling with help of suede Brush-3. A2) Exfoliate to renew fresh nap with help of suede Eraser-5 follows with vacuum cleaner. Proceed to Sequence-2.

    Sequence-2:
    B) Wet Soil Removal:
    Instruction:
    B1) Apply Clean-3.8 and agitate with Brush-3/Eraser-5 and towel extract until it shows clean. B2) Spray Rinse-3.0 and towel extract to a squeaky clean. B3) Let natural drying and wick-up soiling is erased with Eraser-5 prior to hydrating. Proceed to Sequence-3.

    Sequence-3:
    C) Hydrating:
    Hydrating is to relax the skin of stiffness from diminishing original fatliquor. Fatliquor diminishes as the skin ages, accelerated when expose to direct heat and evaporate as VOC (volatile organic compound). Stiffness is common from an immersion cleaning method or a water damage situation too, when fatliquor leaches out, and when it becomes dry again the fibrils structure becomes stick together. Hydrating is to precondition the skin prior to fatliquoring; it helps to relax and separate the stick together fibrils and opens up the inter-fibrillary spaces for effective colloidal water movement within the skin structure. It facilitates to wick-up foreign contamination to be towel extracted when damp and erased when crispy dry. It plumps the skin to ease away the unnatural creases and wrinkles. It stabilizes the pH integrity of the skin and charges the protein fiber ionic positive below its iso-electric point (pI) to hydrogen bond with the ionic negative fatliquor more effectively. It is recommended therefore to hydrate the skin to an optimum level, with moistures oozing out when gently pressed between thumb and fingers. Prolong dwell time will maximize the effects with the help of covering with clear plastic to prevent evaporation.
    Instruction:
    C1) Spray Hydrator-3.3 with foam brush control to hydrate the entire thickness of the skin; extract with dry absorbent white terry towel to inspect for an even appearance without blotchiness and it is ready for immediate fatliquor replenishing. C2) Severe dryness or stiffness will require a longer dwell time of up to 72hours with evaporation control, covering with a clear plastic sheet. When the skin is plump, limp and lay flat, extract until towel shows dry or about 25% reading from a moisture meter and immediately proceed to Sequence-4.

    Sequence-4:
    D) Fatliquoring:
    Fatliquor-5.0 an emulsion of fat and oil originally introduces to the skin to impart its desirous suppleness continues to diminish through evaporation as it ages, accelerated when exposed to heat. It diminishes through leaching as well in a non leather-safe solution and immersion cleaning, manifest as stiffness when the skin becomes dry again. Replenishing is done with “fatliquor-in-a-bottle” as a spray-on instead of the original immersion method. Fatliquor, the lifeblood of leathers derived from fats, oils and water. Looks like fresh milk, when applies penetrates the skin and hydrogen bond with its protein fiber. The fat plumps the skin with fullness, the oil lubricates the individual fibrils and the encasing water breaks free leaving the inter-fibrillary spaces void for natural transpiration. Effective fatliquoring will leave a non-greasy or non-oily surface when dry. Besides softening the skin with flatness, fatliquor enhances its rip tensile strength greatly. It relaxes coarse breaks, creases and wrinkles and prevents cracking. It helps to keep the skin at its optimum physical performance and prevent premature ageing.
    Skin Approximate Quantity or Percentage of Fatliquor:
    The quantities of fatliquor (fat and oil) contents retained in the skin after an universal modern tannery fatliquoring process may varies up to 14% depending on the leather types and it usage. This percentage drops as the fat and oil content diminishes or leaches through ageing, water, heat or chemical overexposure. Leather rejuvenating or fatliquor replenishing is base on weight of the skin in relation to the percentage of remaining fatliquor. A simple calculation of percentage of fatliquor topping up requirement would be as follows: If the weight of the skin in question is 100gm and fatliquor (fat and oil) content meter reading is less than 1%. By applying 80gm of Fatliquor-5.0 to it will deliver an end result incremental of 13.3% fatliquor when dry as the 66.6% water contents evaporates. In the skin rejuvenating Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 > Hydrator-3.3 system, Hydrator-3.3 plays an important role by relaxing, opening up the inter-fibrillary spaces, facilitating and redistributing colloidal water movement, protonating and doing all the pre-conditioning work prior to fatliquoring including cleaning up any excess surface remnants to have a sticky-free surface.
    In practice with severe dryness the ratio for Hydrator-3.3 are 2 to 1 of Fatliquor-5.0.It works out to be approximately 160gm of Hydrator-3.3 plus 80gm of Fatliquor-5.0 to replenish a 100gm dry leather from less than 1% back to the original tannery up to 14% fatliquor content.
    Instruction:
    D1) Spray Fatliquor-5.0 with foam brush control for an even appearance. D2) Repeat application in between drying as the water contents evaporates until it’s saturated. D3) The fully saturated skin is left for slow natural drying for extra softness. D4) Use Eraser-4 to remove wicks up residue and inspect for visual satisfaction.

    Wool Side Cleaning and Conditioning:

    Sequence-5:
    E) Dry Soil Removal:
    Instruction:
    E1) Vacuum off foreign soiling with help of suede Brush-3.

    Sequence-6:
    F) Wet Soil Removal:
    Instruction:
    F1) Apply CleanWool-5.5, brush along the lay of hair in one direction and towel extract until it shows clean. F2) Spray RinseWool-4.0 and towel extract to a squeaky clean. F3) Let natural drying and dry towel wipe of wick-up soiling.

    Sequence-7:
    G) Non-Stick, Rub-Resistant Protection:
    Instruction:
    G1) Shake well, mist spray Protector-S evenly and brush-in with towel to pick up soiling at the same time. G2) When dry thereafter groom with suede Brush-3 or a slick comb for best appearance and it is ready for use.
    Last edited by Roger Koh; 04-04-2016 at 09:00 AM.

  3. #3
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    First, thank you for pointing me to the right kit to purchase. I look forward to using these products.

    Next, thank you for offering to provide further guidance. My thoughts and questions follow with photos attached.

    History of these rugs.
    The sheepskin rugs that I am looking to clean and condition were created more than 20 years ago. They were stored in a dry location, an attic in Maine, that probably had some rather extreme heat differences, cold and hot. I acquired the rugs 8 years ago. I have made little to no effort to maintain my sheepskin rugs over the years. Several or more years ago I used to take them once a year to a furrier to be cleaned. Since then, in the last several years, I have done nothing.

    There are no stains to clean. The wool is the proper color. A majority of the skin side is soft and pliable on all the rugs. However a significant portion of the edges are separating and the wool is pulling off with part of the skin attached. (see photos - edge separating 01 & 02)

    Clean the wool.
    My main intention is to clean the wool. I want to clean the wool only because of them being dusty and dirty. Not that they appear dirty in any way but they expel lots of dust when they are even just moved around. Previous reading, until I found your site, guided to clean the rugs with a proper soap for wool in a hand wash, careful drying with a towel and air drying out of the sun, followed with brushing once completely dry. Your products do not appear to include any full water washing.
    - Will these older, never before cleaned, rugs get the deep cleaning they may need with the spray products?
    - Should I be considering doing both a full water wash and then following up with your products?

    Maintenance of the rugs.
    My understanding from reading is that vacuuming is not recommended for regular monthly maintenance but rather that shaking the skins out regularly is the best maintanence. I read on your site instructions to use a vacuum to remove the top layer of soil during the cleaning process. This makes sense to me and I will do so when following your cleaning directions. Shaking seems like a destructive action when the edges are so brittle. When trying to shake them I am in fear the rest of the skin can not handle shaking. Also shaking just does not seem effective enough to me.
    - What is the best interim regular monthly maintenance technique?

    Restoration of the edges.
    The disintegrating edges are the only true trouble area for these rugs. I think I just need to do a lot of careful trimming to remove these damaged areas. Beyond that I am thinking more about this kind of damage happening at inner areas and want to prevent this going forward.
    - Is there restoration to be done to these separating sections at the edges?
    - Do I start trimming until I get to a place the wool and skin stop separating?
    - What products will I use going forward to prevent more of this happening?

    Patching holes and cracks.
    I also need to patch holes that appear to have been there at the origin of the rug creation. From previous work at a furrier these areas were patched with what appears to be a wide woven fabric adhesive tape. The patches are now falling off and need to be replaced.
    - What product should I use for patching areas? (see photo - patch hole)
    - What product should I use to ‘glue’ shut cracks? (see photo - patch crack)
    - Should I patch before or after doing any cleaning and conditioning?

    Thank you again for offering further guidance. I look forward to your response.
    -Laura Lynch

  4. #4
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    >>> Will these older, never before clean, rugs get the deep cleaning they may need with the spray products?

    A spray product can still get into the depth of the wool when the wool is open-up row by row with the help of a slicker groomer. Simply spray CleanWool-5.5; groom and terry cotton towel extract in three combination steps follows with RinseWool-4.0 in the same sequence.


    >>> - Should I be considering doing both a full water wash and then following up with your products?

    A full water washing is not the best option as the ‘fatliquor’ from the skin sides has the tendency to leach out depleting the already too dry skin and exaggerate the skin separation.


    >>> What is the best interim regular monthly maintenance technique?

    In this sequence:
    1- Vacuuming,
    2- Grooming with a slicker comb,
    3- Vacuuming,
    4- Sanitizer-3.9 and cotton terry towel extract, http://www.leatherdoctor.com/sanitizer-3-9/
    5- Grooming when dry,
    6- Protector-S,
    7- Grooming to bloom when dry.


    >>> - Is there restoration to be done to these separating sections at the edges?


    1- Use Impregnator-26
    2- http://www.leatherdoctor.com/impregnator-26/
    3- to tighten up the separating leather structure and
    4- Bond-3D
    5- http://www.leatherdoctor.com/bond-3d/
    6- to seal the edging.


    >>> - Do I start trimming until I get to a place the wool and skin stop separating?


    1- Repair first trim last!


    >>> What products will I use going forward to prevent more of this happening?


    1- Impregnator-26 > Bond-3D


    >>> - What product should I use for patching areas? (see photo - patch hole)


    Picture shows that the hole size increases as the skin dries or shrunk. Recommend that the skin size is return to original dimension with the help of Hydrator-3.3 prior to the repair. Fatliquor-5.0 thereafter strengthen the tear-strength. The skin is stitch up with simple thread and Bond-3D is used in conjunction with donor fibers that camouflage the stitching that looks like a natural scar – The repairs becomes part of the skin and will never fail again and need redoing.


    >>> - What product should I use to ‘glue’ shut cracks? (see photo - patch crack)
    Similar as for patching holes described above.


    >>> - Should I patch before or after doing any cleaning and conditioning?
    Repairs come last after the leather is fatliquor replenished to its desire suppleness to prevent the repairs from cracking again.

  5. #5
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    Definitely your attention is to clean the wool but it's not easy to clean it completely as there must me some residue left behind in that wool. This is the reason while doing area rug cleaning, hiring experts is always helpful. They have big machines in which they first wash the rugs and then in the dryer they dry it to the full so that no water left behind there at all.

  6. #6
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    >>> Definitely your attention is to clean the wool . . .

    Yes! The attention is to clean the wool - but how do you take care to prevent edge-separating, stiffness, shrinkage and potential rip to the skin?

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    Roger Koh
    Leather, Skin & Hair Care System Formulator
    Consultant / Practitioner / Instructor / Online-Life-Coaching
    online store: www.leatherdoctor.com
    forum: www.leathercleaningrestorationforum.com
    email: roger@leatherdoctor.com

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