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Thread: Questions about types of shearling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Default Questions about types of shearling

    Greetings,

    I have 3 old 'hand me down' coats that I would like to learn how to properly care for myself, if possible.

    1 is nappa leather on one side, shearling on the other. I see you have products for that.

    The other 2: 1 is mouton outside, satin lined inside-unfinished/unseen skin
    1 is black curly lamb/Persian lamb, satin lined-unfinished/unseen skin

    I want to extend their usable life, & strength.
    I wonder if treating the leather side with some type of conditioner will do this.

    I need to know if the mouton & curly lamb should be considered as 'shearling', for care purposes, as they are the skin with hair/fur still attached.
    Does removing the lining & treating the skin help maintain the strength?

    I have spoken to a couple 'furriers'-all they do is drum tumble/clean by standard fur cleaning methods.
    I want to avoid that process if possible, as it seems too harsh, & doesn't address the conditioning of the skin side of the panels.

    When I asked about actually conditioning the skin side to maintain the strength of the skin itself, I was just told that all fur wears out & when it's at the end of it's life, that's it. Both did not consider Persian lamb. or mouton as shearling.
    They had no information outside of cold storage, & neither have never heard of conditioning the opposite side of the skin-the non fur side.

    I asked them both-what is the difference, as they are all lamb with the fur still attached, & neither had an answer.
    I've not been able to locate an actual leather/hide specialist locally to ask.

    Maybe I am crazy, but it seems to me that both curly/Persian lamb, & mouton should be cared for like a shearling/sheepskin & that maintaining the non-fur side would make it last longer. Meaning help keep the fur attached.

    The only difference I can see is the treatment to the mouton, to straighten it-
    I see no difference in the curly/Persian lamb-it's just a lamb hide with curly fur.
    Aren't they still a type of shearling?

    Please, if you can, clarify for me.

    All coats are in wearable condition, & the skin on the nappa shearling, & Persian lamb, is still soft/supple.
    I'm not interested in cleaning the nappa shearling or the Persian lamb, just interested in proper maintenance.

    The mouton, however, is beige/off white, dirty, & the skin is thicker than the other 2 coats.
    Most of the mouton is still supple, but the skin is a little stiffer by where the cuffs roll up.
    This one is probably on it's last legs, but I believe with proper care, I can get a couple of good years out of it.

    Please educate me on whatever I need to know.

    Lamb/sheep hides have been used for ages, surely there is a way to maintain the skin, so that it doesn't dry out, & so the fur stays attached, but no one around here has any answers.
    People just throw them away & buy new, because no one knows how to care for them anymore.
    These coats are the warmest, I want to keep them as long as I can.

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greater Vancouver, Canada.
    Posts
    4,774

    Default

    I would be happy to share my knowledge and answer your questions.

    Please post each item as a separate thread and have lots of good pictures for reference and questions in relation to the pictures.

    This is how you post pictures
    http://www.leathercleaningrestoratio...30-How-to-Post

    We go from there . . .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greater Vancouver, Canada.
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    4,774

    Default

    >>> I want to extend their usable life, & strength.

    Skin is converted into leather through the tanning process. It is the continuing fatliquoring process that deposit average 14% of fat and oil into the leather structure when dry that make the leather supple to be useful and strong.

    However, white fur or wool or hair has limited tanning choice to maintain its original color, one that is non washable typically label as “dry clean” with waterless liquid only is by “alum” (alum-leather) and the other is “washable” with water by “wet-white”, “chrome-free” or “aldehyde”. Alum leather is water sensitive and browns easily and when soaked in water long enough to leach out the alum salts the leather will reverts to rawhide.


    >>> I wonder if treating the leather side with some type of conditioner will do this.

    This treatment is known as “rejuvenating” with fatliquor. Fatliquor is the lifeblood of leather and the optimum moisture content average 14%. When process with Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 > Hydrator-3.3 will return the leather as soft as you wish with added strength against rip and tear.


    >>> I need to know if the mouton & curly lamb should be considered as 'shearling', for care purposes, as they are the skin with hair/fur still attached.

    For care purpose shearling (wool shorn) or hair-on (full length) are treated the same process as the inner face, where the suede side is typically wear as the outer face. The outer face suede surface may be further coated with breathable finishing turning them into smooth napallan. Thus the cleaning process of suede and napallan differs.


    >>> Does removing the lining & treating the skin help maintain the strength?

    Removing the lining and treating the skin is logical, but too much work. Simply part the wool with appropriate comb and treat them direct at the base of the wool.


    >>> I have spoken to a couple 'furriers'-all they do is drum tumble/clean by standard fur cleaning methods.


    I want to avoid that process if possible, as it seems too harsh, & doesn't address the conditioning of the skin side of the panels.
    There are too much damages by tumbling, such as heavy arms often tears from the shoulder and abrasive damages to accessories and delicate trims. When accessories are removed for cleaning and sewn back, may not match original integrity of skills. Furriers do not rejuvenate the skin.


    >>> When I asked about actually conditioning the skin side to maintain the strength of the skin itself, I was just told that all fur wears out & when it's at the end of it's life, that's it.

    Almost all furs are traditionally “Alum-tanned” that’s why.


    >>> Both did not consider Persian lamb. or mouton as shearling.


    They may not be familiar with other tanning methods like “wet-white”, “chrome-free” or “aldehyde” which are all washable.


    >>> They had no information outside of cold storage, & neither have never heard of conditioning the opposite side of the skin-the non fur side.


    Well, in all profession, there is the “old” school that often refuses to known further.


    >>> I asked them both-what is the difference, as they are all lamb with the fur still attached, & neither had an answer.

    The different is the type of tanning agent use - non-washable and washable types that makes the difference.


    >>> I've not been able to locate an actual leather/hide specialist locally to ask.

    Ask a leather chemist!


    >>> Maybe I am crazy, but it seems to me that both curly/Persian lamb, & mouton should be cared for like a shearling/sheepskin & that maintaining the non-fur side would make it last longer. Meaning help keep the fur attached.

    If they are the washable type, then yes, they can be rejuvenated with Hydrator-3.3 > Fatliquor-5.0 > Hydrator-3.3 and if periodically replenished to average 14%. They not only last longer, they last forever more then a thousand years.


    >>> The only difference I can see is the treatment to the mouton, to straighten it-
    I see no difference in the curly/Persian lamb-it's just a lamb hide with curly fur.
    Aren't they still a type of shearling?


    Technically, they are all hair-on with varieties as shearling, typically refers to garment with shorn wool, otherwise sheepskin, besides garments are also made into other furnishings. Furs is also a variety of hair-on.

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    Roger Koh
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