Wool: A Fibre of History

Wool, a fabric of history, holds a significant place in the tapestry of human civilisation. It’s origins can be traced back to ancient times, where communities discovered the value of this versatile material. Throughout centuries and across cultures, wool has played a vital role in shaping societies and economies. From the highlands of Scotland, to the pastoral landscapes of New Zealand and Australia, wool production has influenced traditions, trade, and craftsmanship. It has provided warmth and protection in garments that have withstood the test of time.

Wool has witnessed the rise and fall of empires, and adorned the fashion choices of both nobility and common folk. It enhances and brings warmth to the interiors of homes, gracefully draping furniture in the most inviting way.

Today, as we recognize its sustainable qualities and natural beauty, wool continues to be celebrated as a fabric that bridges the gap between our rich history and a sustainable future.

What we love about wool...

  • Wool is soft – wool products offer a sumptuous softness and tactile appeal.
  • Wool stays clean – wool fibres retain a natural oil that resists dirt and grease.
  • Wool resists odours – wool’s natural oils are resistent to cooking smells and household odours.
  • Wools retains its shape – wool fibres bend and recover their shape naturally, retaining their lush bounce.
  • Wool is hard to burn – wool fibre is flame retardant up to 1112º F.
  • Wool is hypoallergenic – wool doesn’t cause allergies.
  • Wool adjusts to the climate – wool is warm in cool conditions and cool in warm conditions.
  • Wool is sustainable – woolskins are the product of sustainable farming practices* and biodegrade.

*New Zealand and Australian sheep roam green pastures and graze on those pastures in the same way their wild ancestors did.

Nature’s Technical Triumph: Unveiling Wool’s Remarkable Qualities

Natural wool and fibres have a way of outsmarting synthetics with their superior performance. At Fibre by Auskin, we deeply admire the clever properties of wool. Quite simply, sheepskin offers a natural solution to many of our modern-day challenges.

Our products harness the remarkable benefits of sheepskin's properties and are designed with care, form and functionality. We value the unique qualities of each individual skin and enhance them to create suitable products and ranges.

The technical characteristics of wool are our everyday language but let's get a bit technical for a moment: wool boasts exceptional heat and moisture regulation, acoustic performance, flame resistance, anti-static abilities, indoor air filtration capabilities, odour suppression, UV absorbency, and to top it all off, sheepskin wool is incredibly easy to maintain. When it comes to qualities, synthetics simply can't hold a candle to natural fibres.

Beyond Faux: Unveiling the Sustainability of Sheepskin

We believe that genuine sheepskin products have a range of advantages over faux fur options. The natural benefits of comfort, durability, insulating and hypoallergenic properties are just the beginning when it comes to the natural versus synthetic topic. Faux fur, artificial fur, or fake fur, is a pile fabric made to simulate real animal fur. Essentially, faux fur is a blend of polyester, modacrylic, and acrylic fibres.

In a world that is ever increasingly focused on the environment and sustainability, we understand that consumers need a transparent approach. We see the environmental benefits of natural fibres and sheepskin versus synthetic materials/faux fur, so here are some facts for you to consider:

1. Sheepskin is a renewable, recyclable and sustainable resource. Our sheepskins are a by- product of the food industry, eliminating unnecessary waste.

2. Sheepskin, made of wool, is 100% natural, 100% renewable and 100% biodegradable. Wool, by nature, is a circular fibre. Given that wool is 100% biodegradable, it does not contribute to microplastic pollution in our oceans or on our land. Conversely, faux fur is derived from synthetic (plastic) non-renewable resources (acrylic/polyester/nylon) and can take hundreds of years to decompose.

3. Recycling has been touted by the plastics industry as a vital solution to tackle the surging issue of plastic waste. However, a recent study has shed light on a concerning revelation: recycling plastics and synthetic material itself might actually be unleashing significant amounts of microplastics into the environment. The study, published in the Journal of Hazardous Material Advances, suggests that a recycling plant studied discharged up to 2,933 metric tonnes of microplastics a year before the filtration system was introduced, and up to 1,366 metric tonnes afterwards.

4. 8% of global oil production is used to make plastic items, including synthetic/faux fur products. Oil is a non-renewable resource, unlike natural sheepskins which are sustainable, renewable and biodegradable.

5. Drying sheepskin in a tumble dryer isn't usually recommended, as the mechanical friction can be detrimental to the fibres. As a result, most sheepskin products are line-dried. This is great news for the environment since dryers consume more electricity, while line-drying in the open air, requires none. It’s also great news for your electricity bill!

6. For a durable and long-lasting option, buying a natural sheepskin is an eco-friendlier choice compared to faux fur. Faux fur not only has a significant environmental impact during production, but also requires frequent replacements as it loses its appeal far quicker. We highly recommend investing in a genuine sheepskin from the onset to avoid repeatedly replacing inferior alternatives – something that may cost you more money in the long run!

Unveiling the Truth: Sheepskin is not part of the “Fur Industry”

· Sheep are never bred solely for their wool or coats under any circumstances. The value of a sheepskin is significantly lower compared to the value of the sheep itself. Our sheepskins are a by-product of the food industry. The meat holds far greater value than the skin, making the sheepskin less valuable than a living, healthy animal.

· Purchasing more sheepskin rugs doesn't mean more sheep will be killed, unlike in the fur industry. Instead, it means there is a greater motivation to utilise the pelts rather than letting them go to waste. The true value of a sheepskin can only be unlocked through the tanning process, which requires effort and craftsmanship.

· We believe that animals can be raised with immense love and care, and when their time comes, they can serve a purpose in nourishing and sustaining others. This perspective extends to our suppliers, who share in this sentiment. For them, it's a way of honouring their dedication and the animal's contribution by utilising every part possible.

· The aim is sustainability - This sentiment and desired objective stands in stark contrast to the fur industry, where animals can be needlessly killed for the sake of fashion or decor. Taking the lives of animals solely for their fur can result in endangering or even wiping out entire species. The farmers that we work with, however, have an entirely different goal. Like cattle, sheep are a domestic farm animal, raised in a country that values sustainability and animal welfare. This is in stark contrast to the fur industry.

· Much is presented by the faux-fur industry about animal welfare, and the CO2 footprint of producing natural sheepskin and wool. We only buy sheepskin from countries with strict ethical animal welfare regulations, some would argue, the strictest in the world. Our sheepskins are sourced from farmers in New Zealand and Australia as a by-product of the food industry. The innovative practices of our sheepskin farmers centre around the welfare of the animal and the footprint they make on the planet. Farming practices, the largest contributor to the industry’s CO2 emissions, are continuously audited, regulated and improved, with goals to attain carbon neutrality set firmly in place. Farmers have the ability to influence and manage all of these environmental impacts and the industry is on a dedicated journey to work towards their sustainability goals for the better.

The faux fur vs natural sheepskin discussion really needs a balanced approach – one where weight should be given to all aspects of the sustainability story. So, when it comes to decisions that take a variety of ethics, statistics, and priorities into consideration, it's crucial that we're relying on real facts — not faux ones.

California Fur Ban AB44

California (USA) recently banned the sale and manufacture of fur. This law specifically excludes sheepskin and cowhide from the legislation. The ban states that "Fur product" does not include deerskin, cowhide, sheepskin, or goatskin with hair attached. Sheepskin, being tanned wool on leather, is not considered fur under the California Fur Ban. Animals farmed solely for their fur, like sable, mink, and chinchilla, are banned.

Prime Partnerships: Genuine, Sustainable Sheepskin Supply

Our suppliers are the heart of our business. We enjoy long term, high quality, and sustainable inventory due to our strong relationships with them. This translates to beautifully curated products made with care and longevity.

• By sourcing sheepskin from Australia & New Zealand, we benefit from the animal’s natural environment, advanced farming practices, and superior sheep breeds.

• Our dedicated sheepskin buyers work closely with suppliers, meticulously selecting the highest quality skins.

• Immediate and effective feedback ensures attention to detail throughout the procurement process.

• Building strong relationships based on respect, commitment, and a long-term approach is essential to us.

These relationships guarantee that we can offer you a stable supply of the finest raw materials, to be enjoyed by you!