For centuries, parents used sheepskins and woollen swaddles to keep their babies warm and cosy, so why now do we seem to have stopped? Perhaps far too many of us have awful memories of itchy woollen jumpers our grandmas knitted us from childhood, and that is why we turn to cotton and synthetic materials to wrap our little ones in. This blog will put forward a defence for the long-out-of-favour woollen and sheepskin clothes, rugs and booties, which really could do your baby a world of good:
1. Wool and Sheepskin are Breathable
We all know that wool and sheepskin are both natural materials produced by sheep, and ask any child to draw you a sheep and you’ll probably get what looks like a cloud on legs. Whilst the artists amongst us may scoff at such a reduction of sheep to walking marshmallows, this drawing may be more insightful than you think. Wool is naturally crimped and so even when it is pressed together to make clothing or used as a sheepskin rug it forms thousands of tiny air pockets. This means that it is a natural insulator and can circulate warm air towards you or away from you, keeping your baby warm in the cold and cool in the heat.
2. Wool and Sheepskin are Hypoallergenic
Sheep have evolved over many, many years to become one of the most hardy outdoor animals around. They live outside year-round and so their wool has adapted to best keep the sheep dry, which also means it has developed to inhibit fungi, bacteria and dust mites; some of the most common causes of allergies. Sheepskin is even often used by those who are bed ridden as a way to prevent bed sores.
3. Wool and Sheepskin are Soft and Cosy
What could be better to wrap your baby up in than sheepskin or wool- the equivalent of nature’s hug? The lanolin that naturally exists in wool and sheepskin (which can be extracted and sold to be used in fancy moisturisers) makes them soft and gentle on babies’ skin. Plus, we all know how babies and toddlers love to touch and feel new things and sheepskin rugs are wonderful tactile items for them to explore
4. Sheepskin Provides Cushioning
Sheepskin has a nice, natural bounce, which is why we use it in our Sheepskin and Tweed Baby Booties. This bounce comes again from the natural crimping of the sheep’s wool. This makes sheepskin ideal for baby booties as it provides their feet with additional support as they continue to develop, not to mention keeping their toes nice and toasty as well. Many parents are even turning to sheepskins as the perfect padding for their baby’s pram, or as a little extra cushioning for themselves in the nursing chair.
5. Wool and Sheepskin are Sustainable
Whilst you may not think this is directly relevant to you and your child, what better gift could give them than a greener, healthier earth? Wool is grown on sheep in fields, rather than being manufactured in a lab. This means that both wool and sheepskin are biodegradable and will, in time, return to the earth.
6. Wool and Sheepskin are Fire Retardant
One of the many wonders of wool and sheepskin is that they are both naturally fire retardant. Both have a high water and nitrogen content which means that it requires more oxygen for them to burn (or in non-scientific terms, it has to be really hot for them to burn). Please note that this does not mean they will never burn: it is possible.
7. It Just Looks So Good
What else can we say really? Something about our sheepskin rugs just always looks so chic, and can be styled to fit into any sort of nursery.
Some parents may choose a sheepskin rug to add a touch of rugged nature to your little explorer’s room. Our Icelandic Sheepskin Rug is a bit more wild-looking and longer haired than our others, so it would be perfect for an older child or mini-adventurer; it’s even been mistaken for a bearskin a few times!
Equally, a sheepskin rug can be a perfect addition of warmth and comfort to a fresh, bright, neutral bedroom. Our Standard Sheepskin Rug would be a brilliant addition to these rooms, whether as a throw or a rug.
Don’t forget that sheepskin rugs can add that delicate last touch to a cute and cosy nursery. Short woolled sheepskin rugs look lovely and encourage your little one to discover new textures as they play. ‘Short woolled’ is best as babies will often chew them and can swallow the wool, particularly on a long haired rug.