Sheepskin has always been known for its comfort, but nothing can provide a better combination of comfort and durability than today's natural sheepskin.
Today's natural sheepskin is washable and has a leather backing that is resistant to fluids. Washing sheepskin padding or covers with soap that includes lanolin-sheepskin's natural oil-will keep your sheepskin in great condition for many years.
As of 1998, sheepskin has become one of the most durable types of padding available. New standards were released that year in Australia that defined two types of medical sheepskin. The highest quality is the "Hi Temp UR Australian Medical Sheepskin," which can be washed and dried.
These High Temp sheepskins have the highest pile density, providing the maximum padding and breath ability. They are specially tanned for washing up 80 C (176 F) and drying at temperatures up to 60 C (140 F).
The next most durable sheepskin is the "M101 Medical Sheepskin," with a thick pile and "double chrome tanning." Washing sheepskin of this grade in lukewarm water is the recommended care. These medical sheepskins will be even longer lasting when washed with a wool care product and allowed to air dry in shade. Do not expose these sheepskins to heat or sun, however, when you are drying them. Avoid subjecting these sheepskins to urine, or they will crack or lose fibers.
When washing sheepskin, your knowledge of the grades of sheepskin, and the proper use and care of each, will allow your sheepskin to provide years of comfort that is unmatched.
Ian Partridge owns a number of websites specializing in Australian Sheepskins, due to interest from the parents of young families a website was created called http://www.ozwool.net/ which has more info and links.