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Ross, we've been thinking about this as well but I've got a couple of questions on preparing the sheepskin. Do you shear first and then wait for regrowth before you process the skin, how much regrowth, how do you process the sheepskin?
I'm anxiously awaitiing input on this one. :haha:
 

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Sorry Polly things kinda of picked up pace when they should have been slowing down! The city is cleaning a drainage ditch through our land so we have to keep an eye on things to make sure they don't make a mess. (Its a contractor and he's easy to talk to and get things done right. ) I know even less about hides than I do about wool! I know we want "shearling" fleeces but what those are exactly I couldn't tell you! I happened across a Bonis Fur Machine cheap last nigth so I bought it, on speculation. We already have a leather machine so hopefully between the two we'll be able to make something saleable by spring. I plan to purchase hides to start at least, although I might just get a few lamb skins back and try a tanning kit........
 

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Ross, sheep leather has a beautiful soft "handle" to it - that is, it's soft and luxurious. That's because it IS soft (and not durable, or even well-able to withstand sprigging and tearing). However, it FEELS marvellous. Best use I've seen for it is Bible covers, although it would certainly make luxurious comfortable clothing. Need careful treatment to make it waterproof, though (can be done - just be particular about the treatment).
 

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Thanks Don I have a nice lambskin jacket with a tear that appeared so I know what you mean! Our leather sewing machine is an old Singer 31-21 with a roller foot which is "supposed" to be gentler than a walking foot for sheep skin. The fur machine (and I should get some pictures up!) is for making joins in fur and should do lambskin gloves/ mitts.
 

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Polly in NNY said:
Ross, we've been thinking about this as well but I've got a couple of questions on preparing the sheepskin. Do you shear first and then wait for regrowth before you process the skin, how much regrowth, how do you process the sheepskin?
I'm anxiously awaitiing input on this one. :haha:
You can slick-shear just prior to butchering if you want just the leather hide. For shearling, shear 2-4 weeks prior to butchering. You can also process with a full fleece in place -- I have an Icelandic skin with about 6" locks on it. Skins can be processed as being washable or not.

I posted some information under the question on hide tanneries as far as preparation -- not sure what they actually do to process the hide once its at the tannery!
 
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