February 21, 2022 6 min read

The most ardent jacket lovers are aware of the types of leather. And we are not just talking about real leather vs faux leather. Real leather comes in different forms too. And one such type of pure leather comes from sheep. Yes, we're talking about sheep leather. While clothing enthusiasts are aware of sheep leather, very few are aware of its nits and grits. And we don't blame them. After all, the average shopping enthusiast isn't expected to keep a track of such specific details. However, if you fancy adding a sheep leather jacket to your collection, now is a good time to explore what sheep leather is all about.


Here's everything you need to know about sheep leather.

What is sheep leather? 

You will be surprised but you've likely encountered sheep leather products in your life without realizing they're made from sheep leather. In terms of production numbers, it is only behind cow leather. Not a surprising number, when you consider that about 15% of the total sheep population in the world gets slaughtered annually, as per recent data. In layman's terms, sheep leather is nothing but the leather we get from sheep. There's a huge demand for sheepskin i.e. sheep hide with fur. Remove the fur and tan it a bit, and you have sheep leather. 

Can you distinguish sheep leather from other forms of leather?

Yes, you can. Like most forms of leather, sheep leather has its distinct qualities. Sheep leather's stand-out quality is its soft and velvet-like touch. It just feels elegant and different. Another noteworthy quality of sheep leather is its weight. It is known to be the lightest form of pure leather. Next time you're checking out leather jackets and come across a sheep leather one, remember us.

Does sheep leather smell bad?

Most high-quality leather items don't smell. That's because they're cared for, and tanned with utmost precision during production. Cheap leather products might smell because of added oils and chemicals during production. But that's never the case with genuine sheep leather.

Does sheep leather keep you warm?

It does. But it's not as thick as cow leather, so don't expect a sheep leather jacket to keep you warm during snowfall. It's a great choice for layering nonetheless. It's leather after all, and genuine leather items are wind-proof. A sheep leather jacket on a night out or a dinner date should keep you reasonably warm.

How soft is sheep leather?

Very. As we mentioned earlier, its softness and velvet-like touch are exclusive - a quality that stands out compared to other types of leather.

How thick is sheep leather?

Sheep leather is special. Its production is limited to several exclusive items. It's no surprise that out of all commercially produced leather types, sheep leather is the thinnest. Only leather types as exotic as fish leather are thinner than sheep leather.

How good is sheep leather's quality?

Any leather that is soft, velvety, lightweight, and exotic, is bound to be very good. And sheep leather ticks all those boxes and beyond. Hence, it is no surprise that sheep leather is used almost exclusively for fashion clothing, items, and accessories.

Is sheep leather used outside the clothing industry?

Yes, it is. Like most quality raw materials, sheep leather is used outside the clothing industry too. Yes, a big chunk of it is almost exclusively used in the clothing industry but sheep leather is also a popular preference in the furniture industry. Solid sheep leather with a smooth surface is a big hit among furniture enthusiasts.

Is sheep leather waterproof?

Real leather can never be 100% waterproof. The same applies to sheep leather. It's a natural, hence, permeable material. Sheep leather, however, is capable of enduring mild showers, if conditioned with care.

Is sheep leather durable?

While sheep leather is not as enduring as cow leather, it could last a lifetime if cared for properly. We promise it will almost certainly outlast the fake, cheap leather jackets and items.

What is sheep aniline leather?

Have you heard about the process of dyeing leather? A lot of times, the dye is applied as just the topcoat. However, when you dye sheep leather through, rather than just the topcoat, the result is sheep aniline leather. For the most ardent leather enthusiasts, just dyeing the topcoat removes natural markings and creates a uniform space. The aniline process, however, preserves the natural markings. This process is recommended only for the best quality of leather, and sheep leather fits the bill.

What is sheep nappa leather?

You must've heard this term before. Nappa leather is used in high-end luxury items and jackets. And sheep nappa leather items are always in demand. Sheep nappa is smoother and softer, thanks to a special chemical process during its tanning. The result is the same full-grain leather, exuding the same quality and feel, but a lot more soft and supple.

What is hair sheep leather?

Do you love wearing those soft dress gloves with your favorite outfit? If you love collecting dress gloves, there's a very good chance you already own a bunch of hair sheep leather items. It is produced from the parts on sheep hide where there's hair rather than wool. It's softer than sheep leather, and hence, a popular choice for dress gloves.

What is the difference between cow leather and sheep leather?

Cow leather is the most common type of leather. It is used to produce a wide range of items - from shoes, jackets, wallets to heavy-duty bags. Impressive versatility, don't you think? In comparison, sheep leather is a lot more exclusive. It might not be as durable as cow leather but its soft and supple texture makes it a great choice for leather jackets and dress gloves. It's got a royale feel about it, and that reflects in the price tag of sheep leather items.

What is the difference between camel leather and sheep leather?

It's like a beauty and the beast combination. While sheep leather is well-known for its subtlety and softness, camel leather is the king of durability. Its dense nature makes it extremely strong and durable. Hence, it is no surprise that camel leather is a popular choice for heavy-duty items.

What is the difference between faux leather and sheep leather?

This isn't any different from the faux leather vs cow leather conversation. Yes, some faux leather items are decent substitutes to real leather products because they're not too heavy on your pocket. But in terms of quality, faux leather is absolutely no match to sheep leather.

What is the difference between goat leather and sheep leather?

It's like they're the sides of the same coin. Sheep leather is considered to be more exotic than goat leather but they're both very much similar. Goat leather is as light and as soft as sheep leather. And when we say that it's hard to differentiate between the two of them, we mean it.

What is the difference between lambskin and sheep leather?

While they're both similar in terms of nature, lambskin is more fragile compared to lambskin. As the name suggests, lambskin is derived from younger sheep. They're as soft and supple as sheep leather and are used in the production of similar items.

Heard of sheepskin before?

Sheepskin items are a rarity. Sheepskin is tanned with its fleece intact. Sheepskin jackets and slippers are very popular among fashion geeks.

How is sheep leather made?

A million-dollar question with a very simple answer. Like all forms of leather, sheep hides are turned into leather thanks to the tanning process. Chemical tanning is a quick and the most widely preferred tanning method. There's also something called vegetable tanning that takes longer and is heavier on the pocket. However, it's more environment-friendly out of the two tanning methods.

Can you dye sheep leather at home?

Yes, you can. However, it's not as durable and robust as cow leather. There are many chemical solutions you can use if you wish to dye sheep leather at home. However, it's best advised you reach out to professionals if you wish to dye it.

What is the best way to clean sheep leather?

Once again, it's best to reach out to professionals. Especially, if the stain is rigid. However, if the stain is very mild, you can rely on corn starch. Apply corn starch to the affected area. Make sure you've laid the leather on a flat surface. Leave it for about ten minutes, then brush it gently. Magic! The stains are gone. It's best to test this on a little patch before you apply it to the affected area.

Can you condition sheep leather at home?

You can but you shouldn't. Despite several commercial leather conditioners that are available in the market, it's best advised you seek professional services if you wish to condition your favorite sheep leather jacket.