As with all of your high value tack items, with appropriate care, the Fleeceworks sheepskin saddle pad products and accessories will perform well for many years. As with all natural sheepskin and/or leather products, excessive exposure to sun or water will reduce their natural elasticity and resiliency, which is key for the product performance you depend on.
Following daily or event use, the products should be air-dried and any pads with inserts should have the inserts removed to allow them to properly dry as well. Again, avoid direct exposure to sunlight that may break down the natural wool oils and leather tannins.
Everyday Care: Let item dry. Brush dirt and sweat marks with wire brush. When almost dry, a light brushing of the wool areas with is recommended to remove any soil. The natural oils in the hair fibers will normally release dirt particles with light brushing. Brushing also cleans the fleece and restores the loft of the Sheepskin pad.
TO CLEAN: The best care for Sheepskin (a leather product) is to HAND WASH or hose off in wash rack, using minimal water and soap. We recommend M.O.S.S. Fresh RIDER Leather Laundry Care Kit, which we also sell on our website. Simply lather, rinse and wipe off excess water. DO NOT BLEACH!
Another alternative is to use a front load washing machine set to HAND WASH and use cold water. This method can over-saturate the hide, though, which increases drying time.
*Use of laundry detergent causes deterioration of the Sheepskin and INVALIDATES the Warranty.*
TO DRY: Lay flat in shade. DO NOT expose to direct sunlight or heat source. Leather may constrict slightly during the drying process. To remedy, simply stretch the item back into shape while damp. Allow at least one day for drying in humid climate.
Everyday Care: Let item dry. Brush dirt and sweat marks with wire brush. This cleans the fleece and restores the loft of the Therawool pad.
TO CLEAN: Set washing machine to GENTLE and use cold water. We recommend wool or blanket wash followed by a fabric softener. DO NOT BLEACH Hang to dry or use air cycle in dryer. Density will increase with washing. When product dries, brush again to restore loft.
Everyday Care: Wash with cold water, as needed. Dry on low heat.
TO CLEAN: Set washing machine to GENTLE and use cold water. Wash with any soap and fabric softener. Dry on low heat. There will be minimal shrinkage. NO BLEACH.
FOR SWEAT STAINING or EXCESSIVE SOIL
How to wash when sweat staining or excessive soiling occurs (this should only be done on rare occasion):
- Remove all inserts, fully adhere the Velcro surfaces to each other (to precent free Velcro hook surfaces from filling with wool fibers).
- Inserts should be thoroughly rinsed clean in clear water, and then air dried.
- Wash only one or two pads at a time, in a front loading washer. Cold water wash, delicate or gentle cycle only.
- We recommend and carry M.O.S.S. Fresh Rider Leather Laundry Wash.
- When washing is complete, air dry in a well ventilated area, avoiding any direct sunlight.
***Dry cleaning when pad has sweat stains or excessive soiling will also prolong the life of the pad.
***Do not use any kind of normal laundry detergent or fabric softeners as these will remove the natural wool oils and break down the leather tannins and respective leather oils. Also do not use baby or pet shampoos, as delicate as they may be, they are destructive to your sheepskin and wool products.
***Drying with a hair dryer or in a tumble laundry dryer will dry the product too quickly, inducing damage and will void your warranty!
***Frequent washing will shorten the longevity of product.
Simply store as you would your saddle and other valued leather tack products. Use of a tack trunk is okay for a few days, but any natural fiber or leather product is best stored in a well ventilated dry location, and away from heater vents or direct flame.
Normal wear and color fading is to be expected and, just as with any natural fiber product, will depend on how harsh an environment they are exposed to and how frequently. Sunlight will cause some fading of the darker colors whether sheepskin or wool pads. Our natural pelt selections will fade less as these are the natural sheep colors and not dyes. On dyed products there may be some color transfer experienced onto lighter color horses, especially during high sweat-producing rides.
Have a good ride with your performance Fleeceworks' products!
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