Koolaburra Sheepskin Story
Sheepskin, or wool, has clothed people for millennia, keeping
them warm in wintery climates and comfortable in warmer environments.
Also known as sherling or fleece, sheepskin continues to be
a timeless choice. It is an extremely versatile fabric, and
is used to make many kinds of clothing, from coats and hats
to socks and gloves. Footwear has been one of the most popular
uses for sheepskin; boots, slippers, and clogs made of sheepskin
are valued for their comfort and style.
From the Origins of Australian
Sheepskin to Koolaburra Sheepskin
|The initial European colonists
settled hundreds of years ago in Australia with their
sheep. The Australian rural landscape is uniquely suited
to sheep, as the weather remains relatively mild and
the landscape encompasses massive expanses of natural
grassland. Similar to most any primitive lifestyle,
it was important for the earliest settlers to put all
possessions to complete use, as resources were often
scarce. Not only were sheep used as a lucrative crop,
for trading purposes, and as a source of food, but they
were used for clothing as well. Over the years, the
sheep became the primary crop and chief export for the
entire country. With its dominance of the sheep industry
for such an extended time, it is no wonder Australia
was said to 'ride on the sheep's back'. The country's
largest and most significant form of land use is for
wool production, with roughly 70,000 wool-growing properties
spreading from north of Queensland to the mid-north
of Western Australia, including Tasmania and the Islands
of the Bass Strait.
Koolaburra Sheepskin is high quality, long lasting,
very classic Australian sheepskin footwear.
The numbers of sheep are overwhelming.
Individual flocks range from as little of a few
hundred to as many as 100,000 or more! Three-quarters
of all Australian sheep run in flocks of 3,000 or
more. Australia produces 30 percent of all wool
used worldwide, from over 100 million sheep. Other
significant sheep flocks are found in the he USSR
(117 million), China (111 million), New Zealand
(50 million) and India (40 million).
More than 80 percent of all Australian
sheep are a breed called the "Australian Merino".
The outstanding feature of this sheep is its large
size, and is known primarily for its heavy fleeces
of fine quality wool. It is a distinct breed that
has adapted to the specific conditions of the Australian
countryside. Geelong, on the south east coast of
Australia, is considered the wool capital
of the world. In fact, Emu Australia, a premier
manufacturer of sheepskin products, controls all
processes from sourcing and tanning to manufacturing
in the Geelong location.
sheepskin = sherling
= fleece = wool
|Over time, sheepskin boot production became
as much a part of the Australian history as the cowboy
boot is to America's Western heritage. Sheepskin hides
were put to use to create all forms of clothing, including
footwear. The Aussie ranchers made their boots from
the skins of the Merino sheep, after discovering the
unsurpassed quality of Merino sheep wool.
|| From the 1820s on, it is this highly
valued wool that was Australias primary export
product. The Merino sheepskin is perhaps natures
most perfect material for footwear: durable, yet extremely
soft and lightweight, it creates a boot that has a rich
suede texture on the outside and the smooth, gentle
fleece lining on the inside.
What Makes Sheepskin
Still strong enough for outdoor wear, it is the
Merino sheepskin that is responsible for the boots' snug, comfy,
foot-molding property that feels like gigantic socks when slipped
around your feet. The exceptional fleece lining is a product that
can be worn all times of the year, in extreme cold or in the heat
of summer. In cold conditions, the fleece supplies the feet with
an insulating layer of warmth by trapping in body heat. In the
heat, the natural fibers of the fleece actually keep your feet
cool by pulling perspiration away from your skin; thus keeping
air circulating in the boots keeping your feet dry.
Since sheepskin is naturally thermostatic, you can
wear them in conditions from-30 F to as high as your thermometer
will go! Also, sheepskin contains lanolin and will moisturize
your feet when worn barefoot. In Australia and the US, the typical
way to wear sheepskiin boots is without socks.
In 2002, fashion industries around the world determined
it was an appropriate time to really popularize sheepskin
products. How? By producing and promoting countless styles
of clothes made out of sheepskin. What started out as
purely beach-scene style made its way to ski areas and
ultimately wound up finding popularity in the mainstream