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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.

Australian Merino

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 Australia’s primary export product. The Merino sheepskin is perhaps nature’s 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 Special

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.

Sheepskin Today

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 fashion industry.


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