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a. the skin of a sheep, esp when used for clothing, etc., or with the fleece removed and used for parchment
b. (as modifier): a sheepskin coat



the pelt from an adult sheep. Sheepskin is characterized by a fine epidermis and a dermis consisting of fine fibers intertwined horizontally. The boundary between the papillary and reticular layers of the dermis is quite distinct. The papillary layer is usually thicker than the reticular. Leathers and furs made from sheepskin are characterized by little strength, ample malleability, great porosity, and marked water permeability. The face of the skin is particularly weak. The grain of leather produced from sheepskin has small, evenly distributed pores and a rather smooth surface.

According to the structure of their wool, sheepskins are classified as fine-, semifine-, semicoarse- or coarse-wooled.

In fur production, fine-, semifine-, and semicoarse-wooled sheepskins are used. These pelts have a secondary coat, consisting of fine, dense hairs (staple fleece) and containing up to 35 percent of the wool grease content. The grease gives the wool a yellowish tint. The hairy covering of the fine and semifine sheepskins consists principally of underhairs, while that of semicoarse sheepskins contains transitional and top hairs. Sheepskins are also classified according to the length of their hair. Thus, there are wool pelts (more than 5 cm), semiwool pelts (from 2 to 5 cm), and naked pelts (up to 2 cm).

Coarse-wooled sheepskins are used in the manufacture of coats. The skins are finished and dyed and then made into various types of coats and jackets. The wool is on the inside of the garment. Romanov sheep, particularly those between the ages of five and eight months, yield the most suitable pelts for coat production. The ratio of the number of underhairs and top hairs in Romanov sheepskins prevents interweaving and matting and preserves the springiness of the wool during wearing. This springiness provides good heat insulation.

Sheepskins whose wool does not satisfy the requirements of fur and sheepskin coat production are used in the manufacture of leather. The sheepskins used for making leather are divided into four groups: Russian sheepskin, steppe sheepskin, blended sheepskin, and fine-wooled unborn lambskin. Russian sheepskins comprise the pelts of all coarse-wooled breeds except the fat-tailed breed. Steppe sheepskins are obtained from fat-tailed sheep and adult Karakul sheep. Russian sheepskin is most suitable for producing chrome-tanned leather for footwear uppers. Steppe sheepskins are very greasy, and, as a result, the leathers produced from them are porous and malleable and have a weak, porous face that may be easily removed or separated. They are used for producing notions and clothing accessories, linings, and gloves. Blended sheepskin and unborn lambskin are used similarly.


References in periodicals archive ?
GET FLEECED There's nothing like the tactile, sensual experience of snuggling up on sheepskin, which retains heat in winter but can be cool in summer.
You can instantly update your outfit for the cold snap by honing in on your favourite snug textures such as sheepskin mittens, faux fur snoods, or a chunky knit scarf.
A decade and a half later, sheepskin seat covers are far from Larson's mind, as she now shepherds a staff of 10 puppet-makers in her Lyons workshop.
The purpose of this paper is to report on an investigation into sheepskin effects in the returns to education.
This is tested by estimating sheepskin effects across five age cohorts of non-minority males in 1991.
Cross-wiring temporal references to conjure all manner of Asian invasions - from the Mongols, who used similar sheepskin devices to ford rivers, to Japanese cars - this dragon's immobility belied its roar, though its grandiose scale amounted to a sort of theatrical efficacy.
An article in the American Journal of Diseases of Children says that the number of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) cases could be substantially reduced if infants were not placed face down for sleeping and if parents would not use sheepskin bedding for their children.
The basic conclusion of this study is that up to 30% of SIDS deaths may result from placing infants to sleep face down on soft bedding such as sheepskin and/or "foam" mattresses or pillows.
The sheepskin had been proudly displayed on the walls of three offices.
Waterbeds and sheepskin rugs are not safe sleeping places for infants.