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How to Tell a Genuine Sheepskin Pelt

Updated February 21, 2017

Many people feel that sheepskin, or wool, is very itchy on their skin. This is because the fur is placed in hydrochloric acid, among other chemicals, to thoroughly clean it. In reality, sheepskin pelts have an incredibly soft, silky feeling, and have some interesting characteristics. If you've purchased, or are thinking of purchasing, a sheepskin pelt, there are a few quick and easy tests that you can perform to ensure that what you have is genuine.

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  1. Pull up, gently, on the fur of the pelt. The fur will not shed or be easily pulled off the skin. Fake sheep fur will be sewn into a fake pelt, making it easy to pull the fur off of it.

  2. Light a match. Very carefully, run the flame along a small portion of the sheep fur. Sheep fur and pelts are flame resistant. If the fur singes, it's fake.

  3. Pour a quarter-cup of cold water on to the fur. Feel the pelt with your hand. You'll notice that the fur and pelt remain warm, even when it's wet. This is one of the reasons that sheep's fur is often used in winter boots. Fake fur will not remain warm when wet.

  4. Feel the fur with your hands. Real sheepskin, especially mouton, is extremely soft and almost silky feeling. A fake sheepskin pelt will feel prickly and slightly hard.

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Things You'll Need

  • Lighter or match
  • 1/4 cup cold water

About the Author

Andrea Griffith

Andrea Griffith has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published by the "Western Herald," Detroit WDIV, USAToday and other print, broadcast and online publications. Although she writes about a wide range of topics, her areas of expertise include fashion, beauty, technology and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Western Michigan University.

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