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The Fabulous Fleece Company Blog (2015)

What to do if you spill red wine on your sheepskin

It’s the festive season and that means more home entertaining and people who are a bit tipsy. Your sheepskin is looking gorgeous draped over the sofa or on the floor, but with the red wine being liberally poured and imbibed all around, it's more susceptible to accidental spillages.

So what to do when someone spills red wine on your sheepskin rug?

Well, the good news is sheepskin fleece is naturally stain resistant due to a protective coating on its wool fibres so will try to repel liquids.

However the fleece can’t hold off a large glass of liquid all on its own, especially in a concentrated area, so here’s a handy guide with our top tips on what to do:

1. Act quickly to contain the stain
Wherever possible, try to treat the red wine spillage as soon as it occurs. Move fast to blot up as much liquid as possible to stop it spreading further.

2. Rinse with cold water
Try to rinse as much of away as you can, using cold water or lukewarm mixed with a little wool shampoo, washing up liquid, mild soap or baby shampoo.

3. Blot don’t rub
Keep blotting the stain to lift it. Avoid the temptation to rub it furiously as this can damage the wool fibres. Using a clean white cloth - to better see the red wine being taken out - gently blot at the stain, moving from the outside edges inwards.

4. Rest, then repeat
Let the affected area of the rug - and your arms! - rest for a little bit, then keep repeating until the red wine stain has disappeared. Then get another clean cloth and blot the area dry.

5. Try the washing machine
If the stain is stubborn and the above does not shift it, you can wash your sheepskin in the machine if you put it on a gentle, cold water cycle with non-enzyme detergent like wool wash. For large stains or those already dry, pre-treat the area by soaking in cold water and wool wash beforehand.

6. Dry and brush
After washing, lay your sheepskin flat to air dry. Never use a tumble dryer and avoid drying direct sunlight or next to an intense heat source as this can shrink the backing. We also recommend giving it a good brushing with one of our slicker brushes to restore your sheepskin’s original fluffy appearance.

So with the stain successfully slayed, you probably deserve a glass of red wine to celebrate... Just be careful not to spill it on your sheepskin!

5 ways to add bohemian style to your home

The bohemian look or ‘boho chic’ has been one of leading styles in interiors this year. Its popularity has grown with influence from trendsetting bloggers like Justina Blakeney, who embodies the modern boho life through her home which she has dubbed the ‘Jungalow’.

Bohemian style is a layered, laid-back look that is random and busy, which is a welcome antidote to the bare minimalist rules of Scandinavian style and the hard materials of industrialist interiors.

It’s a great way to bring softness and colour to your home interior, especially for the winter months when we need it most.

Layering soft textures and on floors and seating areas - plus lots of cushions - creates a cosy atmosphere for hibernating indoors.

There’s vibrant jewel-like colours and vivid prints, plus ample greenery from the generous use of plants that helps bring the outdoors in. Combined, these elements cannot fail to lift spirits in the darkest months.

So here’s our round-up of five ways to bring a little bohemian vibe to your home interior.

1. Source some eclectic vintage furniture

Individual one-off items and ethic give the feel of a well-travelled. Mismatched the better, Scour flea markets, charity shops and Ebay for vintage pieces with character.

An essential ingredient for boho interiors is a statement chair - made from rattan or weathered tan leather. A leather butterfly chair, rattan peacock chair, or hanging egg chair made from cane or even macrame, are key items that often appear. For added comfort, accessorize with a large sheepskin or two draped over, of course.

2. Layer lots of textures together

Having lots of layers - featuring different fabrics and textures - is a key part of the boho look. Combine berber rugs with animal skins and hides. Cow hides on the floor or african antelope hides used as wall decorations work particularly well.

On sofas, chairs and pouffes, layer several throws and sheepskins. A plain cream sheepskin can give a good balance against all the clashing patterns!

3. Feature a variety of ethnic objects

Adding ethnic items from places like North Africa and India help create that globe-trotting boho vibe. Moroccan objects are often popular, such as elaborately patterned lanterns and pouffes. With textiles, mix and match striking African batik prints with block-printed fabric from India and North African berber rugs.

4. Introduce bright colours

This is likely to come naturally with an array of textiles from Africa, India or Mexico. Many use vivid jewel-like colours like cerise pinks, ruby red and azure blue along with more earthy tones. Best to balance this riot of colour with a good dose of white on the walls though, so the space doesn’t feel overwhelmed.

5. Have lots of plants

We’re not talking about just a small pot plant here and there - you need lots of them and big ones too so go create your own mini jungle! All the better if some are dangling within macrame knotted hangers.

For more boho interior inspiration, take a look at our 'Bohemian style' in board on Pinterest:

Get set for the August bank holiday

The August bank holiday weekend is almost upon us - as the last long weekend of the year, it’s one to savour. If you are heading off for a couple of nights camping or to enjoy some al fresco entertaining in the garden, then we have a few things that could prove super useful for keeping comfortable and warm in the evenings.

Reindeer hides and sheepskins make wonderful rugs and throws for inside the home, but are also also highly practical and portable to take outside when needed.

Happy campers

It’s great to get back to basics by sleeping in a field for few days, but it’s also nice to keep a home comfort or two! A reindeer hide or sheepskin can be used as a rug in the living area of the tent during the day as it sure feels nicer underfoot than a plastic groundsheet!

Once the sun sets, the nights are likely to be on the chilly side (yes, even in August!) so use the skins’ super insulating qualities to help keep you warm. You can use them as throws around your shoulders or over your knees for warmth when you are sitting around the campfire in the evening.

Then when it comes to bedtime, place the skin under your beds in the sleeping compartment to help keep the chill coming up from the ground, or over your sleeping bags to snuggle under.

Sleeping on a sheepskin will also provide extra springy support to help avoid those achy hips in the morning, when you are missing your mattress.

Round the campfire

Sitting round a good campfire in the evening is one of the best simple pleasures to enjoy when camping. They can take a while to really get going though, so to save shivering while you wait, we recommend taking along one of our Flordon fire pipes. Long but slim, it’s easy to fit into the boot of your car with your other kit and is a super tool for getting a campfire blazing.

We had feedback from the Rigden family who took one on a recent camping trip and they were amazed how quickly it got the fire going. ‘Sure beats wafting a plate for ages’ was their verdict!

Outside in the garden

The same goes for sitting outdoors in the garden into the evening, if you are staying at home. A reindeer hide will add softness and warmth to your outdoor seating, and looks great on a garden chair or bench. Being naturally water resistant, it’s fine if they get a little wet while outdoors - they just need a gentle airing to dry out again.

The firepipe can be used to get a chiminea fire going quicker in the garden. Or if the weather is unexpectedly hot this bank holiday, you could even use it on the barbecue to get those coals going!

Whatever you choose to do on the August bank holiday - at home or away - we hope enjoy the long weekend!

Why sheepskin keeps you cool in summer

So summer is here at last and we’re finally enjoying some hot temperatures - hurrah! When it comes to suitable materials for keeping cool in weather like this, a thick woolly sheepskin is probably the last thing many would think of. Sheepskins are just for cosying up and keeping warm in winter, aren’t they?

Well, although it seems counterintuitive that sheepskin would have the opposite effect and be excellent at cooling us down in summer, it does exactly that, due to its temperature regulating properties.

How sheepskin cools us down

The fleece of a pure natural sheepskin is made from hollow fibres, which means it’s a material that naturally breathes. When a sheepskin is in contact with human skin, it helps regulate a steady body temperature.

In hot conditions, that means the sheepskin absorbs sweat instantly and omits it into the air up to seven times faster than synthetic materials, to cool you down quicker. If you’re concerned that might make your sheepskins bit smelly over time - our sheepskins are also machine washable (please follow instructions in our sheepskin care guide).

Summer uses for sheepskin in the house

Ok, so we’re not suggesting you walk around in swaddled in a sheepskin coat, hat or gloves in this heat. However sheepskin rugs remain practical items to keep in the house over the summer, to use as seat covers on a sofa, especially leather armchairs or wooden dining chairs that your legs might stick to otherwise!

Great for keeping baby cool

There are various ways sheepskin can help keep babies and small children cool in this hot weather too - you can use a sheepskin as a cot liner for daytime naps when it’s very warm indoors, or as buggy or car seat liner when on the move in the heat. Here are the details of our medical sheepskin, which is ideal for babies and infants.

Practical car seat covers

Sheepskins are also practical car seat liners that make summer travelling more comfortable for adults - if you are leaving your vehicle in the sun all day, the sheepskin will stop the seat from getting too hot. An added bonus is that it will help protect your car upholstery from fading by the sun.

Of course, you also get the cushioning benefits of a soft supporting sheepskin too, whatever the season and wherever you use it. If the hot weather reminds you of being on holiday, then you definitely want an extra comfortable place to sit and relax!

Finding a better deliver service

At the Fabulous Fleece Company, we want you to have the best experience possible when ordering from us online, from the moment you arrive on our site through to the product arriving at your door, plus enjoying your item long after that!

But it’s that part about arriving to your door quickly and safely, that had started to become a frustrating issue at the end of last year...

Hand delivering your items ourselves is sadly not a fast or practical option in today's world, so we need to rely on a third party courier to deliver for us. And that word rely is particularly important.

I was becoming increasingly concerned that we couldn’t fully rely on our previous courier. This was emphatically confirmed on one awful day in the busy lead up to Christmas. We received 79 calls and emails - in just one day - from customers who were awaiting orders that were either delayed or lost in transit. I hate disappointing customers and I'm truly sorry to all who were affected.

It was a real low point. I was furious because we pride ourselves on excellent service and yet delivery - the one element we couldn’t fully control - was really letting us down. Our customers deserve better than that. So we needed to find a better way...

We needed to know that your order is in the best hands when we place it a courier's hands so we needed a delivery company who shared our values for excellent customer service. We also need to offer you a reasonable delivery cost for that reliable, high quality service.

Unfortunately getting a new and better delivery system in place is not as quick and easy as we'd have liked, but after much thorough research, I'm happy to say that we've done it!

We’ve now changed to using Interlink’s Next Day service and customer feedback so far has been really positive. Interlink has a 99% success rate for delivering items safely and the service is speedy too. Your item arrives within 48 hours of ordering - so the service is next day on all orders made before noon (Mon-Fri). Orders made after 12pm on weekdays, are collected the next day for delivery within 24 hours. Orders made over the weekend are dispatched on Mondays.

What’s more, your package is fully trackable and if you enter your mobile number when your checkout, Interlink will text you with a narrower time window for delivery so you don’t need to wait in all day.

We’re confident these changes will really improve your shopping experience with us. We’d welcome your opinions on the changes so do get in touch. Thanks, Lucy.

Great Mother's Day gift idea

In our book, a good Mother's Day present is something that looks great but is also highly useful! And something that's a smaller - yet still great quality - present to show your appreciation, rather than the bigger gifts given at Christmas and on birthdays.

Which is why our round coin purses really fit the bill as a gift to give your mother next Sunday. The coin purses come in a choice of colours and hides, so you can find one that best suits your mother's style.

If she likes all things classic, then choose the leather coin purse in tan, rosewood and chocolate.

If she's drawn to more colourful accessories, then the soft suede coin purse comes in three vibrant colours - olive, teal and rose suede.

And for mums who love very distinct items, there's the striking cow hide purse in black and white speckle or brown.

See the full range here.

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