Ever wondered to yourself why a shearling jacket fetches such a high price? This article will explain what you get when you buy a shearling and why it’s worth its weight in gold—at least the genuine ones anyway.
In order for you to really know what shearling jackets are, it’s best to look at how they are made and what they are made from. Shearling has the appearance of a leather jacket with wool attached to it, which leads to the prevalent belief that the wool is stitched to the leather fabric. This is not the case with genuine shearling. Genuine shearling jackets have real wool and are made from high-quality tanned leather—at least for the expensive types.
The Process of Making Shearling
Shearling jackets and coats are made by a process passed down through generations. Shearling is made by taking the hide of a fully grown sheep, taking care not to remove the wool from the hide. Yes, it starts out as sheepskin, which is then tanned and worked on until it reaches a desired suppleness. The wool is then sheared to reach an even thickness. After shearing, the wool is bleached for a clean white effect as its original colour is a mix of dirty white and gray.
The hide, now leather, is now dyed to the preferred colour. Additional treatments make it even softer for a more comfortable fit and added flexibility. Shearling jackets stand out because the wool is on the inside of the jacket and the leather is outside. The number of pelts used on a single jacket varies and will largely depend on the size. In fact, a long jacket can take up to 4 pelts to make. Shearling jackets and coats actually have the same manufacturing process as sheepskin pieces. It’s just that most sheepskin pieces have the wool on the outside instead of inside.
Like everything else these days, there is fake and genuine shearling. Fakes account for the surprisingly wide difference of high quality shearlings, ordinary shearlings and the faux shearlings. If a jacket or coat comes with the label “Sherpa,” this means it has lining made of Sherpa, which is a synthetic material designed to imitate the appearance and texture of wool. Some types of jean jackets feature Sherpa linings, while others may feature the actual thing but stitched or glued to the jacket fabric.
The Cost of Genuine Shearling
The cost of shearling jackets varies greatly between high quality ones and those of the average type. Still, even the average coats can be somewhat expensive, with a starting price of over $100. For the high quality shearlings from Spain on other hand, it’s not unheard of for them to come with a $5,000 price tag. Yes, they are expensive, but well worth the price considering their quality, warmth, softness and durability.