VIKING Icelandic sheep skins
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VIKING Icelandic sheep skins

The Icelandic sheep breed is one of the North European Short Tail breeds, which exhibit a fluke-shaped, naturally short tail. The Icelandic is a mid-sized breed, generally short legged and stocky, with face and legs free of wool. The fleece of the Icelandic sheep is dual-coated and comes in white as well as a variety of other colours, including a range of browns, grays, and blacks. Generally left unshorn for the winter, the breed is very cold-hardy. Descended from the same stock as the Norwegian Spelsau sheep, brought to Iceland by the Vikings, Icelandic sheep have been bred for a thousand years in a very harsh environment.

Icelandic sheepskins come in many natural colours, even some dyed. The hide is quite soft and is generally 6 square feet (0.56 m2) to 8 square feet (0.74 m2) in size. Depending on whether the wool has been shorn, the wool can be up to 8 inches (200 mm) in length.

Dry cleaning will strip the natural oils out of the skin and wool, rendering it scratchy and rough. Gentle wool cleaners are generally used to keep the sheepskins soft.

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