What you need to know about shearling leather...

Shearling coats are timeless favourites among women, not only because they can keep you warm on even the coldest winter days, but also because they are fashionable enough to let you do it in style.

Shearling is a skin from a recently shorn sheep or lamb that has been tanned and dressed with the wool left on. It has a suede surface on one side and a clipped fur surface on the other. Usually the suede side is worn outward. Real shearling breathes and is more flexible, much heavier in weight and the fur is much denser than synthetic. Synthetic shearling fur is typically called sherpa. Synthetic or fake shearling has a bit of a sheen to its outer while real shearling outer hide is dull and a bit tacky to the touch. Genuine shearling is also smoother to the touch than synthetic shearling.

Most commonly, shearling products are manufactured with the suede on the outside and the indulgent wool on the inside, but the reverse also may be true. Wool-side-out collars prevent the snow and moisture from building up at the neckline, and textured wool trim contrasts nicely against the smooth suede of a jacket.

Benefits of Shearling:

* Insulates and retains heat naturally, even in frigid temperatures

* Breathable

* Water-repellent outer suede, moisture-wicking inner wool for versatile protection from the elements

* Durable, long-lasting material resists tears, rips, and snags

* Hypoallergenic

* Flame-resistant, static-resistant, and antibacterial

* Has a reputation as a luxurious addition to a wardrobe

* Ages beautifully with proper care, gets more supple through time

* Many sheepskin products are by-products of the meat industry, reclaiming materials that would otherwise be disposed of.