Ugg Boots Production
How are Ugg Boots Made?
Ugg boots, just like all sheepskin products are a bi-product of the wool industry. Sheep farmed for wool production are very different than the ones farmed for meat production. Australia’s best known and probably the world's finest wool come from the merino sheep. The presence of wool industry led to the production and perfection of the ugg boots, slippers and other footwear. Some sources incorrectly refer to wool as being fur. However, it is important to stress that sheep have wool and not fur.
Australia and New Zealand are the leading producers of quality sheepskin in the world. Although sheep are not native to either country, excellent conditions, pasture and breeding in the last 150 years have produced some of the best sheep in the world.
The most desired material for ugg boots production is double faced sheepskin. Double faced means that both fleece and skin sides are very high quality. Therefore they can are used as single unit for ugg boots production. Belonging to the world’s best double faced sheepskin is the Australian merino. It has all the unique characteristics, which makes it the finest material for ugg boot and other sheepskin footwear production. Shoes made of merino sheepskin are usually more expensive, when compared to single faced products, which have recently flooded the market.
Some manufacturers use pigskin as the outer layer to lower their cost. However, this causes the boots to lose their unique attributes such as breath-ability and ability to come out like new after being washed. Another rising cost-cutting trick in ugg boots production is use of synthetic fibers. By incorporating the fiber into lining and a range of different materials for outers the footwear lose all of the good qualities which are characteristic for the boots made of double-faced sheepskin. This ugg boot look-alikes are cheap to product, but have totally different look and feel and may cause your feet to sweat and feel uncomfortable.
You might ask - do you have to really kill the poor sheep to make a pair of ugg boots? The answer is no, not one sheep has to be slaughtered to obtain their hide and fleece. The sheepskins shorn of the sheep backs and the sheep simply re-grow their fleece, in a similar way like people grow their hair. It is completely painless for the sheep. The sheep farmers say that the sheep actually prefer to be shorn and not to carry the heavy and thick woolen coat in the summer.
Before the woolskins are processed in the tannery, they are usually preserved with salt. The mechanical processing of woolskin is kept to a minimum in order to minimize the wool felting. They are processed in paddles, which are large vessels of capacity between 3000 and 15000 liters. Typically it takes about 10 days for the skins to be processed and cut into panels for ugg boots. Once cut, the panels are sewn together and the sole is glued to the boot. This is the final stage, and the ugg boots are ready for sale!