Karoo Baba is a small business that sells only the very best quality sheepskins and sheepskin products South Africa has to offer.
Company founder Michéle Kapilevich grew up on a farm in the Eastern Cape, close to the land, where the love of animals and all things natural was a way of life. In 2003 she moved to Cape Town and began to source beautiful sheepskins for friends and family and for bespoke orders. In 2017 she noticed the Nordic trend taking off and sheepskins being used not only as she had been using them – for her babies to play and sleep on – but as an attractive item to add luxury and texture to any room of your home.
It was then that Karoo Baba was born, and Michéle decided to start a business in the
hope of spreading her passion and love…
Washable (Wool cycle)
USE AND FUNCTIONALITY
Why fake it when the genuine article is there for you to enjoy?
The trend for natural textiles and living closer to the land, has taken off. Everywhere you look, you can see “fake” fur, as jacket hoodie liners, as cushions, as scarves and slippers. Ask yourself though, why would you use a product that was mass manufactured, is scratchy and will not last more than a few months before becoming a mess, which cannot be washed, if you can use the real thing?
Sheepskins are a byproduct of the meat industry, so these skins have been saved and treated with a lot of love to restore them to their original state. Nothing else can compare to the feeling a 100% natural wool sheepskin can give you. It does not scratch, it does not get dirty easily, and best of all, it can be washed! It is hugely practical around the house and literally last forever when treated with some care.
The skins can be used on their own, as a throw or a rug or a great accessory for your nursery. Kids and pets both love them and naturally gravitate to them if there is a sheepskin on the floor or furniture. You can tailor make a bespoke order of anything from 2 skins up, to be sewn together, increasing the size to suit the space. They are great in front of fireplaces, not only as they a great to sit on, but they actually, protect the floor in case a coal should jump out as they put out fires!
In Europe, all children have a sheepskin from when they are born. Electric blankets do not exist, kids sleep on sheepskins, like it has been done throughout the ages.
SOURCE AND PROCESS
Our skins are 100% organically tanned (which does not pollute water sources) with only the best natural tanning agents that are gentle enough for use with babies. We obtain our skins from abattoirs with very strict regulations, and they are hand selected to obtain the best possible quality in size, wool quality as well as hide quality.
The sheepskin is a byproduct of the meat industry – making sure that no part of the animal goes to waste. The skins come primarily from the Eastern Cape from a reliable supplier that has been in the business for over 20 years. We also source from the Karoo, and countrywide in our quest for the best quality skins. The sheepskins then go through a rigorous tanning process that involves washing, combing, dry-cleaning and more in order to bring them to their full glory, natural durability and soft fluffiness.
Michéle says: “I have a sheepskin rug in front of our fireplace that is 13 years old, regularly gets washed and still going strong!”
A single sheepskin can turn a normal wooden chair into a silky soft pouffe
There is nothing better to use in prams/car seats/wheelchairs and of course in beds.
RANGE AND OTHER PRODUCTS
Wool on Skins:
100% South African merino wool on skin natural shape, various colours
Square, chessboard blokkies floor rugs, made from South African merino offcuts
Occasionally, we dapple with imported skins like Mongolian and Icelandic, as we love ALL types of sheep,
and they all have such diverse properties
Our sheepskin slippers are hugely popular and loved! They are made with 100% South African merino sheepskin with a twist, we sometimes dye the suede in really funky colours. Each slipper and pair is cut from 1 piece of sheepskin, and only has 1 seam. They are precision cut and punched, and then lovingly hand sewn with 1 piece of wax covered cotton thread. We believe the fewer joints you have, the stronger the product is.
The pattern was developed by Michéle in 2017, after she started playing around with making herself a pair of slippers. Originally they were hand cut and punched and sewn, but after they became so popular, we had to make it possible to up production. They are still hand sewn by ladies that Michéle has trained, and offer an extra income to these hard working mothers.
Slippers are available from a baby UK size 5 – up to an adult 12. Custom hand cut slippers can still be ordered for larger sizes.
Hot sheep (water bottle covers)
Pilot hats for kids
Excellent insulating properties
Resistant to flame and static electricity
Draws perspiration away from the wearer and into the fibres, releasing the heat.
Natural heating and cooling – just think of a sheep!
They are naturally auto thermo regulated, which means they are never too hot or too cold. Merino wool therefore keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter.
No itch! Merino wool is finer than other wools, and super comfortable on skin of any age
Quick drying – they are so practical and can be washed on a cold cycle in the machine or handwash. Wash on a warm day and they will be dry in no time.
Were used as seat linings since the Bronze Age!
The tanning of leather and sheepskin dates back to the 11th century, and has been used by many indigenous cultures. Keep this ancient art alive and live organically and comfortably as nature intended.
We have had the pleasure to meet some incredible people along the way. One of the most rewarding projects was to help Tazeen restore a rocking sheep (family heirloom) as all 5 her children grew up with it. Now it will live on to give her grandchildren the same happy memories.
Extra large rugs:
We have custom made bedcovers, floor covers, couch covers, and carpets ranging from 2, 4, 6 and 8 sheepskins sewn together
CELL: +27 83 415 0447
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA