It can be difficult to the untrained eye to identify synthetic lining on a saddle; however, once you do, it will be equally as difficult to accept anything less than real sheepskin on your custom made saddle. Synthetic lining is primarily used to keep the manufacture's/maker's material costs down and whether they pass those savings onto the customer is maker specific. Real sheepskin comes at more of an expense and some consumers can not recognize the difference in appearance therefore the maker will default to choosing to keep their material costs down.
So is the extra cost of REAL SHEEPSKIN worth it? Yes, most definitely.
In the words of another respected maker in the the industry. "The supportive nature of REAL sheepskin is notably better than the synthetic. Even the best synthetic material cannot compare to the thick plush stack of fibers that real natural sheep wool provides. This attribute is defined as the “pile” of the hide. Higher quality hides will have a thicker pile to them. This is important to offer the maximum amount of cushion and to prevent the breakdown and flattening of the fibers." This is also why it may take a little more break in time on our Woody's Custom Saddle's compared to synthetic lined saddles as the sheepskin has to warm up and mould to your horses back.
"Another advantage of real wool is once you identify the difference it simply just looks better. When it comes to a custom saddle or high quality manufactured saddle, nothing takes away from the overall appearance than synthetic wool under the skirts. Genuine sheepskin just has a look of quality and value that sets a saddle off."
**REAL SHEEPSKIN is a standard feature on our Woody's Custom Saddles**
Here is an article taken from a sheepskin processing site to help you identify whether your saddle has REAL or synthetic sheepskin for your information.
See you down the road!