Sherpa is a textile product made of polyester or a blend of polyester and other fibers. It is an excellent option than shearling.
We get queries on this topic quite frequently, especially when the weather starts to change. We love to research such things.
Is it vegan or vegetarian? Sherpa is usually vegan and vegetarian. It is free of cruelty when it’s 100% polyester or polyester mixed with cotton or synthetic fibers like acrylic. But “sherpa” is also referred sometimes as a blend of synthetic fibers and wool, usually cashmere.
Whenever wool is mixed with polyester, sharp becomes non-vegan. But it is quite rare. We are yet to see any labels on sherpa products that use wool in their products.
We will now check the reasons why sherpa is usually considered vegan.
Table of Contents
Why Sherpa Is Usually Vegan and Vegetarian
Sherpa Contains Polyester
Sherpa is usually 100% polyester but can also be part of a blend having other fibers.
Polyester is a group of polymers. Polymers are molecules having a structure of a significant number of similar units bound together. The group is having esters, a type of functional group in organic chemistry which is attached to their main chain.
Polyester is considered vegan since they’re either synthesized chemically in industries or found in plant-based substances like cutin, a wax-like polymer of the cuticle plant).
Hence, polyester is always vegan due to chemical synthesis and its plant linkage in the natural world.
Sherpa Often Contains Acrylic
If sherpa is not 100% polyester, it can be manufactured by mixing acrylic fibers. The fibers are made from a polymer called polyacrylonitrile. It is built using acrylonitrile.
It is usually found in sweaters, boots, their linings, hoodies, gloves, hats, blankets, carpeting, roller brushes, athletic wear, area rugs, upholstery, and hair extensions and wigs.
it’s vegan because it’s synthetic and derived from petroleum. Acrylonitrile is a fiber that is a by-product of the petroleum industry. Hence, it is never animal-based, but fossil fuel-based fiber.
Sherpa Can Contain Cotton
We haven’t seen the usage of cotton in sherpa, but it’s quite common fiber to be mixed with polyester for producing hera.
Cotton is always vegan because it is a soft plant-based fiber. It grows over the seeds of the cotton plant.
The fiber is made of cellulose and is a tough plant fiber. It makes up much of the high-fiber foods we eat.
It May Look Authentic, but it’s Not
Sherpa looks like wool, but it is made from polyester, cotton, or acrylic, and is usually knows as “faux shearling.”
It looks genuine, and people easily believe it is cruelty-free. All sherpa don’t look ultra-real, as they are often dyed with bright colors. It can be made to appear very real like Ryan Gosling’s coat in Blade Runner 2049.
If you wear a Sherpa coat with an extra realistic look, you need to avoid visiting vegan places and meetup groups, because PETA Activists might just throw paint on you.
Sherpa gets its name from the Sherpa people of Nepal and the Himalayas who wear such wool-lined garments.
It tries to copy the texture of Sheep’s wool.
It Doesn’t Require Wool Fibers for Insulation
As told earlier, sherpa can be produced by using Sheep’s wool along with cotton and synthetic fibers. It is just an exception. Some sources claim that wool is present, but we are yet to find any examples.
On searching extensively, we do get wool-containing examples of sherpa products in the market. It is always recommended to check the tags and labels.
Sherpa not only resembles wool in looks but also in insulation. Undoubtedly, Sheep wool is very insulating, because sheep need such insulation.
The faux-sheepskin fabric known as sherpas an excellent lining for coats and jackets because it exceeds the performance of sheep wool in below zero temperatures.
Since it’s synthetic and performs exceedingly well, the manufacturers will mostly prefer the textile to natural wool, due to low costs.
So, the blankets, hats, mittens, slippers, and lined boots, etc. Are usually made without wool.
Critical advantages of sherpa over wool are as follows:
- It’s more cost-effective than sheepskin
- It looks like wool, but without being cruel
- It doesn’t wrinkle or go out of form smoothly in high temperatures e.g., dryers
- It’s relatively easier to clean, and it dries in a while
- It’s highly comfortable, breathable, and soft
- It’s stronger and still more elastic than wool
- It’s resistant to mold, insects, and chemicals
- The thickness of quilt batting (loft) makes these sherpa quilts and sherpa-lined products extra-warm.
- It’s even better at insulating than shearling
- It’s lighter than shearling along with better insulating
It’s highly relevant not to take this type of technology for granted, given the inhumane and cruel nature of the wool industry.
Again, sherpa is used to take the place of shearling.
The term “shearling” means a young sheep (lamb) who got only one shearing.
Shearling material means the skin from a recently shorn lamb.
It means it is leather plus fur all in one. It is the the furthest thing from being just vegan.
The skin of a lamb is first removed, tanned, dyed, and processed with the wool still intact. It has a leather or on one side and soft fleece on the other side. Too Cruel to believe.
Let’s just be happy that we have alternatives today.
To reiterate, Please always check the tag or label to ensure that no animal fibers are used in the production of sherpa.
That’s was the fact file of the vegan status of sherpa. Thanks for reading.
- Sherpa Fabric Is Suitable For Lining Fabrics and Winter Accessories. Unitex – https://www.unitex-factory.com/sherpa-fabric/
- Polyester. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyester
- Cutin. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutin
- Polyacrylonitrile. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyacrylonitrile
- What Is Acrylic Fabric: Properties, How It’s Made, and Where. Sewport – https://sewport.com/fabrics-directory/acrylic-fabric
- Cotton. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton
- Shearling Vs. Sherpa: Which Is Better? Author Staff – https://news.orvis.com/products-we-love/shearling-vs-sherpa-better
- Shearling Definition. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shearling
- Shearling. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shearling