What is Cowhide Leather? And Its Advantage

Leather has traditionally been considered one of the most desirable materials for clothing and accessories. Because of its unparalleled blend of toughness, longevity, and comfort, leather has been an indispensable material for humans for millennia.

Its importance has only continued to grow throughout history. The convenience, longevity, and adaptability of cowhide leather mainly contributed to its meteoric rise in popularity. The following are some facts on cowhide leather that every person interested in working with leather should be aware of.

What is cowhide leather

Here discuss about what is cowhide leather in the context of the leather industry, the term "cowhide leather" refers to leather that is derived from bovine animals (hence the name), which has been chrome tanned without being cut (therefore retaining its whole original shape), and which is, therefore, most commonly used in upholstery, furniture, and car interiors, but is also used for leather goods. Cowhide leather is the sort of leather that is the most readily available and the type of leather that is manufactured at the highest volume, making it one of the most affordable possibilities. However, more expensive varieties are available, which differ in terms of the quality of the raw materials used, the tanning process, and the degree of polish. When referring to the whole skin of any animal other than a cow, the word "hide" is used rather than the more common term "cowhide." When a cowhide is tanned with the hair still attached, one can refer to the product as a "cowhide rug".

Nappa cowhide leather

Does leather from cows dry out and crack?

Genuine leather won't crack or peel. Peeling typically indicates delaminating polyurethane (PU) coating on bi-cast, bonded, or imitation leather. At the same time, it could result from a damaged finish or after-market paint (see an example here). Not to be confused with vinyl, these materials (are PVC).

Advantages of Cowhide

Compared to other kinds of animal leather, leather cow skin is superior in terms of how long it lasts, how fine it is, and how easily it rips. It is pretty comfy and expands to conform to the curve of the user's body while they wear it. As a result, as a kind of protection, leather items created from cowhide tend to last for a more extended period. Because of this, they are ideal for outerwear because they are resistant to the damaging effects of heat, sun, and dampness. They also maintain their shape for a more extended period. Handbags, wallets, belts, and coats made of vegetable-tanned leather have the well-deserved reputation of being the most durable of their kind. Many owners claim that they are still putting theirs to good use even after 40 years. Cowhide is thicker and more durable than other types of leather, and the fact that it comes in various weights and thicknesses contributes to the aesthetic appeal of the material.

Is cowhide leather real leather?

Is cowhide leather real leather because the term merely refers to a substance resulting from the processing and tanning of raw cow skin, the answer is yes, cowhide leather is "true" or "genuine" leather, just like other names that can be used to identify the leather.

Which is better cowhide leather or genuine leather?

Contrary to popular belief, cowhide and genuine leather are not identical. Typically, cowhides are unbleached, which means that the natural hue of the animal is still visible. Cowhide leather is softer and lasts longer thanks to the natural tanning process. In many cases, this causes the leather to take on a synthetic look. This leather doesn't have the same quality as other leathers. Top-quality cowhide leather is far more robust and long-lasting than regular leather.

What is cowhide leather made out of? 

Like other types of leather, cowhide is harvested from the inner layer of the animal's hide. For tanning, it is used without or with minimal chemical processing. As a result, it has greater longevity and durability than other leathers. A cowhide leather jacket is the most excellent option if you want a classic piece of leather clothing that is also really comfortable, stylish, and durable.

What is cowhide leather made out of?

Can cowhide leather get wet?

Yes, it is watertight, but too much water will cause the leather to become wet (because of the porous nature of the material), and when the leather dries, it has the potential to grow stiff and hard, losing its lovely delicate texture. Remember that too much of anything is wrong, so while it will be fine in a bit of rain, make sure to leave it out. If it is too much, nobody will be safe. It can withstand moisture, but you should still strive to avoid submerging it.

Unique Characteristics of Cowhide

To what extent, then, does cowhide leather fulfil its advertised purposes? Cowhide is noteworthy for several qualities, but its toughness and longevity stand out. That's why it may be used for various goods, apparel, and accessories, such as bags. For instance, the softness of the leather used to make coats and vests make it a valuable material for furniture upholstery; the same is valid for cowhide leather, which is used to make garments.

Bovines are large animals. Thus their hides should be able to yield a substantial amount of leather. This can be anywhere from 40 to 60 feet in length, with a thickness of up to an inch. Printed or pigmented cowhide leather finishes nicely on the surface. Aniline and semi-aniline are two additional surface finishes that can be applied for more customization.

Unique Characteristics of Cowhide

The Durability of Cowhide Leather

How long do you think a cowhide leather product will last you? Cowhide leather, like all leather, is exceptionally long-lasting, so whatever you manufacture from it will survive for a very long time. The leather will not deteriorate even if you store it for a long time.

How long a specific type of leather will last depends on several factors, including the tanning process, the finish it was given, and the final application. Less efficient than chrome-tanned leather, vegetable-tanned leather has a longer lifespan. In contrast to the more delicate aniline and semi-aniline finishes, pigments and prints will help strengthen the leather.

The Act of Getting a Tan

While the tanning process isn't directly related to the leather itself, it is crucial to understanding cowhide leather. Among the several methods for transforming raw cowhide into finished leather, chrome tanning is by far the most widespread. Chrome tanning is not only the most effective method but also the most cost-effective. Natural leather has some resistance to water due to its thickness, but this property can be significantly enhanced through the chrome tanning process. Consequently, chrome-tanned cowhide leather is ideal for uses in which the leather is subjected to high heat and humidity levels.

The practice of vegetable tanning, sometimes known as veg tanning, dates back thousands of years. If the leather is soaked in vegetable tannins for up to two months, it will take longer to be ready for use; nevertheless, the leather will be thicker and better able to withstand the wear and tear of daily usage and rough conditions.

If you live in an area where rain is frequent and you want to make a bag out of cowhide leather, chrome-tanned leather may be your best bet. Vegetable-tanned leather, on the other hand, is thicker and can withstand more stress and strain, making it a better option for leather boots.

Cow leather is easily accessible

Leather from cows is easily obtainable due to the widespread presence of cattle farms. Cowhide leather is readily available, simple to acquire, and inexpensive, making it an ideal material for beginning leatherworkers. Mistakes will be significantly less stressful or detrimental to your wallet when new leather can readily be obtained without breaking the bank.

Since chrome tanning is regular, veg-tanned cowhide leather may be more difficult or expensive to get your hands on due to scarcity. Further, elements such as finishes should also be addressed when choosing cowhide leather because they can significantly raise the price.

Confirming the origin of cowhide

It might be challenging to distinguish between genuine cowhides and fake while shopping for leather goods. The popularity of synthetic cowhides has skyrocketed in recent years. Natural cowhide lasts for years, whereas imitations produced from various polymers quickly wear out. You'll have to continually replace the fake leather because it usually falls apart after a few years. Genuine cowhide, on the other hand, will last for many years. A natural cowhide will, of course, be more expensive. Everyone here understands now that originals are more costly than knockoffs. You can trust that the goods you buy from a supplier that takes good care of its inventory are of excellent quality because it has been. The genuine cowhide has a higher standard of quality. One can tell the difference between real and fake cowhides by touching them. When you get your hands on a genuine cowhide, you'll immediately feel at ease thanks to its luxurious fur. Although the bristly sensation of natural hair isn't always pleasant, it's a sign of the product's genuineness.

Fake cowhide, on the other hand, may seem very plush initially, but it will eventually become irritating to the touch. No two cows are the same, just as no two people are the same. While there may be some visual similarities between cows of the same hue and pattern, each cow's design is as distinct as a fingerprint. For this reason, if you spend your money on a natural rug, you can be guaranteed that no one else will have the same one. However, since the counterfeits are typically machine-printed, they look identical to every cowhide the company has ever sold. Authentic cowhides have a more authentic look than their synthetic counterparts. Genuine cowhides are of a higher grade than their imitation counterparts. It will have a higher-quality polish, finer fur, and a more sumptuous feel.

Super thick cowhide leather

To what extent does cow leather cost?

The production costs and the quality of the leather used to make the product are two main factors affecting the final pricing. Most people consider full-grain leather to be of the finest quality, whereas genuine leather and bonded leather are considered to be of the lowest. Due to its widespread demand, cowhide leather fetches a higher price than its competitors. Cowhide leather is one of the most prevalent types of leather on the market, and this affects its pricing because the cow is also frequently employed in the food and dairy industries.

Cowhide rug: can you vacuum it?

Cowhides may be kept in good condition with minimal upkeep because they are water- and stain-resistant. To prevent hair loss, vacuum your cowhide rug using the brush attachment and sweep in the direction of the hair. You may also take your carpet outside and give it a good shake to eliminate dust and other debris. Doing this may provide your rug with a new lease on life.

How strong is cowhide leather?

The strength of cowhide is unmatched. In terms of day-to-day usability, it ranks among the finest leathers available today. It is durable and sturdy, so you can rest assured that it will be with you for many years. Its power is unparalleled and unrivalled. Authentic leather, like all leathers, is exceptionally durable. The production method and materials used will also play a role.

Do you think cowhide makes a decent leather?

Cowhide is the sort of leather that is known for being the most durable and versatile. Since the 1920s, this thick and strong fabric has produced the conventional motorcycle jacket. Cowhide is resistant not just to the elements but also to muck and moisture when properly treated.

Do cows even have hides?

Because the term merely refers to a substance resulting from the processing and tanning of raw cow skin, the answer is yes, cowhide leather is "true" or "genuine" leather, just like other names that can be used to identify the leather.

Is there a Big Difference between Cowhide Leather and Other Types of Leather?

Each type of leather, just like every other material, possesses characteristics that set it apart from the others. Cowhide may be superior to goatskin in some respects, while goatskin may have advantages over cowhide in others.

In the following section, we will highlight the critical differences between cowhide and other types of leather, including sheepskin, goatskin, and Lambskin, mainly because these are the kind of leather used most frequently. Reading this page can also help you differentiate between genuine leather and leather produced from cowhides, both of which are types of leather.

Goatskin vs Cowhide

Grain cowhide may be more long-lasting than goatskin due to its sturdiness, yet, grain cowhide does not possess the same flexibility and elasticity as goatskin. Cowhide, in its completed condition, is typically heavier than goatskin when compared to its counterpart.

If you need to keep warm, use cowhide leather instead of goatskin leather because cowhide leather has superior insulating characteristics. The same line of reasoning can be applied to touch as well. Leather from goats is far more soft and smooth than leather made from cowhide.

Sheepskin vs Cowhide

Compared to sheepskin leather, cowhide leather is superior in several ways, the most notable of which is its strength and durability. Sheepskin leather is considerably more pliable and adaptable than cowhide leather. Compare and contrast. Compared to cowhide, the weight of sheepskin or goatskin is noticeably lower.

Insulation provided by cowhide is superior to that offered by sheepskin. On the other hand, when compared to cowhide, sheepskin possesses a level of suppleness and softness that is unmatched by the latter.

Cowhide vs Lambskin

Compared to Lambskin, cowhide is far more durable and long-lasting than its counterpart. However, compared to cowhide, Lambskin has a much greater capacity for stretchiness, which may not come as much of a surprise.

Very similar in appearance to sheepskin. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Lambskin is lighter than cow leather, but cow leather also provides a higher level of insulation. On the other hand, Lambskin is considerably more malleable and delicate compared to cowhide.

full grain cowhide leather


Even if there are a lot of factors to consider, cowhide leather continues to be one of the materials that are easiest to acquire, least expensive, and most commonly used. The use of cowhide leather is recommended for all leatherworkers, regardless of whether they are just beginning their careers, have some level of experience, or are seasoned professionals. Because of its longevity, suppleness, and adaptability, cowhide leather continues to be utilized in a diverse range of apparel, accessories, and upholstery.

You may learn more about the various types of cowhide leather they stock. Because we are leather professionals, we are ready to assist you in locating the proper supplies for your endeavours and assuring you that the final product will be of the greatest possible quality.

After reading this, we hope you understand the unique characteristics of natural cowhide and why it remains a stalwart in leatherworking, even though cowhide leather may appear more prevalent than leather made from other hides.

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