What is Pigskin Leather - Everything About Pig Leather

Pig leather, often called pigskin or swine leather, is made from pigs. It is a unique material used to produce garments and other things. It has been more popular in recent years since it can breathe, has a unique look, is soft, and can be bent into many shapes. Because of this, it is a wonderful choice for clothes and shoes that need increased air flow and comfort.

This page will discuss what makes pigskin leather unique, how it is created, and how it may be used.

What is pigskin?

Pig leather is created from a pig's cleaned, treated, and tanned skin. Pig leather is thinner than cow leather, but its thick fibres make it stronger and less likely to wear out. The pigskin is also leather and porous, soft, and easy to bend. Pig leather offers a unique mix of properties, making it suitable for heavy-use interiors and light garments like gloves or sneakers.

How Does Pig Leather Get Made?

The best pigskin leather comes from pigs raised fairly and caring, with enough space to walk around and food to eat. This ensures that their hides have no spots or other markings that could make them seem bad. The hairs are then carefully tanned using historical methods that help maintain their natural oils and give them a soft and robust shine.

The first thing to do is clean the pigskin and look for any remaining fat or dirt. The hide is then soaked in a salt brine solution for a few days. So, the food goes smoothly while it's being stored. After soaking, the hide is cleaned by being washed and scraped. The leather is then tanned with chromium or plants to prevent it from worsening. After the hide has been tanned, it can be dyed in different colors and cut into pieces for varied purposes.

Pigskin Leather: Appearance

Yes, pig skin may be made into leather and used to practise tattoos. And one of the most striking features of pig leather is that it has hair pores. This leather is simple to tell is produced from pigskin because of these small holes. They are all over the hide. Even if there are pores like those in pigskin leather in other kinds of coats, they are usually more difficult to see. Here are some illustrations of how pigskin leather looks when viewed up close:

Pigskin leather has pores that give it a unique texture and let it breathe better than other skins.

How Good is Pigskin Leather?

Pig leather is regarded as strong and almost as long-lasting as cowhide leather. The fibres that make up the material make it resistant to wear and tear, even if it is used a lot. Also, because it has a lot of natural oils, pigskin leather is supple and flexible. This means you may buy products made of this kind of leather without worrying that they will get stiff and stop being comfortable over time. So, pigskin leather is a great alternative if you want something that will endure a long time. Making jackets, wallets, purses, shoes, and even watchbands is very soft.

Even though pigskin leather can breathe, the main reason to use it instead of other materials is that it can handle high temperatures without getting too damaged. Placing pigskin leather in a direct flame will char it instead of burning or melting it like synthetic fabrics. The material can also deal with very cold temperatures. Pig leather is useful when hot or cold weather because it can manage both nicely.

Pigskin Isn't Extremely Waterproof

Pigskin leather doesn't do well in water since it can breathe. This implies that if water or moisture gets on the material, it might stain or harm it. It's crucial to know that pigskin leather has its limits and that you must try to protect water from ruining it.

It would help if you used a protection spray or sealer to keep your garments safe. This will strengthen the material to stand up to rain and stay dry. Also, don't let your shoes made of pig leather get wet. Keep them away from regions with too much heat and humidity so they don't absorb water from the air.

Various Types of Pig Leather

People can buy several sorts of pigskin leather depending on what they wish to use it for:

Pigskin Nappa leather, often called aniline leather, is made from the skin of pigs.

High-quality leather is known for being sleek and polished. How it is dyed with aniline makes it stronger and less likely to get wet. It is used to manufacture, among other things, wallets, bags, upholstery, car interiors, and furniture. Nappa leather was first manufactured from pigskin in Napa Valley, California. This is also the origin of the word "Nappa."

Pigskin suede –

What is pig suede? It rubbed the meat on one side to produce a bed. This method is what gives suede its particular feel and look. The term comes from the French word "gants de Suède," which means "glove of Sweden." This is because the cloth is soft, like a glove.

Pigskin nubuck –

produced from the component of pigskin called "Top Grain." It feels soft like velvet and looks like suede. Pigskin nubuck leather is easy to spot because it has short, tiny fibres rubbed on one side to provide a smooth, soft surface. This makes it feel more peaceful than top grain leather in general.

What Can You Do With Pigskin Leather?

Pig leather is best recognised for being used in American football, where the word "pigskin" has come to mean the ball. People liked this material because it could stand up to wear and tear. But even though American football balls are now constructed of vulcanised rubber, the label "pigskin" has stuck around.

Pigskin leather makes many things, such as jackets, couches, bags, and shoes. Pigskin jackets have been more popular over the past few years since they look trendy and comfortable. Pig leather can also be used to cover sofas because it can stand up to everyday wear and tear.

Details about what makes pig leather what it is

Natural or artificial?

Even though pig leather is a natural material that can be found without any extra coatings, the grain of the leather is often changed by the tanneries that create it. With this enhancement, the leather's top layer will become fake, but the leather itself will still be natural.

Surface Texture:

The surface texture of pig leather is something that makes it stand out. Pig leather is smooth, like goat or calf leather, but it has dimples all over its surface. Most of the time, these dimples are groups of three pores from the animal. Tanneries may conceal the bumps to make the texture smoother overall.

The Thickness That's Available:

Pig leather is a thin skin, usually less than 2oz (.8mm) thick. Even though this limits what you can do with pig leather, it makes the leather considerably more flexible and adds to its overall suppleness. Even though the pigskin is thin, it is strong and doesn't wear out easily.

Largest Workable Size:

The sizes of pig leather are one of the biggest variations between calf, goat, and pig leather. Pig leather can be as big as 25 square feet, almost twice as big as other types of leather. Because it's bigger, it's a good choice for making clothes or lining big bags.


One of the most important things about pig leather is that it is flexible. Pig skin is quite loose, mostly because of how thick it is and how it is tanned. Some of the first things people did with this leather were to bind books, which needed to be thick and flexible. Today, pigskin is used to make clothes that let you move about freely.


While pig leather is supple, goat leather is only sometimes as good as it is. Pig leather has looser grain than most leathers but is still softer. It feels like butter and has dimples all over the surface. The grain will be the smoothest and tightest on the back of the leather.


Sewing pig leather is a very average thing to do. Since the leather is thin, drilling holes and threading needles through them will be easy. But because the skin is elastic, it can cause the leather to wrinkle and fold when the thread is pulled tight. Once the tension is right, pig leather won't cause any more problems.


Pigskin is one of the most durable leathers, even though it is thin. It has a lot of elasticity, which makes the leather very strong. It is very resistant to wear and abrasion. The fact that pig leather can be soaked in water without being stiff is the most interesting thing about it.

How easy it is to keep up:

Pig leather is a tough material that may be used a lot without needing a lot of care. The leather won't get scratched, so it will maintain looking good for a long time. Even though pig leather doesn't repel water, it doesn't get stiff when wet. Therefore it doesn't cause structural damage. Like other kinds of leather, pig leather needs to be conditioned occasionally so it doesn't dry out.

When used every day:

Even while pig leather can last a lifetime if it is well taken care of, it may wear out in 20–25 years because it is so thin. The best way to use pig leather is as an interior or with several layers. The leather is very strong, and its only weakness is its thickness.

Available Colors:

Pig leather can be colored and textured in many ways when tanned. Many sneakers are made with pig suede, while clothes have softer textures. Because there are so many colors, patterns, and textures, the leather may be used in many different ways and is not restricted by design.


Pig leather is one of the least waterproof leathers since its surface is full of pores. Water will readily soak into the leather through these pores and won't bead up unless another character is applied to finish it

But water doesn't degrade pig skin as much as it does other leathers. As with other leathers, the surface may change color, and the leather may dry up and need to be conditioned. The difference is that the leather won't get harder. Therefore its structure will stay the same. This is the main distinction between a leather item that is broken and one that is just damaged.


The price is a good thing about buying pig leather. Pig leather is often about $1 per square foot, making it one of the least expensive forms of leather. As the quality of pig leather increases, the price may go up to about $5 per square foot.

Simple to Make:

The fact that pig leather is so thin is the best thing about working with it. This makes it easier to cut and punch, and it lets tools like shears and craft knives cut curved shapes. When it comes to sewing, pig leather gets harder to work with. The leather is very soft when the thread gets tight and wants to bend or wrinkle.

Rareness (Common or Rare):

Pig leather is a prevalent sort of leather. It is the fourth most frequent type of leather made in the world. Nearly 8% of all leather made yearly, or about 900 million square feet, comes from pigs. This leather is easy to find in establishments that sell leather and in the garment and shoe industries.

Pig leather's pros:

Pig leather is cheap and durable, so you should use it. Pig leather can be used in the same ways as leather from calves or goats, but it costs only half as much at up to $5 per square foot. Pig skin also has a high tensile strength and is resistant to wear so it may be utilised with less upkeep. Pig leather is also very soft and flexible, which makes it wonderful for clothing or linings.

How to Take Care of and Keep Pig Leather

Cleaning pig leather:

You should use a horsehair brush to clean pig leather to wipe away any dust or dirt. Water shouldn't be used because it will soon soak into the pig leather. Leather stains can be removed with a damp rag and leather soap, if necessary.

How to take care of pigskin:

When you clean pig leather, you should use a conditioner for the leather. A small amount of conditioner will be put on a clean cloth, and then the fabric will be rubbed over the leather's surface. Pig leather may need less conditioner than other types because the porous surface lets the conditioner soak in better.

How to keep pigskin:

Like other kinds of leather, pig leather should be kept out of direct sunlight and away from water and in a cool place so it doesn't dry up. Leather should also be put in a dust bag to protect the surface.

Leather made from pigskin or cowhide:

Cowhide is the most useful leather, but pigskin is usually softer and has a rougher texture. Both have their uses and benefits, but cowhide is much more prevalent because it is cheaper and there are a lot more of it.


The beef industry is big in the West and Africa; thus, cowhide is a natural and cheap byproduct. Pigskin is a more prevalent byproduct in Asia, where pork is a staple food.


Cowhide is used when an artisan needs a hide of many sizes, such as making a couch or car seat. The average steer is about twice as heavy as the average pig, so its skin is much bigger.


Pigskin is not particularly thick, but it is highly strong. Because of this, it is utilized as a lining in high-quality leather items. When it comes to polo saddles, pigskin and buffalo hide are more expensive than cowhide.


Cowhide has a smoother feel, which makes it good for producing tools and designs. Pigskin has a bumpy texture that feels good but isn't good for tooling.


American football is called "pigskin" because it used to be made of pigskin. Today, cowhide is used instead.

Benefits of Using Pigskin Gloves

Why go through the difficulty of making suede from pigskin? Why not use cowhide, deer, or stingray hide to make work mitts instead of pigskin? There are many solid reasons to go through this process; we will list a few of them here.

Excellent ability to breathe:

When we talked about pig leather, we said it had marks that looked like three dots or dashes that were close together. These spots are utilised to get the fur off the pig. Since the follicles are gone, these many pores make it easy for air to get in and stay longer. Pig leather breathes better than any other leather; therefore, gloves will feel amazing on your hands.

Moisture Resistance:

Even while swine suede is good at letting air in, it is also good at keeping water out. Because of this, pigskin gloves are great for humid places where hands might become damp and uncomfortable. In these conditions, the gloves don't even get stiff. They stay just as soft and nice to touch as you would expect them to be.

Flexible Material:

If you use your hands at work, your gloves must be strong enough to protect them. At the same time, they should be flexible enough to enable you to wiggle your fingers as needed. Pig leather is a great choice for making this balance. Work gloves constructed from it won't slow you down, but they won't lose their strength.

Cleaning is easier:

On top of all that, pigskin gloves can be washed in a machine. Some kinds of leather need to be cleaned and dried by hand; however, pigskin leather may be washed and dried in a machine. The form and size of these mitts will stay the same. Even better, they will work just as well when you take them out as when you put them in.


Even though pig leather might not seem like the most expensive option, it is extremely similar to goat leather. Having most of the same qualities as the other material but being more durable. Pig leather will always be a useful budget liner in my studio.

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