Difference Between Cowhide Leather and Skin

The History of Cowhide Leather and Skins Over the Years

Humans have been using different kinds of animal hides for thousands of years. Early humans used cow leather, sheep leather, buffalo leather, goat leather, calf leather, and all manner of animal skin to make leather products.

Some of the very early processes humans used to turn animal hides into highly durable and comfortable leather included the use of scrapers to remove the hides from the skin. Later on, humans started tanning leather to make water-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and highly durable leather.

Read on to learn more about the difference between cowhide leather and other animal skin, as well as where to find a wide range of leather products today.

What Does Cowhide Mean?

Cowhide means any skin obtained from a bovine (usually a cow), which is then tanned and worked in a number of ways while in its whole shape. In industry terminology, cowhide leather is usually unbleached cow skin and hair that is then worked according to the different patterns of fashion or consumer needs.

What Is Cowhide Leather Made Out Of?

In general, cowhide leather is any leather derived from bovines. An extremely durable leather, cowhide leather is made from buffalo skin or cow skin leather and retains the original shape of the animal used to produce it. The majority of cowhide leather is made from whole skins that are chrome-tanned rather than veg-tanned leather hides. Vegetable leather tan strips, however, are very popular and in high demand due to their rich patina and patterns.

Is Real Leather Cow Skin?

Real leather is not necessarily cowskin but rather any leather made from animal skin rather than synthetic materials. As such, real leather is any leather made commonly from cowhide and from other animals, including alligators, snakes, buffalo, goats, and other animals.

What Is Cowhide Mainly Used For?

Cowhide is a common type of leather that is used to make different kinds of leather products, from the fashion industry to everyday products such as chrome-tanned mixed-color upholstery leather items, wallets, and boots.

This type of leather has become one of the most popular materials in the fashion industry as it has been used to make anything from briefcases, wallets, backpacks, belts, fashionable boots, leather coats, motorcycle jackets, purses, and attractive coats.

Aside from that, cowhide leather has also been used to make home décor items that include anything from a cowhide rug, a coaster, Christmas stockings, shoes, and upholstery or furniture.

Cowhide leather may be used to make all manner of leather products due to its water resistance, durability, and versatility. This means the same material can be used to make extremely soft and supple products and some of the toughest leathers for heavy-use applications.

How Much Is a Cowhide Worth?

Given its many uses, many people wonder if cowhide leather is expensive. In general, cowhide leather tends to be one of the cheapest kinds of leather as compared to other leathers such as goatskin leather or sheepskin.

Still, it is important to remember that the different kinds of grades and finishes may result in differences in the final price of the leather. Cowhide also tends to be relatively cheaper given the fact that it is a waste material of the food industry and is a very common hide on the market.

The difference in the final price exists for the most part due to the type of tanning processes and finishing that is used. For instance, premium aniline and semi-aniline finish make for high-quality leather that is used in high-end furniture or luxury skin leather items such as car interiors and luxury bags.

Skin: What Is it?

Skin usually refers to any material used to make leather goods that are obtained from animals. In general, any dermal covering of animal origin can be tanned or processed to produce leather. This includes pre-tanned leather and tanned leather (including crust, wet white, and wet blue) as well as raw hides from animals (such as ovine, bovine, swine, caprine, and equine, among others).

Ultimately, skin refers to finished and semi-finished skins in the intermediate pt final stage of processing which may include:

  • Preliminary mechanical and chemical operations and "riviera" works

  • The tanning process, which is intended to provide the stable physical characteristics of the leather

  • Dyeing, tanning, and possibly fattening, which are done according to what use is intended for the leather or customer requirements

  • Finishing touches and works that are intended to provide semi-finished leather, depending on what product is to be made

What Is Skin Mainly Used For?

Animal Skin has been used for a very long time to make all kinds of leather products, such as leather jackets, purses, belts, shoes, handbags, and wallets, among other products.

Our upholstery leather remnants are a go-to to make these items. Extra heavy 10oz-14oz vegetable tanned leather is commonly used in saddles, holsters, belts, wallets, and journal covers, which are subjected to a lot of wear and tear.

Starting out with leather crafting can be easy with our two pounds colorful veg tan leather Scrap, which can be used for knife sheaths, gun holsters, tooling practice, and more.


Are Other Skins More Expensive Than Cowhide?

Animal skins and hides are not very expensive given that they are often deemed the waste product of animal processing. Still, the prices will usually change depending on how far along the animal skins have been processed before they are sold.

The finishing processes that are used will greatly affect the prices that are likely to be charged on the finished skins. Another significant aspect that will determine the worth of leather has to do with how rare or sought-after the given skin leather is.

Overall, leathers made from crocodile skin, ostrich skin, snakeskin, and deerskin are very expensive since they are very rare. Moreover, they tend to be highly sought after for the manufacture of high-end luxury items.

Most skin leather comes with attributes such as high luster, water resistance, as well as a soft and supple nature, making them suitable for many different purposes. As such, most skin leather tends to be relatively expensive as compared to cowhide leather.

Cowhide or Other Animal Skin?

If you are looking for premium leather, Stonestreet Leather is the right place to be. We provide all kinds of customized leather shapes, extra heavy veg tan leather scrap, belt blanks, two pounds heavy weight thick 6/7oz, 8/9oz and 10-12oz veg tan leather scrap, printed and embossed leather, upholstery leather, and much more.

We also provide a wide range of shipping options depending on your location and convenience preferences.