by Jennifer Smith August 20, 2022 6 min read

When you buy leather garments and accessories, knowing the different types of leather helps you make the right choice for yourself. Leather is sourced from the skins of different animals, such as cows, goats, sheep, and lambs. All of them have varying properties that make them suitable for different needs. In this blog, we will shed light on one of the most sought after choices, cowhide leather. 

Cowhide leather is a highly reliable choice, whether you are looking for comfortable men's winter jackets, or a sturdy leather bag. Let's learn all about the qualities of cow skin and cowhide leather and how it varies from the other types of leather. 

What are Cowhides?

Cowhide is the skin of cows that hasn't been processed into leather. It's the most common source of leather, due to it being a byproduct of the food industry. 

The rawhide, in its natural condition, has all the hair and fur attached to it. Later on, all the hair, fur, and fat are removed while turning the hide into leather. 

Cow Skins Features

Before the tanning process, cow skin is decayable. With all its physical characteristics intact, the skin is warm, elastic, and heavy. Unlike the skins of other animals, an ample supply of cowhides is easily sourced.  

What is Cowhide Leather?

Cowhide leather is basically the cow skin that goes under the tanning process to become suitable for use. Tanning is the process where the hide is treated with natural substances and chemicals to prevent decay. Cowhide undergoes chrome tanning that gives texture, durability and a particular odor to the hide. As a result, the cow skin becomes suitable for manufacturing various leather goods.

The quality of the cowhide leather depends upon how it is split and dyed. 

One can spot cowhide leather with its natural structure that has imperfections. 

Cowhide leather is not only one of the best for leather jackets. It has a wide range of uses, including accessories such as belts, wallets, and hats. Furniture upholstery, saddles, and shoes made with cowhide leather are highly durable. Getting yourcustom leather jacket made with cowhide leather would be an excellent choice for your wardrobe. 

Cowhide Leather Features

Real cowhide leather possesses excellent qualities that make it a choice worth having. Its tensile strength is hands down the top characteristic, which makes it an appropriate raw material for durable leather goods. 

As the cowhide leather ages, it acquires a natural patina, the term used for a vintage shine. Here are some of the best features of cowhide leather. 


As mentioned earlier, the durability of the cowhide is far better than other types of softer leathers. It has a high density, which means that it cannot be ripped easily. Cowhide leather is invulnerable to environmental influences to a higher extent and even resists mechanical abrasions of any sort. However, the strength of the cowhide leather highly depends upon the thickness of the rawhide, and the grade of leather. 

Long Lasting

A splendid cowhide leather bomber jacket is passed on to generations for a reason. The longevity of cowhide leather is undeniable. Given you take care of it properly, it will last with you for a lifetime. It even gets more comfortable and has an incredible appearance as it ages. 


Although not as flexible as goatskin or sheepskin leather, cowhide leather has an adequate level of elasticity that makes it bendable. It's thick and strong, due to which it cannot stretch much. 


If the endurance and warmth of the cowhide leather were not convincing enough to buy your next leatherwear, its breathability would surely do. Animal hides are porous, which makes real leather products breathable. A cowhide leather jacket, for instance, allows air to pass through it, but it also never fails to keep you warm. 

Warmth and Comfort

Cowhide leather is one of the most sought after choices for harsh weather conditions, such as snowfall and windy weather. As the cowhide leather is heavy and thick, it protects you from elements in a better way than other types of leather would do. 

For the winter season, you can opt for fur lined cowhideleather trench coats and jackets to stay cozy and comfortable. Read ourleather jacket lining guide to learn what other types of lining are appropriate for your specific needs. 

How to Clean Cowhide Leather?

There are manyways to clean leather wear made with cowhide. For mild cleaning, use a soft brush to get rid of dirt from cowhide leather. If using mild dish soap and water for cleaning, immediately use a barely damp cotton rag to wipe off your cowhide leather product and let it dry in the air. Keep it away from sunlight and harsh cleaning products. 

Leather cleaning products from reliable brands are also safe to use. However, according to the information from various sources on the internet, it is best to get your leather product cleaned professionally to keep it in good condition for a long time. 

Difference Between Cowhide and Other Types of Leather

One of the most frequently asked questions about leather wear is what type of leather should one go for. Certain types of products require different types of leather. You may be tempted to buy a motorcycle jacket for men in lambskin leather for its softness and flexibility, but a durable, more tensile cowhide leather jacket may be the right choice to keep you warm and protected. 

However, it doesn't imply that other types of leather are not worth opting for. Each type of leather has its pros and cons, such as sheepskin leather being more flexible than cowhide leather. So you can make a choice according to your particular needs. 

Comparing Cowhide to Sheepskin

As compared to sheepskin leather, cowhide is much thicker and heavier. This quality results in cowhide leather being better at insulation. Also, sheepskin leather cannot beat cowhide leather in terms of tensile strength. That's why a jacket made of cowhide would last much longer than a sheepskin leather jacket. 

Sheepskin leather is much more flexible and supple than cowhide leather. It is, therefore, the right choice for accessories such as gloves and leather pants. 

Comparing Cowhide to Lambskin

The look and feel of lambskin leather may be better than cowhide leather, but it is a very delicate material. Being vulnerable to stains, tears, and scuffs, lambskin leather products may not give you as much use as cowhide leather products. If you prioritize softness and flexibility, then lambskin leather would be the better choice. 

Comparing Cowhide to Goatskin

Goatskin leather is known for its smooth fine grain and breathability. Jackets made with goatskin leather are lightweight, and a popular choice asstylish summer jackets. Lanoline is naturally present on goatskin, making it easier to maintain that cowhide leather. 

Cowhide, as compared to goatskin, is more heavy and warm. Whereas goatskin is better at flexibility. Both types of leather are highly durable, and resistant to abrasion. 


How to Soften Cowhide Leather?

If you need to soften your cowhide leather product to keep it protected from drying, the best thing to use is natural oils. A few commonly available choices are mink oil, lanolin, or almond oil. Applying these oils will moisten the leather deeply, resulting in softness. 

Is Cowhide Leather Real Leather?

If you check the product specification or tags, the mention of genuine cowhide leather means that it is sourced from real cow skin. The tanning and curing processes turn the rawhide into usable material which can be made into various long-lasting goods.

Does Cowhide Leather Last Long?

Nothing can challenge the durability of authentic cowhide leather. It lasts way longer than fabric, probably a lifetime. 

Is Cowhide Leather Expensive?

All over the world, bovine cattle are largely used for food. Hence, there is ample cowskin available that is turned into leather. Due to easy availability and abundant supply, cowhide leather is quite affordable. 

Wrapping Up on the Cowhide Leather

Cowhide leather, without any doubt, is the most reliable choice for leather goods. Being highly accessible, it is affordable, besides being highly durable and warm. Due to these incredible qualities, cowhide leather is extensively used to make leather furniture, luggage, jackets, coats, and a myriad of accessories.

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