Hide Types & Sizes

Types of leather

No other fabric can compare with the unique textures, rich colors, strength, or smell of real leather. It’s in a category all its own with different sizes, weights, types, and prices. The joy of working with real leather is all in the longevity of the finished projects, garments, and accessories that last well beyond the years of any other fabric or fiber.

Below is a general categorization of the many types of leather:

Leather TypeDescriptionTannageUsed for:
BridleFirm, rich-colored leather with just enough oils to withstand weather. Can be oiled for darker hues.VegetableBelts, straps, fine pet collars, leashes, gun belts.
Chrome Oil TannedBeautiful, durable leather with the right amount of oil for a soft, supple feel.ChromeChaps, cases & bags, boots.
KipskinProduced from smaller calf hides and generally very clean. Good for dye and stamping.Vegetable Re-tannedBelt liners, personal leather goods.
LatigoA combination tanned leather designed to be rigid yet very pliable. Good for products in which strength and flexibility are needed. Chrome Vegetable Re-tannedTack, straps, belts, pet collars, leashes, cinches.
Vegetable Tan Strap, Tooling & MoldingLeather for tooling, embossing, molding, dyeing & oiling. Uniformly absorbs dyes and oils. Dries to a firm, long-lasting shape. VegetableBelts, straps, holsters & sheaths.
Shearlings & SheepskinsQuality wool sheepskins in a variety of thicknesses.Vegetable & Chrome tanned varietiesLining saddles, padding, ect.
SuedeLeather finished by buffing the flesh side of the hide to produce a “nap”. ChromeChaps, garments, trim.
UpholsteryWhole hides tanned for applications where large pieces of leather are required. Typically soft, supple, strong and durable. ChromeUpholstery, garments.

Hide Sizes, Sections & Surface Variations

Hides come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the animal the hide originates from. The following are diagrams and average sizes for various types.

For a cowhide, the below diagram illustrates the various sections the raw hide

Hide Area Descriptions

a. Cheek

b. Face

c. Shoulder (double)

d. Fore shank

e. Belly

f. Bend

g. Butt

h. Belly Middle

i. Hind Shank

The below diagram illustrates the various surface variations that can occur on a cow hide: