What Is Cow Leather?


Cow Leather Hide

Cow Leather Hide

Today there are around 1.3 billion cattle in the world, grazing, sleeping, eating and farting!

On average 63% of leather is from cows, that a massive proportion compared to other animals, with 15% coming from sheep.

Cow Leather is used in a large number of markets, including furniture, cars, shoes, handbags, clothing and even floor and wall leather tiles.

India has the largest cattle in the world pipping Brazil to the post, India has over 305 million cattle where Brazil once the leaders has now only got 232.3 million cattle, this is followed by who has 96.8 million and then the USA with 94.4 million cattle, the European Union has 88.4 million cattle.


Cow Leather Skin Pigmented

Cow Leather Skin Pigmented With Embossed Grain Patterns.

When cow hides are first made they are salted and then sorted into sizes and grades.

Cow leather hides come in a variety of finishes, including hair on hides, aniline leather, crust leathers, saddle leathers, semi aniline leathers, nappa leathers and suede leathers.

Cow leather is the most common leather used in the automotive industry and in the furniture industry due to its natural size, luxury car makers like Rolls Royce and Bentley use cow leather from cooler climates, just as Connolly leather used to. The reason for these being used from places like Austria and Switzerland was because the cattle were kept inside due to the colder climates, this produced a much finer better quality leather hide that had no damage to it resulting in a much more natural luxury leather hide for use in the automotive industry.


Cow Leather Car Seat Connolly Tanned

Cow Leather Car Seat Connolly Tanned

Panels on leather furniture that are extremely large like on the reverse are normally made from splits and bonded leather as you are not sitting on these and they are not getting any wear and tear there is no need to put a 100% genuine cow leather in these areas. So, when buying a leather sofa make sure you ask the questions is this full 100% genuine leather or does this contain any splits, or bonded leather materials, make sure you always get this in writing.

The most common type of cow leather used today is a pigmented coated leather, this is chrome tanned in the traditional methods and then finished and a grain pattern is heat embossed to the leather hide and then it is finished with a pigment paint followed by a PU clear coat is applied to give protection to the painted surface this surface coating must not exceed 0.15mm if the surface coating exceeds this worldwide industry standards states this can’t be classed as genuine leather and the word leather should not be used for this type of material as its against industry guidelines.

Cow Leather is used in many different markets including shows and motorcycle clothing as it provides a strong protective layer for bike riders.


Cow Leather Boots

Cow Leather Boots

Cow leather is naturally very strong and tough and very water resistant due to the protective coatings that have been applied in the tannery. There is a myth that modern pigmented leather should not be protected with protection products, this is very false and this must be protected more so today to avoid UV rays attacking the finish and breaking down the coating, modern leather still has a breathability level of around 1% and it’s essential that this is protected to avoid early damage taking place to the cow leather hides.

Many different products can be purchased to provide protection layers to cow leathers to extend the life of the hide, visit Restorers

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