Types of Leather: Animals
Though most people may think of leather as cattle hide, there are many other animal skins that can be turned into leather.
You can get leather from animals ranging from alligators, pigs, to eels. Every animal produces a unique hide for any task or occasion.
Here are just a few animals that are used for as leather, and their characteristics:
1. Cattle Leather:
Hide from cattle is the most popular and common type of leather. It is no surprise that cattle leather is the most common, because there are over 1,400,000,000 heads of cattle in the world today, and the number is steadily increasing.
Cattle leather is tear resistant, puncture resistant, has a high tensile strength and has good heat insulation. Cattle leather is also a more economical leather option compared to crocodile or other exotic leathers.
2. Fish Leather:
Salmon leather is the most popular of all fish leathers. Fish leathers come in many colors ranging from metallic silver to bright red.
Fish leathers have a unique pattern, with lines where the scales once were. The patterns look very exact and the same throughout the one piece of leather. Fish leather, like all other leathers must be processed and tanned. Many fish leathers are glazed for a shiny look. Find out more about fish leather.
3. Deerskin Leather:
Deer leather is supple and soft, which makes it ideal for clothing and accessories like gloves. It is also a very thin leather making it more flexible, but not as durable as cattle leather. However, it is still very durable for its thinness.
Compared to cowhide leather it is much softer, but much more expensive. Deer leather is also not as moisture resistant. Overall, deer leather is extremely comfortable and soft, but not the most versatile leather.
4. Crocodile or Alligator Leather:
Crocodile and alligator leathers usually come from farmed crocodiles and alligators because they are protected throughout the world.
Their rareness makes crocodile and alligator leathers very expensive and is mainly used in designer handbags or shoes, belts or hats. Their hides used for leather are usually from their softer bellies and sides, instead of their backs which are very thick and rough. Their hides are then tanned then sold around the world and used for goods like wallets.)
5. Pig or Hog Leather:
Pig leather is most famously used in some footballs, but it is also used in many other household items, journals and garments. Pig skins are thin yet durable, which is one reason it is used in many fine leather items, like purses.
If you have held a pigskin item you may have noticed that it has a soft but bumpy texture, unlike leather which is smooth. The dappled quality of pig leather makes it unsuitable for certain goods, but more desirable for others. Cattle leather is more common than pig leather, but pig leather is softer.
Do you own any products with either of these types of leather? Leave a comment below.