Leather is an incredibly versatile and durable material that has been used for centuries in the production of clothing and accessories. There are several different types of leather available on the market, each with a unique set of characteristics and differences. In this article, we will explore the characteristics and differences between cow, calf, horse, shell cordovan, goat, kangaroo and deer leathers.
But first, I will explain about the tanning of leather:
Now, I can explain you about the different leathers that I use to make your shoes:
Cow leather is one of the most popular and widely used types of leather. It is typically very tough and durable, making it ideal for use in the production of shoes, bags, and belts. Cow leather is generally quite thick and has a rough texture, with obvious grain patterns and visible pores. It can be dyed in a variety of colors and it is relatively affordable compared to other types of leather.
One of the key characteristics of cow leather is its strength. It has a high resistance to abrasion and can withstand a considerable amount of wear and tear without showing signs of damage. This makes it an ideal choice for items that will be subjected to intense use, such as work boots or heavy-duty bags. Additionally, cow leather is easy to maintain and can be cleaned with a damp cloth or a mild leather cleaner.
I use cow leather mainly for the midsoles and the outsoles of your boots. I also use it to make belts, and in some cases I send it to be split for making bespoke shoes.
Calf leather is a lighter and softer version of cow leather, which is typically taken from young animals. It has a smoother surface and is more supple than cow leather, making it ideal for use in the production of fine clothing and accessories. Calf leather is often used in the production of high-end shoes, handbags, and wallets.
The main difference between cow leather and calf leather is their thickness. Calf leather is typically thinner and more delicate than cow leather, which makes it unsuitable for heavy-duty applications. However, it is softer and more flexible, which makes it more comfortable to wear and easier to shape.
J&FJ Baker Tannery makes this unique oak bark tanned Russian Hatch Calf that is renown around the world for its quality and texture.
Horse leather is a tough and durable leather that is often used in the production of high-end shoes and boots. It has a very tight grain that is smaller and more regular than cow leather, giving it a smoother and more refined appearance. Horse leather is also highly resistant to water and can withstand exposure to harsh conditions without deteriorating.
While not as common as cow or calf leather, horse leather has some unique characteristics that make it a valuable material in the leather industry. It is very strong and durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear without showing signs of damage. It is also very flexible, allowing it to be shaped and molded into various shapes and sizes.
Shell Cordovan Leather
Shell cordovan leather is a unique and highly prized type of leather that is made using the hindquarters of a horse. It is one of the most expensive and rare types of leather on the market, and is typically used in the production of high-end shoes and accessories. The unique properties of shell cordovan leather make it highly sought after by luxury brands and discerning customers.
One of the key characteristics of shell cordovan leather is its durability. It is extremely tough and can withstand a considerable amount of wear and tear without showing signs of damage. Additionally, it has a unique sheen that gives it a distinctive and luxurious appearance. Shell cordovan leather is typically available in a limited range of colors, but it is highly sought after for its quality and appearance.
Goat leather is a softer and more flexible type of leather that is typically used in the production of clothing, footwear, and accessories. It is more delicate than cow leather and is often used to create lighter and more breathable items. Goat leather has a natural sheen that makes it highly attractive, and it is available in a range of colors and finishes.
One of the key characteristics of goat leather is its softness and flexibility. It can be easily molded and shaped into various forms, which makes it ideal for use in the production of gloves, jackets, and other items that require a lot of dexterity. Goat leather is also relatively lightweight, which makes it a popular choice for summer clothing and accessories.
Kangaroo leather is known for its high tensile strength, durability, and softness. It is a lightweight and flexible leather that has a tight fiber structure, which makes it less prone to stretching or tearing when compared to other types of leather. Additionally, Kangaroo leather has a natural water resistance which makes it suitable for a range of products including gloves, shoes, and even motorcycle racing suits. The leather has a unique grain pattern that is well suited for decorative embossing or stamping. Lastly, Kangaroo leather is considered eco-friendly because the kangaroo industry in Australia is heavily regulated and sustainable.
Deer leather is a soft and supple type of leather that is often used in the production of high-end gloves, jackets, and boots. It has a distinctive grain pattern that is smooth and uniform, giving it a refined appearance. Deer leather is also very strong and durable, making it ideal for use in heavy-duty applications.
One of the key characteristics of deer leather is its softness and flexibility. It is extremely comfortable to wear and can conform to the shape of the body, making it a popular choice for items that require a lot of movement, such as gloves or shoes. Deer leather is also highly breathable, which makes it ideal for warm weather clothing.
Also, as a wild animal, the leather presents scratches, marks, scars, making it unique, rustic and very characteristic.
In conclusion, there are several different types of leather available on the market, each with their own unique set of characteristics and differences. Cow leather is tough and durable, calf leather is softer and more flexible, horse leather is highly resistant to water and tough, shell cordovan leather is highly prized for its unique sheen, goat leather is soft and flexible, kangaroo has high tensile strength yet very thin, and deer leather is soft and supple. When choosing the right type of leather for your needs, it is important to consider the intended use and your personal preferences. By understanding the differences between these types of leather, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.