Cowhide Leather


cross-section of a cowhide

Leather Hide

Definition of Cowhide Leather

A cowhide is the natural and unbleached hair and skin of a cow that’s treated to form leather. 

Cowhide leather is by far the most common leather type, contributing close to 70% of the entire hide production across the globe. 

It’s normally one of the cheapest leather because of its simple and inexpensive production process. 

The key features of cowhide leather include: 

  • Thickness ranging from 3–5 oz.
  • Soft firmness
  • Tanned mainly through chrome-tanning 
  • Size ranging from 40–60 sq. feet
  • Multiple finishing that can be printed, embossed, or aniline

Most cowhide leather is tanned without hair on it. But it's still possible to process the cowhide into leather with hair/fur on it, as shown below.

cowhides with hair in the tannery

The fur on the leather can also be dyed, then a pattern lasered on it and printed, giving the leather a unique look.

hair-on cowhide leather printed with different patterns

Example of Cowhide Leather in a Sentence

"That handle grip is made from soft cowhide leather and comes in brown, black, or white."

Related Terms for Cowhide Leather