Animal skins and furs have been used by humans for centuries, since at least 3000BC, where animal materials were commonly used for warmth and shelter. Nowadays, leather products are becoming increasingly popular due to their versatility and long-standing nature. The modern appeal for leather stems from its decorative elements, whether it be for furniture or apparel. Cowhide is the most well-known animal skin product and is the optimum choice for rugs (cowhide rugs) and upholstery, such as butterfly chairs. Cowhide leather is durable, soft and easy to care for.
Benefits of Cowhide Leather
Cowhide is one of the thickest types of leather, which accounts for its strength and durability. Unlike most variations of leather, cowhide is waterproof, doesn’t rip or tear easily, and is also resistant to cracking. Along with this, cowhide is also:
- Naturally hypoallergenic
- Comfortable to wear
- Resistant to sun and heat damage
- And, it can last five times as long as fabric!
How is Cowhide Leather Made?
Contrary to popular belief, the cowhide manufacturing process is humane. Cowhides are a by-product of the meat and dairy industry, meaning no cows are killed specifically for their hides. Izel Design’s cowhide rugs are sourced from ethical, independent wholesalers in South America, who collect the hides directly from slaughterhouses.
The Manufacturing Process
Once the cow’s skin has been collected, it is ‘fleshed’ to remove all the excess fat, muscle and flesh which is attached to the skin. The hide is then salted to eliminate bacteria, protect it from moult and to preserve it. After being cured with salt, the skin is cleaned and stretched flat to dry.
Once dry, the cowhide can be tanned. ‘Tanning’ refers to the process of treating the animal skin to turn it into soft and durable leather. The ‘hair on hiding’ method is typically used for the creation of rugs, and if colour loss occurs, the hide is treated with fats and dyes to revert it back to its original colouring and pattern. Although cowhides can have a distinctive leather smell, they do not contain chemicals, fumes or remnants of the tanning process once sold.
Entirely Unique Cowhides
Authentic cowhides showcase the natural colours, markings, features, shapes and textures of the cows they came from. Because every cow has its own distinctive pattern, no two hides will ever truly be the same. This presents a fantastic opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind exotic product.
Cowhides can also be treated with different finishes, such as metallic gold, to create a more modern appeal which retains the original markings.
Shop Izel Designs
Lux & Hide offers a wide variety of unique cowhide leather products and accessories, delivered straight to your door. Shop the range online here.
We can also assist you in finding that perfect style product for your home, whether that's requesting a specific colour/size cowhide rug that we might not already have in stock! Please feel free to contact us for any enquiries as we are always happy to help.