The properties of leather vary considerably depending upon the type and quality of both the skins and the tanning process. Every piece of leather has individual markings which relate to its origins and add character to each skin. Like a fine wine, a good quality leather garment should improve with age. The natural elasticity of each hide means it is flexible and will stretch and return to its original shape. Leather also has a natural tendency to repel liquids and resist staining. It's also fire resistant, and emits no toxic fumes, even when exposed to intense heat. Relative to virtually all man-made textiles, leather is very strong and has a high resistance level to tears and punctures. The comfort provided by most leather goods is due in part to leather's ability to combine breathing and insulating properties. You may have heard... "Leather is hot in summer and cold in winter." In reality, leather adjusts constantly to its environment. Because it is a natural product, leather "breathes" freely, maintaining a comfort level in all seasons.
This is the most common leather used in the making of garments, furniture and leather goods. Cowhide as a category covers a wide spectrum of textures and quality, but generally, it is quite durable, easy to care for and resistant to water and dirt. Cowhide leather will maintain its integrity, taking on the shape of the wearer, making it more comfortable with everyday use. This affordable, functional leather offers fashion, value and endless colors and styles. See "Naked", "Premium", "Milled", and "Split".
This leather comes from the water buffalo common to areas of Asia and the Middle East. The leather is quite durable, easy to care for and resistant to water and scratches. It has a finer texture than cowhide, thus the finished product is smoother and softer. It is also thicker than cowhide, making it very durable. The durability is excellent and the tear resistance superb. See "Naked", "Premium", "Milled", and "Split".
Leather from deer, which has an attractive combination of softness, durability and light weight. It also has the unique quality of keeping its soft texture even after becoming wet and drying.
Compared to cowhide, it has a coarser grain but can be finished to a texture that nearly matches that of cowhide. Goat leather is durable and naturally water resistant. It is lightweight and can be shaved quite thin to allow for a closer fit.
This is quite similar in appearance to sheepskin. The term shearling refers to hides from lambs which are generally much lighter in weight than sheepskin hides and much softer. Although they may be lighter, shearling coats are just as warm as the heavier sheepskin. They are an elegant alternative to a fur coat.