Leather is a highly durable material made by tanning hide or skin of animals. Animal skin undergoes a preservation process i.e. a chemical treatment called tanning to convert the otherwise perishable skin to a non-decaying material called leather. The skin of the larger animals like cow or horse is termed as hide whereas skin of smaller animals like sheep or goat is termed as skin. Leather mostly comes from cattle as a byproduct of the meat industry. Leather of Different Animals
Cow Hide – The most commonly used leather is made from cow hide that is used to produce a large variety of leather products. Leather made from the hide of the adult cow is known as the most versatile leather. The cow leather can be soft and thick and abrasion resistant which makes it a good choice of leather for heavy duty wear.
Buffalo Hide – Buffalo hide is a lot like cowhide but it can be stiffer and has more pronounced leather pattern like deeper groves and cuts. Leather made from buffalo hide can also be used in making of vests, jackets, pants, bags and can also be used for making rugged items like rugs and shoes. A jacket made from buffalo leather is extremely durable and can last a lifetime.
Lamb Skin – Sheep and lamb skin is very soft, supple and light weight. Ideally it is not recommended for making hard wearing items like motorcycle jackets but it is generally used to make garments, trench coats along with pants and gloves. This is the leather of choice for most of the big fashion houses for their jackets and purses.
Deer Skin – Leather made from the deer skin is the toughest leather available and has high tensile strength, abrasion resistant and offers high durability. The skin of the deer is extremely soft and comfortable and has a spongy feel. The light weight, water-friendly and stretchy leather is quite expensive and is generally used for making handbags, wallets and upholstery. It was the leather of choice for Native Americans for their garments.
Goat Skin – Goat skin leather is strong, durable having smooth fine grain and is quite economical. The goat skin leather is tougher than cow leather and is supple, comfortable, light-weight and water resistant and it is relatively cheap. The goat skin leather is used for making clothes, book covers, gloves, shoes and bags.