- A -
Alligator: Most skins are from special farms that are primarily
in the United States. Some do come from state supervised hunts. The skins have an
especially high gloss finish with a deep rich color. The distinctive squares are called
Aniline: Full Grain -- a.k.a. cajun leather. Tanned with
aniline and vegetable oils for depth.
Antiqued Leathers: This type of leather finishing occurs where
a contrasting color spot is sprayed on the leather surface. The leather is then rubbed to
- B -
Boarhide: A very heavy grain leather.
Brush Off Leather: Type of leather finish where the tannery
adds color to the surface, then uses a brushing wheel to take off some of the coloring
material which changes the color's tone.
Bull Dog: a.k.a. Nu Buc. A very tightly sueded finish. The
surface of the leather is actually sanded to achieve this look.
Burnish Leather: This finish develops a surface with a look of
great depth. It is accomplished by actually burning the finish on the leather using high
heat caused by friction.
- C -
Calfskin: Leather made from the skins of young cattle. It is
characterized by a natural fine grain. The close pores and tight fiber that make up fewer
surface blemishes add value to this skin. It readily takes and holds a high luster and
Cape Bison: Skin from African Buffalo, a very large ox-like
animal that is found from the cape in Southern Africa to the Northern parts of Mozambique,
Zimbabwe, and Southwest Africa. This leather is usually printed or sueded.
Cowhide Prints: Leather that is printed to replicate exotic
skins. You will see buffalo, elephant, snake, lizard and crocodile prints.
Crazyhorse: An oil stuffed pull up leather.
Crunch: This leather has been wadded, exposed to
high pressure then allowed to dry. The unique pattern is formed when angled sprays are
applied to the finish unevenly.
- D -
Deer Cow: A cowhide tanned to resemble
deerskin's soft supple characteristics.
A type of finish created by scraping the
leather before it is dyed. The ink turns the nicks darker, creating the leather's
distinctive look. This type of finish can also be created by uneven dyeing of the leather.
Driftwood: Type of finish created by dyeing leather after a
bleaching agent has burned creases into the leather. The creases turn dark and leave the
leather with dark lines in it.
- E -
Eel: Supple leather with good strength for it's light weight.
Collected by fishermen from all oceans.
Elephant: Leather made from the hides of the African Elephant
are only available when the herds are culled by the government. The hides are extremely
heavy and thick. The surface has large indentations giving it a crinkled look. It is one
of the most durable leathers available.
Elk: Leather made from the hides of elk. Elk is native to North
- F -
Full-Grain Leather: Leather made from the first cut taken from
the hair side of the hide from which nothing except the hair and associated epidermis has
been removed. Scars, scratches or other imperfections may be lightly buffed.
- G -
Glazed: Type of finish produced by polishing the grain surface
under the heavy pressure of a roller made of agate, metal or glass.
Grubber: A very heavy, coarse sueded split leather.
- H -
Horsehide: European horsehides that are unique by possessing
extreme flexibility and unusual wear characteristics (color, strength and texture).
- I -
- J -
- K -
Kangaroo: Leather made from the hide of kangaroo. Kangaroos are
native to Australia and Tasmania where they are considered pests. They are harvested by
professional hunters who are issued permits by the government. Kangaroo has the highest
tensile strength of any leather, (three times the strength of cowhide at the same
thickness). The grain appearance is similar to that of kidskin.
Kidskin: Leather created from the skins of mature goats. This
leather has great strength and resiliency in relation to its weight and degree of
- L -
Latigo: A type of leather that is tanned but does not have a
finish on it.
Lizard: Made from the skin of the Teju lizard (also called the
alligator lizard) that is found in South America. It is very easily shined because of the
hard tiles on the surface.
- M -
- N -
Napa: Garment weight leather that is soft and supple. Also
known as Shangri-La.
- O -
Ostrich: Skins from the flightless bird native
to southern Africa. The hides are obtained from birds raised on commercial ranches. These
skins are extremely desirable because of the unique grain with quill bumps.
- P -
Paradise Snake: Also known as Karung. This type
of watersnake is found in India and Ceylon. It has a lizard-like scale instead of an
overlapping scale like most other snakes.
Pigskin: Leather made from the skins of pigs or
hogs. It is tough and durable and has compact fibers.
Pioneer: A brand of oil retan leather. Also
known as Velva Retan. After the initial tanning, the leather is subjected to hot steam in
a tanning drum and then shot with hot oil and waxes. The open pores absorb these chemicals
until they are saturated. This leather is primarily for work boots.
Pull-up: Type of leather where the oils migrate
away from a pressure point making the leather look lighter where pulled. This is a sign of
good oil content and better grade leather.
Python: A snake that is a subspecies in the Boa
family. They are large, constricting, non-venomous snakes found in Africa and Asia. The
skins offer many unique patterns. Both belly and back cut are used.
- Q -
- R -
Rattlesnake: These poisonous snakes are native
to the United States. There are several species. Eastern, Western, and Cane Break are
currently used. The snakes are collected through round-ups.
Rough-Out: Leather where the meat or flesh side
of the skin is used.
- S -
Sea Snake: A very poisonous snake that is caught
in the Indian Ocean. They have paddle-like tails to adapt to their deep ocean habitat.
They travel in large numbers and are caught in deep nets.
Shark: Leather made from the skins of various
sharks found in warmer coastal waters. The leather has a very high resistance to abrasion
and scuffing and is one of the toughest hides available.
Shrunken Shoulder: Leather taken from the
shoulder of bulls. The skin is physically reduced in size and leaves the leather with a
distinct pattern and texture.
Sueded Leathers: This is a type of leather
tanning. The fibers of the leather are separated in order to give the leather a nap or
- T -
Tamaro: Also called corrected grain. The grain
of the leather is sanded smooth before finishing.
Teak: Refers to a leather with a
sprayed and buffed finish. It gives the leather an antique look.
Tigersnake: A type
of watersnake found in Southeast Asia. Also known as Chouri.
- U -
- V -
Vipers: Venomous snake native to Europe and Asia. The most
popular viper is the cobra.
- W -
Water Buffalo: Mammal from the India Subcontinent and
Indo-China. The leather holds a print somewhat better than cowhide.
Whipsnakes: A member of the watersnake family, native to Asia.
Watersnake: Refers to the species of snake known
as Aires native to Southeast Asia. All watersnakes are caught twice a year during the
monsoons using nets.
- X -
- Y -
- Z -