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A Buying Guide for

The leather used by the fashion industry can be made from the skins of different animals and, 

except for exotics skins, it is always a by-product of the meat industry. 

Leather tanning has been around for centuries and because of the different sizes, thicknesses and specifics, each animal can be better suited for a very specific use. 

A cow is significantly bigger than a goat and that’s why you don’t see many sofas around made out of goat leather. 

Below you will find a representation of the shape and size of the most common skins and cuts utilized by the fashion manufacturers.  


and most common skin 



A full cow hide because of its size is normally destined to the upholstery manufacturing which requires bigger panels and trims and occasionally to handbag.

Skins produced for accessories and footwear are normally cut in halves as these are easier to manage with smaller drums used to dye sample runs and the machineries used to dry the skins and apply all the different finishing and embellishments.


Full Cow.png
Half Cow.png

48/50 sqft
Full Cow Hide

22/24 sqft
Half Cow Hide


Smaller animals also means a tighter, more compact and uniform skins, less scratches and blemishes and in general a higher overall quality. 

Calf hides are used for high-end accessories manufacturing (bags and shoes) and are normally more expensive than bigger cow skins.


Baby-Calf skins in the 8/10 sqft size mostly just for footwear and small leather goods.


Full Cow.png
Half Cow.png

8/10 sqft
Baby Calf

12/14 sqft
Half Calf Hide

Man Made
LWG Info
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