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What Is Cowhide Leather?

You wear that cowhide well. Often referred to as "leather," cowhide is an animal hide derived from the hide of the cow. Cowhide leather has been used for centuries for its durability, as it can withstand strong chemical and abrasion as well as ensuring your jacket lasts a long time. 

This article will explain what cowhide leather is. It will also compare the differences between cowhide, sheepskin, goatskin and lambskin leather. 

We will also talk about different styles of leather jackets. Finally we will discuss where to buy a good quality cowhide leather jacket. 

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What is Cowhide Leather? Grab a snack, get comfy and read this article through to the end and find out!

What Is Cowhide Leather?

close up shot of cowhide leather

Cowhide leather is prized for its durability and softness. It is the preferred material for jackets, shoes, belts, bags, and countless other products. 

There are many varieties of cow hide leather, but they all fall into two categories: cattle hide and cow hide. Cattle hide leather is made from the skin of various cattle such as sheep, lamb and other animals, while cowhide is made from the skin of the cow itself. 

Some of the most popular cow hide leather options include cattle skin, calfskin, goathide, and sheepskin.

Cowhide Versus Other Types of Leather

Now that you know what cowhide is and have seen a few pictures of cowhide you are probably wondering what other types of leather are there? 

Here are some examples: 

Lambskin Beefhide 

Lambskin is of course made from lambs. It is hairless and tends to be lighter in color than cowhide but it's still pretty tough. 

Lambskin is one of the softest leathers in the world. 

Herd of Jersey 

Jersey is a cowhide made exclusively from the hides of Jersey cows. It tends to be very soft and pliable. The leather is thin enough to be made into shirts and jerseys.

Goat's Hide 

Goat's hide is a very tough hide for leather. It's the strongest material that can be made from the skin of a goat and is commonly used for boots, bags, belts, shoes, wallets and belts.

Cowhide Versus Goatskin

Suede is goatskin leather and a suede shoe has no cowhide in it, yet people often confuse cowhide with the word "suede". Sheepskin or cashmere is also an animal hide. 

Although goatskin is often referred to as "cashmere," it is not the same as cowhide and cashmere does not have a protective outer layer called a sheath. 

The sheath in a sheepskin is actually the skin surrounding the wool. Sheepskin or cashmere has a sheath that looks very similar to the sheath in a cowhide. 

These two animals have much in common however as both of these animals belong to the "cattle family."

Goat skins have a sheath that covers their skin, rather than being one continuous layer. The fiber in a sheepskin is very thick and it is called "cashmere." 

As you may have guessed by now, the name "cashmere" is a bit more premium sounding.

Cowhide Versus Sheepskin

Cowhide is from a cow that is processed for its hides by culling the calf, not the full grown calf. The hide is then left to dry naturally for 8-10 months. 

It is then dyed and allowed to dry again for 4-6 months. The process allows the pores to open and the new proteins to get to work.

The staining is a natural process, which means that it can be dyed to a variety of colors, but is typically the tan tan colors of the cowhide. 

On the other hand, sheepskin is sourced from the fleece of the sheep. The fleece is collected by the shearer as soon as the sheep is slaughtered. 

It is then bleached and saved for future use. The process is different as sheepskin does not come from a clean kill like cows, which allows their blood and other contaminants to remain.

Cowhide Versus Lambskin

Ever wonder what exactly separates cowhide and lambskin? These two skins are just about the same except for the fact that lambskin is softer, which means it is more comfortable to grip and more flexible. 

Because of this, lambskin is often used for men's gloves, mittens, and accessories, whereas cowhide is more commonly used for women's gloves and accessories.

A cowhide is the skin of an adult female bovine. It is used in the manufacture of leather, especially shoes. 

Eighteen species of cow are recognized in the genus Bos, of which two are used for clothing production. The most commonly used species is the Bos taurus, which is also known as European, or English, cattle.

Top 5 Cowhide Leather Jacket Styles

Leather Jacket

The most popular style of the leather jacket is the leather jacket. There is no one size fits all for this style. 

Therefore a leather jacket that does not fit you well is not the one you want. Generally, a leather jacket is made up of four main parts: 

Jacket Back 

The jacket back is the most important part of the leather jacket. This is the part where the arms and the bottom are connected to the back. It also includes the back sides areas.

Without the leather back the jacket would not be comfortable to wear. There is much more freedom in the design and sizing of this part than the others.


The jacket is essentially without lining. You can use any kind of lining if you want, from shearling to quilted. The choice is up to you.

Jacket Front

This is naturally the front facing part of the jacket that includes the sides and front center of the jacket design.

Collar System

This is the area of the jacket that connects the upper part of the jacket. It includes the collar roll, collar notch, the under collar, collar gorge and collar lapel (if any).

The Schott Perfecto

man in brown leather

The Schott Perfecto is one of the oldest jacket designs of Schott leathers, which are all-in-one, fully protective leather jackets with collar, side pockets, and a single layer of leather that covers the back of the neck. It is made from Genuine 100% cowhide cowhide leather. 

The jacket style was first introduced in 1928. The jackets were made famous by being featured in 1950s movies being worn by bad boys and 1970s punk rock bands. 

The Bomber Jacket

man standing on black fence

Cowhide leather has been used for its physical and chemical resistance as well as durability. From being used by ranchers as a protective gear to the fighter pilots during WWII to modern hipsters, cowhide has been widely utilized in the modern world. 

The bomber jacket is probably the most identifiable item of clothing that uses cowhide leather. The jacket is synonymous with the punk subculture of the late 80s and early 90s in the USA. 

So, what makes this jacket different from a normal jacket? Well, it is essentially a heavy insulated jacket that weighs down the wearer and offers warmth.

The Moto Jacket

women in black jacket and pants

Moto jackets were once popularized by the bad boys of Hollywood movies in the 1950s and 1960s. Today the style is fashioned towards women who are looking for a highly stylized jacket. The cut of the jacket is short and to the waist. The jacket also features many zippers and bright colors.

The Leather Blazer

woman leaning on wall

The leather blazer is one of the most classic and timeless pieces of menswear. It has been part of formal ensembles since the 19th century and is still a favorite for many men today. The thing about the leather blazer is that it has remained the same through the decades and has remained so popular because there are so many different ways to style it.

This type of design is also worn by women as well who want a smart and sophisticated jacket. The blazer can be made from any type of leather depending on your taste, including traditional cowhide, goat and sheepskin.


The varsity leather jacket has always been a part of the fashion world. The jacket is very popular among high school boys, college students, and even women. 

It is available in myriad colors and leathers, and is an integral part of many styles, especially those with a military or rugged look. 

It has become so popular that even celebrities have recently worn this style of leather jacket. But not everyone is a fan of the jacket. Some find it difficult to dress it up for formal occasions.

Its design looks like a classic varsity jacket, but leather changes it so the look is more modern.

Where To Buy a Good Quality Cowhide Leather Jacket?


The ever-popular retail powerhouse has everything and anything imaginable as far as leather jackets and accessories for all members of the family.


Since 1973 Overland has brought style and sophistication to all of their leather jackets. Available in a wide selection of designs and colors, you will definitely find what you are looking for in a cowhide jacket.

Wilsons Leather

Wilsons is a true leather shop. They have been catering their wares to customers since 1899. With a huge range of stunning cowhide designs and much more, if you can’t find it on their website then it can’t be found.

Taylor’s Leatherwear

Vintage, style and quality is what Taylor’s is all about. Whether you are searching for a police style or long cowhide jacket, this site has what you need. Their bomber style jackets are simply stunning.


This venerable retailer has something for everyone when it comes to cowhide leather jackets. We love that the store has a gigantic range of sizes including plus size jackets. Another great thing about Nordstrom is that they are nationwide, so you can find a store near you in just about any location. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cowhide Real Leather?

The standard response to the question “Is cowhide real leather?” is, “Of course it is!” Why? First, it's the only real leather in the world. Second, it's the only real leather in the world that you can wear. And finally, it's the only real leather in the world that you can wear that doesn't cost a fortune. Should it be any other way?

Does Cowhide Leather Last Long?

Does cowhide leather last long? The short answer is yes, cowhide leather can last for years. 

Cowhide leather is one of the most durable kinds of leather, which helps make it one of the most expensive kinds of leather. It's also a popular choice for footwear, especially for those who live in places with a warm climate. 

Because cowhide leather is so hardy, it can last a long time with little maintenance. Like any type of leather, it needs to be taken care of and expertly cared for, but with proper care and maintenance, cowhide can last a long, long time.

How Much Should I Spend on a Good Cowhide Leather Jacket?

How much should you spend on a good cowhide leather jacket? There are a lot of factors to consider when buying a quality leather jacket, especially if you plan on wearing it for a long time. First of all, leather is more durable than fabric, which is why the most expensive jackets are made entirely of it. 

Second, you need to decide if you want a trucker jacket, a motorcycle jacket, or a leather jacket that has a lot of style to it. Finally, since leather is more durable than fabric, the stitching needs to be more durable as well.


And that about wraps up our review article all about what is cowhide leather. We really hope you enjoyed it. You really can’t go wrong with a cowhide jacket for durability and great style. 

Be sure to bookmark a copy of our article on your mobile phone, and we hope you are able to find the jacket of your dreams.

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