Quality cattle hides with consistent textures, markings, colors, and trimmings can make all the difference to the shoemaker, upholstery designer, and craftsman. What you choose will depend on your needs. Consider these cattle variations and how their hides might work for your project:
Calf Hides: Calves are young cattle that are less than one year old. Calf skin is renowned for its light weight and its fine grain. These skins are frequently used for the most luxurious of leather goods such as handbags, wallets and shoes.
Heifer Skins: Heifers are young female cattle that are between 1 and 2 years old but have not given birth to any calves yet. Heifer skins are thicker than calf skin because these skins come from older animals, but they are not as thick as traditional cow or steer hides. The lighter weight of heifer skin provides a wonderful balance of resiliency and flexibility which makes heifer skin leather ideal for use in shoes, furniture, and car seats.
Dairy Cow Hides: These cows are raised for the purpose of producing milk. Because they are indoors more frequently than other types of cattle, the hides are lightweight and flexible as well as large enough large-scale product, such as garments.
Cow Hide Leathers: Cows are fully mature females who have given birth to at least two calves. The births stretch the cows’ skin in the belly area giving the hide there a spongy texture that allows more stretch in the finished product. These skins are often marked due to the cows’ longer lives. Cow hide leather is frequently used in furniture, garment, and shoe production because it is durable and flexible enough for heavier wear.
Ox Skins: Oxen are cattle that have been trained for draft work instead of being raised for dairy or meat. Their active lifestyle leads to a much more compact leather which has a finer texture than bull or steer hides but has the same strength and durability of these coarser grained hides.
Steer Hides: Steers are male cattle that are being raised for meat but have been castrated before reaching sexual maturity. Steer hides are some of the heaviest and thickest hides available and the leather has many uses ranging from work boots to car seats.
Bull Hides: Bulls are male cattle that have not been castrated. Bull hides are like steer hides in texture and thickness, but they also tend to be larger and heavier in the shoulder area due to the muscle development of the bull. Leather from bulls is strong enough to be used in any application that requires strong and durable leather.
If none of these leathers seem to fit your projects, consider sheep hides for projects that need a softer feel to them. Cattle hides are wet salted, brine cured, or wet blue to prevent decay but they are still moist enough that they are easily rehydrated for further treatment. IC Markets International Ltd supplies the hides you need.