What is Hair On Leather?

Unlike a lot of the deceptive advertising leather terms,  hair on leather is exactly what it sounds like. It is leather that has hair on it. Specifically it is leather that still has the original hair on it, making it look like it came straight off the cow!

Hair on Leather

It really lets you see the cows natural colors and markings

But this isn’t just reserved for cow leather. Many exotic leathers, like buffalo or moose have hair on variants, that are not only stylish, but are very warm and soft.

Moose Chinks

Moose Chinks: You’re legs will never be cold again.

This is especially true if they are made into coats, hats, gloves, etc.  Basically if the animal has skin that is covered with a coat of hair, you can make hair on leather out of it. And I have yet to find a time when it doesn’t look awesome.

How Do They Do It?

It really isn’t that complicated. The normal leather tanning processes all involve steps where the hair is removed from the hide.

Buffalo Woolies

Clearly these tanners felt no need to clip the buffalo hair too short.

When you are making hair on leather, you skip those steps! It’s that easy. Frequently the hair will be clipped shorter than it was originally, so help it stay on and to stop it from being a hassle, though that isn’t always the case. The leather can still be dyed to be different colors, though many times it is left to show off the cows natural mottling and markings. It all depends on what you are wanting to use it for really. Just as with all leather, versatility is one of its greatest assets.

What’s The Difference?

Alright, all the fun details and frills aside, when it comes down to it, you want to know what this means for your product. What is the functional difference between regular leather and hair on leather? Well the most obvious one would be the appearance. Clearly they look very different, and it gives your belt, wallet, chaps, purse, whatever a whole different look. It also is a major textural difference. If you have never had a hair on wallet, it might freak you at first when you reach in your pocket and you feel something hairy in there. It can be a little bit of a panic moment while you try to figure out if someone shoved a ferret in your pants while you weren’t looking, or if you are just imagining things. However, you will eventually realize that it is just your super cool new wallet, and you will get used to it. It is sort of like when you first start wearing a ring or a watch.

Ancient Chair

The leather seat on this chair has held out for over 140 years

At first it is weird, and then it becomes a part of who you are and you feel naked without it. There is one downside to hair on leather. While it is just as durable as regular full grain leather, the hair itself isn’t. Over time, the hair will eventually wear off. Luckily, you will still be left with a totally functional product that now has a cool antique look. For example, the leather seat on this chair used to be covered in hair, but over the many, many years of being rubbed the wrong way by the wrong end of dozens of people, the hair has all worn away.


Long Story Short

Hair on leather is a really good option for some products, and if you like the look and feel, definitely go for it. If that’s not your thing, you aren’t missing out on anything crazy. Different strokes for different folks. Let us know whether you prefer your leather smooth, hairy, or even scaly in the comments below or on your favorite social media site. We’ll come up with something special for the winning category!