cowhide rug

Cowhide Rugs

Origin

Cowhides are a natural product, derived from the food industry. The manufacturing process retains the original coloring of the animal. Because they are a by-product of the beef industry, the hides are plentiful. Producers process cowhide into various leather items. Because it is the most common leather used in the leather manufacturing it is affordable and readily available.

The thickness of leather is gauged in ounces (oz). Thickness can vary .05 ounces above or below the specified thickness. Before the manufacturer splits the hide, the thickness of a cowhide is usually 5 mm.

Processing

The manufacturer removes the skin and salts it to remove excess moisture. They organize the hides by size and color. Tanning follows and ensures that the hide is soft and not subject to odor and moulting. This is to extend the life of the hide.

Cuts and other injuries to the skin of the animal can cause the skin to tear in the drying process. Any hides the manufacturer cannot use in their entirety as a final product they use for patchwork rugs. Leather is a natural material and hides can have some blemishes.  Processing retains the natural colors and patterns of the best nicest looking patterns. Others are dyed or bleached.

Cowhide is easy to care for because of its’ resistance to dirt and water. It has strong, durable leather, so it doesn’t easily wear.

Tanning

Manufacturers thoroughly clean the hides before tanning them. Tanning ensures that the hide will not putrefy. It converts the proteins of the rawhide or skin into a stable, durable material. They use special tanning substances, which also affect how the leather will look. Substances can be chrome salts or natural products. Chrome salts produce the strongest product. The producer uses special oils during the tanning process to control the softness of the leather.

Dyeing

The manufacturer uses aniline dye to color the leather. They dye the leather in various ways, each with a different result. Rugs can be completely dyed to produce uniformity or only partially, which produces variations in shades and tones.

They stipple colors by hand. This gives the hide a very natural look. Two different dyes are used, one after the other with clumps of cotton. This provides a two-tone effect. Because dyed hides harden after drying, kneading is required to regain their flexibility.

Types of Rugs

Our premier rugs are the 100% natural high grade, Brazilian and Colombian cowhides. They’re the finest in the world. Their leather is supple and soft. We also have a small number of Argentinian hides.

Colors and Styles

The selection of natural undyed rugs come in black and white, brown and white, tri color (brown, white and black), off white, and brindle. All hides are hand selected and professionally tanned: they are tanned to be suede on the back side and have a glossy finish with uniform short hair.

Dyed hides come in a few interesting, colorful patterns – zebra, giraffe or fluorescent colors.

Sizes and Comfort

All rugs are soft, supple, and remarkably lightweight. They can be used as decorative throws on furniture. They come in sizes larger than 50 square feet; enough to extend the length of a couch. They insulate effectively against cool wood and stone floors in winter months. Each rug can enhance a room in the house; a cowhide can work in both rustic and modern design concepts. The dyed rugs have a fun, energized tone.

cowhide rugs