Clothing Answers

What is the difference between cowhide and horsehide?

Cowhide is the default utility leather today, used for articles that need to last and take plenty of wear - jackets, luggage, etc. Specialty uses include horse tack, gun holsters, and baseballs and gloves.

Horsehide was formerly a utility leather, but it is now far too costly. Today, few horses are used for farming and it's illegal to raise them for meat. Their hides have become very hard to source, and most tanneries will no longer handle them.

Their characteristics are very similar. Horsehide generally is finer grained than cowhide and takes on a little more pleasing luster with use. However, horse can be stiffer and take longer to break in than cow, and some find it less durable.
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