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Cowhide Buyer's Guide

Cowhide Buyer's Guide

The Cowhide Store Difference


Cowhide Grade Designations

VALUE LINE - (Note: What we call "Value-Line", most other retailers call "Premium") Our Value-Line grade cowhides are less than perfect, but look great when used as a floor rug or furniture throw. They may have some light scars, slightly visible patches or blemishes, or not so perfect shape. These are good quality at great prices!
[Shop Hand Selected Value Line]    [Shop One-of-a-Kind Value Line]

PREMIUM - Our Premium grade cowhide is our best-selling hide. Hides given this designation have very minor (if any) undesirable characteristics. They have great symmetry in shape and virtually no visible scars or flaws. Some Premium grade hides have visible brands which are noted in the description. These branded hides are considered "western style" and are desired by many purchasers for their authentic Old West look.
[Shop Hand Selected Premium]    [Shop One-of-a-Kind Premium]


Cowhide Types


There are so many different natural patterns, colors and hair lengths, and The Cowhide Store is the place to find them all! Our most popular types are Holstein (large spots and splotches of black and white), Hereford (Brown and white with white strips in the middle and sides), Longhorn (randomly speckled patterns), brindle (exotic intertwined stripe patterns in combinations of browns, grays, and blacks), brown and white (like Holstein pattern but with various shades of brown instead of black), salt and pepper (speckled and dotted patterns on white), tri-colored (various patterns with shades of black or gray, brown, and white), and mahogany (deep browns highlighted by touches of black and tan). Natural solid colors are also quite popular, such as solid white and off-white colors (cream, light beige, and champagne), gray, palomino (rich blondes and yellowish tans), tan, brown, chocolate, and black.
[Shop Natural]


For the eclectic palate, we have our Deco dyed collection. Premium solid white and Holstein patterns are given vibrant hues and earthy tones using colorfast dyes. Choose from fun, bold colors like pink, fuchsia, red, tomato, orange, yellow, lime green, khaki, sky blue, blue, navy, purple, cappuccino and mustard. Deep shades of black and chocolate brown are also available, as well as dyed zebra patterns.
[Shop Deco Dyed]


How does a cow become a zebra? The magic happens when our premium cowhides are stenciled with amazingly realistic zebra stripes. Colorfast dyes are used to embed stripes or spots on natural cowhides to create amazingly realistic safari animal patterns. Choose from zebra, tiger, jaguar, cheetah, leopard, and giraffe print hides. You can also get psychedelic with our safari printed dyed hides in bright colors.
[Shop Safari Stenciled]

Devore, Etched & Embossed

Our devore hides will blow your mind. Natural cowhides are treated to create a splatter effect where random bare spots on the leather are finished with metallic colors like bronze, gold, copper or silver. Our etched hides undergo a similar process, whereby distinct patterns are etched into the hair of the cowhide. Our embossed selections are created by stamping patterns, like alligator skin, directly into the leather. All of these techniques can be applied to natural and dyed cowhides.
[Shop Devore Metallic]

Patchwork Rugs

Our patchwork rugs are crafted from pieces of our premium hair-on cowhides that are sewn together in amazing patterns to create some of the most unique area rugs you've ever seen. These can be custom made in practically any size, design, and colors imaginable. Find out more in our Patchwork Rug Buying Guide.
[Shop In-Stock Patchwork]    [Shop Custom Patchwork]




There are many uses of cowhide for decorating. Many people use cowhides as throw rugs under dining tables, coffee tables, or grand pianos, or as an entry rug in the foyer. They can be placed on carpet or directly on a wood or tile floor. Hides look great draped over a sofa table, chair or couch. When displayed on a wall, they create a natural art piece while enhancing room acoustics.


All of our hair-on cowhides are great for upholstery. They make perfect leather seats for dining or occasional chairs. Our cowhides have also been used to upholster everything from cornices, pillars, mirror frames, benches, and entire living room sets, to car interiors and motorcycle seats.


About Our Cowhides

Sizes and Hair-Length

Our cowhides are available in short, medium, and long hair lengths. Our short hair hides usually have a smooth and shiny hair surface, while our long-hair hides have a thick and wavy look. Our hides are measured from top to bottom and side to side at the longest points. An easier (and perhaps more useful) way to think of the measurements would be to think of them as the dimensions of space in which a cowhide will fit. For example, a cowhide that measures 84-inches long x 72-inches wide would fit into an 7ft by 6ft area.

Size Chart


All of our cowhides are a byproduct of the beef industry. Our main tanneries are located in a particular area of Southern Brazil known for its near perfect climate and lush grasslands. It's also where some of the world's finest shoe leather is sourced. We also have tanneries in Colombia and Argentina, where many of our Value-Line hides originate.

Tanning Process

We choose to employ the chromium tanning process (sometimes referred to as wet blue). This time-honored method uses chromium salts, and is safer than other tanning methods. The result is a finished hide that is more pliable and supple. Chromium tanned cowhides are also more durable, retain their shape better, and resist spills and stains very well.


We're persnickety about the high quality of our cowhides, almost to a fault. But, while we are proud to source the finest hides available anywhere, we understand that home decor doesn't always fit. This is especially true for natural one-of-a-kind items like cowhides. If for ANY reason you are unhappy with your purchase within 30 days, you can send it back to us. There are no restocking fees for cowhides returns all you have to do is pay the low cost of return shipping. [Some exclusions apply. See details and easy return instructions]


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