Leather 101: Common Hide Sizes and Types

Welcome to our new and informative short series we are calling Leather 101!  In this short series we are going to present common industry terms and ideas to help you understand more about leather, how it is made, while also debunking some common misconceptions.


Part I.  Common Hide Sizes and Types

Leather is a natural product that comes in a variety of sizes and shapes.  It is both extremely durable and environmentally friendly.  We will cover in later parts everything you need to know about leather finishing and why it is environmentally friendly, however in this part we will be discussing pre-tanning.  Most notably the "raw material" or the hide before it becomes what you see on your furniture.

Leather can be manufactured from a wide variety of animals, however here at Wipelli we specialize in Bovine (cow) leather.  Every single hide in our warehouse is a premium choice hide from one of two distinct regions.  Either the European market or the South American market.

European Raw Material
South American Raw Material
  • Very Clean with little to no Natural Markings
  • No Hump Hole
  • No Brands
  • Hides are typically large, averaging around 50 sqft
  • Due to higher quality and yield, the use of this raw material will typically result in a higher price of the leather
  • Very Clean, however will contain healed scars and visible insect bites
  • Hides will have a hump hole in the neck due to the anatomy of the Brahama Cattle.
  • One Brand in the lower half of the hide
  • Hides are typically large, averaging around 50 sqft


Part II.  Common Conversions

1 Yard of Fabric = 18 sqft of Leather

1 meter = 10.764 sqft


Part III.  Common Selecting Criteria

There are many factors that can contribute to selecting the hide of your choice, but none more so than determining which (if any) Natural Markings you are willing to use on your project.   This will have huge implications on both waste and cost.  Here are a few scenarios:

European Hides South American Hides
Pattern Sizes  Large Medium
Anilines Best Good
Semi-Anilines Best Good
Fully Protected Leathers Best Good
Rustic Leathers Good Best
Pricing $$ $


Don't forget to check in on our later installments of Leather 101!

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