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Learn About 5 Types of Leather Used in Leatherworking

illustration with the 5 types of leather

Leatherworking is a fun and creative craft where people make things out of leather, like belts, wallets, and bags. There are different types of leather, each with its own special qualities that make it good for certain projects.

Here are five popular types of leathers, what makes them unique, and what kinds of things you can make with them. Understanding these leathers will help you choose the best one for your next project.


1. COWHIDE: Cowhide is the most common and versatile leather. It’s durable and easy to work with, and is used for items such as footwear, furniture, car upholstery, saddles, tack, pouches, handbags and belts.

leatherwork merit badge patch2. PIGSKIN: Pigskin has a coarse-grain texture and is used for shoe linings, small leather goods and garments.

3. DEER SKIN: Deer skin is soft and stretchy. It is ideal for items such as moccasins, gloves and other clothing accessories.

4. KANGAROO: Kangaroo leather is stronger weight-for-weight than any other leather. It is used for soccer shoes and sports gloves.

5. REPTILE LEATHERS: Reptile leathers include snake, lizard, alligator and crocodile, and are used for boots, shoes, belts, wallets and handbags.

You can learn more about the different types of leather by earning the Leatherwork merit badge.

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