The Exotic History of Cowhide

Humanity has a long and rich history of creating from the furs of animals. It makes total sense as humans are pretty much hairless; they turned to the furred skin of other animals for safety and comfort! Archeologists believe that we have been using animal hides since the prehistoric era. Common hides came from cattle or livestock. Cowhide, in particular, has been creatively used in a variety of ways.

Cowhide is renowned for its natural beauty and versatility. With the unbleached hair and skin of a cow, you can make wallets, bags, saddles, wall hangings, shoes, jackets, belts, sofa throws, and rugs.  This material tends to be hypo-allergenic, which is also perfect for people who want to avoid allergic reactions from the fur of animals. With cowhide, the possibilities are endless. Cowhide is also beloved for its durability and affordability. To get quality-made cowhide, people would have to work quickly to produce the material. Once the cowhide was skinned, it would undergo a unique tanning process to prevent the skin from deteriorating or losing elasticity. This tanning process is known to have existed as far back as Ancient Egypt and the Neolithic age. If you waited too long to skin the hide of an animal, it was game over, the heat disappears, leaving a problematic dense matter behind.

Native Americans have a long-standing history with cowhide. They can be credited with turning cowhiding into an art form. For centuries, natives would create cowhide rugs as coverings for the shelters they gathered in. Some natives would also wear cowhides as clothing, which came very useful in regions with brutal winters.  Nowadays, cowhide is used more for decoration than practicality. Cowhide has a natural beauty that adds a western touch to any room.

Much like a prized painting, no two cowhides are alike. If you were to purchase a cowhide, you can rest assured that you are the only one with the specific hide section. Being the owner of something natural that is 1 of 1 is a bragging right all on its own. Historically, owning an animal hide was a symbol of wealth and superiority. What’s even better is how your new cowhide piece adds a level of unique luxury to the space it’s in, elevating the aesthetic of your home. The outstanding natural beauty and worldliness will spark conversation for those who gaze at it.

Why Cowhide?

Cowhide is one of the most identifiable design elements of the western style. It’s also incredibly durable, making it an easy choice when looking for a country-inspired decorative touch. 

A few additional benefits of cowhide include:

  • Versatility 
  • Natural markings
  • Longevity and durability
  • Added texture
  • Warmth
  • Easy maintenance