Leather & Care




The soft belly area of the alligator skin produces durable leather.  The belly portion is primarily used for dress products, whereas the hornback is used for casual boots.  Smaller hornback skins are recommended due to the thicker scales and mature animals.  Alligator has a natural enamel that produces a high glaze. 

    • Belly – (small 3-4 foot skin) small 1 inch size scale
    • Belly – (large 5 foot and larger) bias-cut scale – combination small & large scale
    • Hornback – (small 3-4 foot skin) size of head or body horns varies
    • Tail – “V” shape raised scale pattern




Bison is soft, supple, durable, thick and is low maintenance and suitable for boots, purses and belts.

    • Durable grain leather
    • Soft and glove like feel
    • Bison shrunken shoulder – heavy pebble grain




Bullhide is a heavy grain with high shine which is often shrunk during tanning to enhance the heavy wrinkles and creases. Bullhide is normally thicker and is an excellent choice for casual or work boots, purses and belts.




Caimans are a subspecies of alligators and are found in south/central America and scale sizes are smaller and don’t have the clarity due to the boniness in the skin.  Caimans are ideal for entry-level exotic leather and are more affordable. 

    • Belly – small 1 inch size scale
    • Hornback



Cordovan leather is mainly used for high-end boots. Only the leather from the rear flanks of heavy workhorses is suitable. A few millimeters below the surface of the skin, there are two round pieces, which have a highly-compressed fibre structure (butt or shell). The leather is particularly dense and resistant in this area.

    • Leather can be worn dull or will take a high shine
    • Leather will develop a subtle roll instead of a defined crease across the ball of the foot after wearing
    • Firm leather
    • Great dress boot leather
    • Color options: burgundy, black and brown




Crocodiles live in fresh / salt water and characters are similar to alligators and they yield a high clarity skin. 

    • Belly – small 1 inch size scale
    • Belly – (large 5 foot and larger) bias-cut scale – combination small & large scale
    • Hornback
    • Tail – “V” shape raised scale pattern



Elephant are tanned in pieces with each having its own unique grain, smooth to heavy. Elephant skin is one of the most durable leathers available and scuff resistant.  It’s considered easy maintenance but is a fairly dry skin and should be regularly cleaned and conditioned. The skins are legally imported and CITIES regulated. 

    • Finish – satin or matte finish
    • Grain ranges from:
        • Smooth – small grain with few lines
        • Medium – small 1 inch size grain
        • Large – grain similar to the palm of your hand




Embossed leather is machine stamped into cowhide to give it a unique design such as being a hand carved floral print. 




Giraffe is a hide that is a durable and flexible with a distressed finish.




Hippos have a thick and heavily scared skin which are sanded down to reveal its unique skin pattern and suede finish.  Hippo wears extremely well with hard use and considered easy maintenance with cleaning with a soft bristle brush.  The skins are legally imported and CITIES regulated.

    • Suede finish
    • Small grain with scars




This is a soft leather that is excellent for casual or work boots, purses and belts.

    • Glove type feel
    • Satin finish



This is a light-weight leather with a fine-grained appearance and has tremendous tensile strength.  This leather is ideal for boots, purses and belts because of its elasticity, strength and soft feel.

  • Optional finishes ranging from high shine to satin / distressed finish



Oil tan is thicker and heavier than most cowhides and is ideal for a heavy work boot.



Deerskin is ultra-soft, supple, and comfortable with a sponge like feel. It is lightweight, yet highly durable. Deerskin is one of the only leathers that is infused with wax to create a distressed look.

  • Color choices:  tan, brown, black & cranberry



Ostrich is an exotic leather that is soft, resists scuffing and scratching.  The size of quill depends on the age of animal and the part of the hide the leather is cut. Ostrich is perfect for boots, purses and belts because it’s durability and easy care.

    • Full quill – large bumps
    • Smooth – small grain / little – no bumps
    • Leg – large center scale – skins are narrow & require piecing with a choice of double or single design



This is a full grain hide with the rough flesh side out. 



Shark is an extremely tough leather and has a distinct grain that is scuff resistant and has a long life for boots, purses and belts. 

  • Shark texture – satin finish



Stingray is a durable exotic leather that is firm and does not stretch easily.  It’s water-resistant and does not stain easily and is ideal for hard used products such as boots, purses and belts.

    • High shine pebble finish
    • Starburst – white spot-on center of skin can be used on many different products



Scales on lizards are smaller and run diagonally across the boot vamp or purses and wallets.  The Teju lizards are from South America.

  • Small rectangle scale with circular edge scale



Vegetable tanning utilizes organic materials such as bark in place of chemicals and has a greater body and firmness which is ideal for tooling and hand carving.

    • Black or natural
    • Tooling / hand carving leather
    • Firm stiff leather



Warthog has a pig type grain with distinctive pore markings and is a very durable leather.

  • Color choices:  chocolate, black and tan



Water Buffalo leather has a significant coarser porosity that is clearly noticeable that is a stable and sturdy leather. 

    • High shine – crackle grain
    • Nubuck – naked velvety finish
    • Burnished – shine finish that can attain a mottled finish when burnished



Some leathers will stretch to fit the customer’s foot better than others.

Calfskin, kangaroo, and ostrich:

Elephant, reptiles, shark and stingray:

conforms better to the foot than the reptiles because it’s softer and may “shrink” slightly when the last is removed and they tend to be springier and more stretchable. harder-finish leathers must be fitted more exactly. A tight boot over the instep or across the ball may remain tight and may become painful.



Outsoles and insoles are tanned by soaking in tanning from tree bark and wood-soaked water, this stops the decomposition process of the hide and allow the pores of the skin to relax. At the end of 90 days of soaking, when the leather is removed, it is put into a tanning drum and solids (starch etc.) are stuffed into the hide making it quite heavy and thick when it dries. The leather is then dried and rolled under pressure to increase its stiffness. The sole bends are taken from the center of the hide, and the insoles are taken from the shoulders and bellies. The sole leather is rolled longer and with much more pressure making it firmer than the insole leather. These two parts of the cow are very different in structure.  The sole bends are made of short, compact fibers and give long wear.  The insole shoulders and bellies are of long, stringy fibers and hold the channel better on the bottom of the insole to which the sole welt is sewn.  The softer insole leather also quickly conforms to the footprint, making the boots truly belong to the wearer.



Leather used in a boot has to be kept clean. Dirt, dust, grime and dryness deteriorate all leather. Rough-out boots should be cleaned with a brass suede brush. Conditioning all footwear made of leather benefits from proper cleaning and conditioning.Many boot manufacturers recommend cleaning with Lexol PH Balanced Cleaner followed by a light application of Lexol Conditioner while the leather is still wet. When the leather is totally dry apply another light coat, allow drying thoroughly and applying polish if desired. We DO NOT recommend one step cleaners and conditioners. Some contain petroleum cleaners while others do not clean the leather, thereby trapping dirt and dust in the leather. Foreign particles in the leather work like little saws to destroy the fibers of the skin causing premature failure.If any boot gets wet, it should never be dried quickly close to a heat source. Wet boots should dry gradually and slowly – preferably while being worn, or with cedar tree placed inside. Then the oils should be restored with Lexol conditioner. After conditioning, apply lanoline based colored polish (not on suede) to restore deep color to the leather. Spray polish or liquid polish tend to dry out the leather and should be avoided. Silicone spray on smooth leathers tends to leave a gummy residue that prevents good shine.




Calf – Cowhide

Flat leather

Grain leather

Rough out


Smooth leather typically with a chrome finish 
  • Calf
  • Kangaroo
  • Water buffalo
  • Kid (goat)
  • Oil tan
  • Deer
  • Cordovan
  • Horse front /Rancher
  • Herman Oak Cowhide


  • American Bison
  • Bison Shoulder
  • Warthog
  • Bullhide
  • Cape Buffalo


  • Cheyenne Superbuck
  • Cowhide
  • Suede


  • Alligator
  • Crocodile
  • Caiman
  • Elephant
  • Hippo
  • Stingray
  • Ostrich
  • Lizard
  • Giraffe
  • Shark
  • Lizard