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What is the toughest leather?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was having a debate of what is the toughest leather known to man....

I thought it was stingray but I understand there is another leather made from a fish that is even tougher then stingray but I have no idea what fish that would be.

I know that ostrich, elephant, kangaroo and deer are also very tough but I am trying to find out what is the toughest leather Period!....


Thanks.
post #2 of 17
I don't know the answer, but in the olden days, samurai sword hilts were covered in shark skin because of its toughness (IIRC).

Amongst more common leathers, it seems like wild boar is pretty tough; I've had some bags made from Chinghiale (a type of wild boar) that could make it through hell and back and still be in good shape.
post #3 of 17
Chuck Norris.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post
I don't know the answer, but in the olden days, samurai sword hilts were covered in shark skin because of its toughness (IIRC).

Ray skin, not shark skin. And they still are.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal2NYC View Post
Chuck Norris.

Ew.
post #6 of 17
Yeah, I think ray skin is extremely abrasion-proof. It's evolved to resist the sandy bottoms that they glide over.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by retronotmetro View Post
Ray skin, not shark skin. And they still are.
...I knew it was one of the deadly fishes; thanks for the correction! Edit; I think I know my mistake, now... my friend's father in Japan has a very old sword and mentioned it was made from "鮫革”, (same-gawa), which "same" I always took to be shark. But, I think "same" can also maybe be used for stingray? Anyway, I never talk about fish I don't eat in Japanese, so any fish-vocabulary Japanese experts can correct me on this. I'm sort of curious...
post #8 of 17
Cordovan.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal2NYC View Post
Chuck Norris.



beat me to it
post #10 of 17
post #11 of 17
there are different ways to measure "tough", I doubt the same leather could OWNZ all

abrasion, flexion, tensile strength, cut-resistance, etc. also, strength/weight ratio is a consideration.

what about bull hide, buffalo hide, elephant hide? Rhino hide?
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarmac View Post
there are different ways to measure "tough", I doubt the same leather could OWNZ all

abrasion, flexion, tensile strength, cut-resistance, etc. also, strength/weight ratio is a consideration.

what about bull hide, buffalo hide, elephant hide? Rhino hide?

Exactly. Depends what you're looking for.

Top level motorcycle riders use kangaroo hide on their suits because it's lighter then cow but offers better abrasion and burst resistance. On the most sensitive areas that often get the worst damage in a fall, such as the hands they also use stingray as it offers a greater protection.
post #13 of 17
I think that ray skin was chosen because of the traction it gives, not because of the toughness.


hippo is pretty tough leather - they used to make sheilds out of it in etheopia, and they are about 100 times tougher than a cow leather shield.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
I think that ray skin was chosen because of the traction it gives, not because of the toughness.


hippo is pretty tough leather - they used to make sheilds out of it in etheopia, and they are about 100 times tougher than a cow leather shield.

Probably for the swords but not the motorcycle gloves.

I had an older .pdf from Held gloves I think, that listed the different properties of various leathers with their abrasion resistance etc. Of the ones listed ray skin was by far the best performer.

As far as hippo and the others I assume they are also fairly thick?
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
Probably for the swords but not the motorcycle gloves.

I had an older .pdf from Held gloves I think, that listed the different properties of various leathers with their abrasion resistance etc. Of the ones listed ray skin was by far the best performer.


good point, you are probrably right. by mm ray may be stronger than a thicker skin like hippo, I don't know


As far as hippo and the others I assume they are also fairly thick?[/quote]

yeah, a really, really dried piece of skin in a shield is probrably over an inch thick. fresh, pliable skin may be twice that.
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