Bull Hide Leather vs. Calf Leather?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Tarmac, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    I have the option of ordering a country boot in bull hide leather instead of standard calf leather, both at the same price.

    Do any of you have any products in bull hide?

    What are the specific qualities or advantages of it? From what I can tell it's the standard material of cowboy boots. Does it wear better? Softer? Tougher?

    Also, in general is it more expensive, making the bull hide version a better deal?
     


  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    The term "bull hide" is a marketing ploy. Sometimes...and more honestly...it is called "shrunken shoulder."

    In general...leather produced from calves--younger animals...will always be superior to leather produced from older animals. The hide of a young animal has not been through the years of stretching that growth engenders--it is" tight." Leather is a fibrous product not entirely unlike felt. In calfskin, the fibers tend to be dense and close together.

    Bullhides are actually older animals...the gender is not important...that are treated with chemicals and mechanical processes to shrink and compact the fibers of the leather...thus producing what appears to be a denser, tougher leather. In fact, the compacting of the fibers of the leather is artificial and not supported by the connective tissue that the younger animal would have. As a result, any toughness or resiliency tends to be superficial, as well.
     


  3. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    So, there is absolutely no advantage to bull hide whatsoever? Then do some people just pay the appearance? [​IMG]
     


  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I have used it to make boots on several occasions. I no longer use it. Others may have a different take but my opinion would be that appearance, the cache of "bullhide," and the price are the governing factors. And any product made from it should be priced significantly lower than an equivalent made of calf. I've never seen bullhide used on bags. I've only encountered it as "shoe leather." It very well might be a good choice for luggage. I wouldn't pass it up in that context.
     


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