Gorgeous Creatures shop online for home decor & animal skins
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Ph NZ +64 9 522 1050

Ph AUS 1300 001 259

New showroom level 1, 1 Kawana St, Northcote, Auckland NZ. Inside Newtique Cafe. Hours vary phone to check.

How To Choose Your Cowhide

Gorgeous Creatures has a large selection of cowhides to choose from. It might seem overwhelming, but realistically there are only a few cowhide rugs that will match your personal selection criteria.

If you can't come into the Gorgeous Creatures showroom then we can sort through our stock and find a cowhide rug that best matches your personal selection criteria. Then we can email you all the details including photos for your approval.

Step 1) First, think about the size of the area the cowhide rug will be used in. How big is the room? How big is the coffee table that will rest on top of it? Do you mind if some of it is partly hidden underneath furniture? Straight away this will narrow down the field to a much less daunting number of options.

A small cowhide is around 1.5-2 metres 'square' (this is the surface area - not lineal metres).
A medium cowhide is around 3-3.5 meters 'square'
A large cowhide is around 3.5 - 4 meters 'square'.
An extra large cowhide can be over 4.5 metres 'square'.

Each cowhide rug is displayed on this website showing its unique surface area and length/width measurements. Click here to learn more about how our cowhide rugs are measured.

Step 2) Now think about what your maximum budget will be for a cowhide rug. We use square meters as the way of measuring and pricing the cow skins. So the size and price are proportional. A smaller cowhide rug costs much less than a larger cowhide rug.

Step 3) Think about what colours you like and what you think will go with your interior décor. Black and white or chocolate brown and white hides are popular but maybe a light beige or dark exotic are better for your home? Be open minded, sometimes it is a colour that you have not considered that is actually perfect. Don't try to match browns perfectly and don’t worry, you can try them at home first on approval if you are in New Zealand. Now we are really narrowing the cow skin options down.
Chocolate cow skin rug

Step 4) Do you like the hair to be short and sleek, or do you like the hair a bit longer and curly? Sometimes this is not important and it is OK to like both. Most cowhides have a short sleek coat and the longer haired ones a more rare.

What to look for in a good quality cow skin rug

By now there will probably be about 3-6 cowhide rugs left to consider. Now you need to start comparison elimination. Just ask yourself, do I like this skin better than that skin, eliminate one of the pair, do it again until you have two or three animal skins left.

Now take these animal hides home on approval to see how they look in your home. Look at them in natural light and at night with electric light. Take a few days to consider these few cowhides and by default one of the cowhide rugs will become your favourite. Easy right!!!

  • Cow skins should have a good even balanced natural shape - all four legs intact
  • Healthy glossy hair is critical on a good quality cow skin rug
  • Aesthetically beautiful colour and markings - personal preference you need to LOVE it!
  • No ugly scared brands (some pretty brands are acceptable). Generally no brands are visible
  • No visible reinforcements from the hairy top side
  • No bald patches or cuts are acceptable at all for a quality cowhide rug


Selecting a cowhide rugTip one - Don’t agonize over these decisions, go with your instinct, your ‘gut’ feelings. Each cowhide rug is unique, they are a natural product and no two skins are the same. You might have seen a cowhide skin rug in a friends house and thought that's what I want! but be realistic and take a “that’s close enough” approach because that cow does not have a twin. The more relaxed you are about your selection criteria, the easier and more enjoyable the whole selection process will be.

Tip two - Don't listen too closely to your friends comments, this is about your taste and preferences, not theirs. You are the one who has to live with the cow skin rug and love it. Sometimes people do not realise how much a flippant comment made off-hand to a friend who has asked for their advice, can affect how we feel about something.

P.S. At Gorgeous Creatures we are very experienced at guiding you through this selection process and can even narrow it down for you based on a “personal brief”, then just present the top three cow skins for your final selection.

Don't buy a cow skin rug until you have watched this video!