Not all cowhide rugs created equal. In fact each one is absolutely unique in the way they look, the colour, shape and size, but also the feel of the leather and the texture and softness of the hair.
People often ask me what the difference is between a good-quality cowhide and a bad one. There is no one simple answer. Basically cheaper hides tend to be a much lower quality.
The whole quality process starts right at the beginning with the selection of the skins at the meat works. Then right through the tanning process and the equipment & chemicals they use, plus the skills of the leather technician.
The longer they spend processing the skins and the higher the quality of the tanning chemicals they use, the better quality the finished product will be. You can't rush the tanning process - it takes many weeks and lots of work.
The leather should be soft and floppy, easy to fold (not stiff or rigid) and also an even thickness over the whole hide. The hair should be glossy and soft to touch.
All cowhides have natural flaws, they are a natural product. The big visual difference between a good quality hide and a bad quality one is often in the way that these natural flaws are treated and repaired.
Poor quality hide repairers do a bad job and the results are often dreadful and ugly. If you can see the repairs they are not good.
In a good quality hide any repairs should be almost invisible from the hairy topside. Watch our video that explains this is more detail and shows some examples.