Tuesday, 16 March 2021 10:41

African Animal Skin Buying Guide

When buying leather, the number of factors involved in making sure you're purchasing a quality product can be overwhelming. These include the leather types, thickness, weights, grades, cuts, and much more. If you want to find your perfect leather, knowledge of these factors is precious. 

So before you jump into your next project, let's help you find an exceptional piece of leather.


Zebra Skins

 In recent years, Zebra Skins have exploded in popularity. Worldwide, this animal skin has taken people by storm, buying them for the sheer beauty and value they display. Bringing a bit of the Safari into any room, these skins can be used for various decorating purposes, including furniture pieces and rugs.

Surviving in the wild, the only guarantee for survival zebras have is outrunning their predators, sometimes only escaping by the skin of their teeth. These close encounters and skirmishes that the animal endured in its lifetime are visible on the skin, giving each skin its own story. Zebra skins take pride in their imperfections; we call these marks the grade.

Secondly, you should ensure that you are purchasing your zebra skins from a licensed and trusted source. This license provides you the safety of mind that you are not buying skins of endangered zebra species, and that the skins were obtained in a fair and legal manner.


 Burchell's Zebra (African Zebra) in the wild.


Nguni Cow Skins

 We wholeheartedly believe that nguni cow skin is the ideal choice to decorate any room. Bringing a luxurious look to any space, our cow skins are kept in their natural state, which means the hair is left on them, resulting in a soft, smooth feel.

As previously mentioned with zebra skins, every cow skin also holds it own set of unique characteristics, with different colours, shades, and patterns. Purchasing a cow skin, you're guaranteed to own a one-of-a-kind piece nobody can replicate.


Cow skins are also hypoallergenic. They are 100% natural - meaning no synthetic materials and chemicals that can cause irritation to your skin and nose. Unlike synthetic materials, cow skin does not catch and trap dust and pollen. This makes nguni cow skins a great choice to use as furniture if you struggle with any related allergies.

This is only scratching the surface of the benefits that cow skins provide. Being made from leather, cow skins offer unparalleled durability, similar to a quality pair of crafted leather boots that can withstand walking on miles of treacherous terrain, cow skin rugs can take beating after beating without losing their magic.

Our locally sourced cow skins are among the best quality you'll find anywhere, as proven by our hundreds of satisfied customers. Of course, you shouldn't just take our word for it - here's what you need to look out for to ensure you're buying premium quality cow skin:


Bunch & Smell

Taking the skin and bunching it up in your hand is an excellent quick quality-test. If the skin is any good, any wrinkles caused by bunching it will immediately dissipate. If the wrinkles stay even after you let go, you are not purchasing a good-quality cow skin.

When you're thinking of buying a skin, don't be afraid to give it a good sniff. The smell of good leather is unmistakable, without a trace of chemicals or other synthetic odors.


Springbok Skins

To us, the term "springbok" means so much more than a national rugby team or South African colours in a sports category... to us, it means a high quality, beautiful skin with a stunning all-natural pattern.


 African Leather's Springbok Skins

Springbok skins are especially unique, as they come in a handful of unconventionally beautiful colours, including Purple, Lime, and Pink. If you're looking for something more traditional, the more timid brown and black colours will scratch that itch.

Similar to Zebra skins, the Springbok Skin's grade, plays a big role in how they will look:

  • Grade A

Allows for one or two minimal defects in the prime areas of the hide, and three to four marks in non-prime areas.

  • Grade B

Allows three to four defects in the prime areas of the hide, as well as small holes in non prime-areas.

  • Grade C

Allows for moderate damage and color variation.


Final Thoughts 

With this article as reference, you have everything you need to pick your perfect leather - now the possibilities are endless! 

If you found a leather or skin that you like the sound of, or have any other questions, contact us! We're always happy to help.