All About Leather

All You Need to Know About Buffalo Leather


What is Buffalo Leather?

Buffalo Leather, also known as English Saddle Leather, is derived from the tanned hide of one of the 74 species of domestic buffalo.

Where Does Buffalo Leather Come From?

Buffalo were initially domesticated in Asia more than 6,000 years ago. Presently, there are approximately 194 million domesticated buffalo globally, with 97% of them located in Asia. These domesticated buffalo are employed for various tasks such as pulling carts and ploughs. In countries like India, buffalo produce more milk than cows. After the working life of these buffalo, their hides are tanned to create buffalo leather.

What does Buffalo Leather Look Like?

Buffalo leather exhibits a more pronounced grain pattern compared to bovine leather. It offers a variety of colors and finishes, often featuring rich and deep tones that contribute to its eye-catching appearance.

How is Buffalo Leather Made?

Vogue English Saddle Leather is crafted using a Chrome Free Method that takes approximately four weeks, making it more environmentally friendly compared to the faster Chrome Tanning process which utilizes toxic chemicals and is harmful to the environment.

How Does Buffalo Leather Age?

Buffalo leather, when properly cared for, can last a lifetime and develop a beautiful patina over time, enhancing its overall appearance and durability.

How Strong is Buffalo Leather?

Buffalo leather is known for its durability due to its thicker epidermal layer, which can be up to three times thicker than cowhide. Unlike cowhide, buffalo hides are not stretched during the tanning process, making them thicker and more resistant to tearing. This results in full grain buffalo leather being exceptionally strong and durable.

Is Buffalo Leather Good Quality?

Buffalo leather offers a unique combination of softness, flexibility, strength, and durability. Full grain buffalo leather is not only visually appealing but also capable of enduring a lifetime of use due to its exceptional quality and durability.

What is Buffalo Hunter Leather?

“Buffalo hunter leather” refers to buffalo leather products, often bags, with a purposely distressed and matte appearance. This aesthetic aims to evoke the rugged charm of traditional American leatherwork and the adventurous spirit of frontier hunters.

What is Water Buffalo Leather?

Water buffalo leather is derived from the hides of water buffaloes, primarily the Asian Water Buffalo, which constitute 97% of the global domestic buffalo population. These animals are commonly used for agricultural work or dairy production, and their hides are used to create water buffalo leather products.

What is ‘Genuine Buffalo Leather’?

“Genuine buffalo leather” is often used as a marketing term to promote leather products that may not necessarily be of the highest quality. It’s important to understand that “genuine leather” in general can refer to the third layer of leather, which is typically thinner and weaker compared to full grain or top grain leather. In the context of buffalo leather, the phrase might imply that the product is made from genuine buffalo hide, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee the highest quality or durability. It’s always recommended to understand the specific type and quality of leather being used in products before making a purchase.

What is Italian Buffalo Leather?

Italy indeed has a rich history and reputation for producing high-quality leather goods, especially in regions like Florence. The country is known for its skilled craftsmanship and attention to detail, which has contributed to its prominence in the leather industry. Italy’s leather products are highly regarded for their quality, style, and durability, making Italian leather goods sought after worldwide. The use of imported hides, including buffalo hides, and the traditional tanning processes have further elevated Italy’s status as a hub for premium leather production.

What is Buffalo Embossed Leather?

Embossed leather is a technique used to enhance the appearance of lower-grade leather, such as “genuine leather,” by imprinting a new pattern onto the surface. This process involves applying heat and high pressure to stamp a texture or design onto the leather. By doing so, the leather can mimic the look of more exotic materials like snake or crocodile skin, even when the base leather is of a different origin, such as buffalo leather. This method allows for the creation of visually appealing textures and patterns on leather goods without using the actual exotic animal skins.

What is Top Grain Buffalo Leather?

Top grain leather is indeed derived from full grain leather, where the outer layer’s imperfections are sanded away to achieve a more uniform and smooth finish. In the case of buffalo leather, which is naturally thicker than cowhide, even the top grain buffalo leather maintains significant strength and durability. At Vogue, all Buffalo Leather products use top grain leather, ensuring a high-quality and durable product.

What is Buffalo Mix Leather?

Buffalo mix leather, also known as buffalo split leather, involves using the bottom layer of the hide, which is coated to create a smooth surface. While this type of leather is more affordable, it is less durable compared to full grain or top grain leather. The term “buffalo mix leather” can also refer to bonded leather, where leather scraps are bonded to polyurethane sheets and embossed to resemble top grain leather.

What is Pull up Buffalo Leather?

Pull-up buffalo leather undergoes aniline dyeing for a rich color, followed by a finish with transparent waxes and oils. This treatment yields softness, and when the leather is stretched, the color lightens. The leather absorbs marks and scratches, forming a unique patina, and its oil-rich composition resists dirt penetration. Pull-up buffalo leather is commonly used in furniture, shoes, bags, and watch straps.

What is Full Grain Buffalo Leather?

Full grain leather, the highest quality, retains natural imperfections and is sourced from the top layer of hide. Buffalo hide, with a thicker epidural layer compared to cow hide, produces exceptionally durable full grain leather, making it one of the most robust leather options available.

Buffalo Leather verses Genuine Leather

‘Genuine leather’ refers to the lowest quality leather, often split leather or bonded leather, lacking durability and natural beauty compared to full grain or top grain buffalo leather.

Buffalo Leather verses Cowhide Motorcycle Leather

Buffalo leather’s strength, flexibility, and resistance to ripping make it an ideal choice for motorcycle clothing, ensuring durability and protection.

Buffalo Leather verses Sheep Leather

Sheep leather’s thinness makes it suitable for lightweight items like gloves and book covers, while the thickness and strength of buffalo leather make it ideal for heavy-duty products like bags.

Buffalo Leather verses Calf Leather

Calf leather, known as calfskin, is valued for its softness and fine grain, often used for lightweight items like wallets and book bindings. In contrast, buffalo leather is thicker and coarser, making it stronger and more durable, suitable for heavy-duty items like saddles, bags, and motorcycle clothing.

Buffalo Leather verses Cowhide

Cowhide is the tanned skin of a cow with its hair intact. Each cowhide has a distinct pattern and can be dyed or printed with new designs. It’s utilized as a decorative covering for floors, walls, and furniture, as well as for making bags and shoes. Cowhide’s animal origin makes it less common than cow leather. Similarly, buffalo leather is chosen for its strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal in various applications, similar to cow leather.

Buffalo Leather verses Cow Leather

Cow leather is the most commonly used type of leather, making up 65% of global leather production. With approximately 1.5 billion cattle worldwide, cow leather is a byproduct of the meat and dairy industries. In contrast, there are around 194 million buffalo globally, with 97% located in Asia. Buffalo are utilized for agricultural work and milk production, and their hides are also used by the leather industry. Buffalo leather stands out due to its thickness, being two to three times thicker than cowhide, resulting in a more distinct grain. This makes buffalo leather stronger and more durable than cow leather, offering an appealing alternative for various products where cow leather is typically used.

Buffalo Leather verses Lambskin Leather

Lambskin leather is known for its fine grain and soft, buttery texture. It’s often used in luxury small leather goods such as handbags from brands like Chanel and Dior. However, lambskin leather is delicate and susceptible to staining. In contrast, buffalo leather is thicker, has a coarse grain, and is highly durable. If durability and the ability to withstand heavy use are important, buffalo leather is a more suitable choice compared to lambskin leather.

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