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Buckskin Information

Contents of this page: Introduction | Colors | How we grade leather | Thickness

We carry soft leathers in a wide range of colors, grades, sizes and thicknesses (weights). Our hides are commercially tanned. These hides are suitable for moccasins, shirts, pants, bags, and any other project you can think of using leather. The leather is soft, easy to work with and will stay nice for a good long time. Hides have one smooth side and one suede side.

We also offer limited quantities of other leathers, such as brain-tanned hides, beef tooling bellies and others. You can browse our complete, current inventory from our Buckskin and Leather Page.

Colors: (back to top)

The colors we normally stock are:
  • Pearl - off-white or very, very light grey
  • Smoke Tan - our most popular color, a very natural looking tan
  • Gold - traditional buckskin color, a very pale orange or muddy yellow
  • Chocolate - a dark, milk chocolate color
  • Black - dark black hides

  • Color samples

    We also occassionally get these other colors:
  • White - bright, paper white
  • Cream - pale yellow, buttermilk color
  • Sunset - rich orange color, basically gold with a double dose of dye
  • Saddle Tan - light brown
  • Rust - deep, dark reddish brown
  • Red, Green and Turquoise - unique colors

    There is always variation in color among hides coming from different dye lots. If you need hides to match, let us know so we can pick out hides that will work for you.

    The colors shown are approximate, and will vary depending on the capabilities of your computer and how your monitor is set up. We have made our best effort to ensure the accuracy of the colors. If you have any questions about our colors, feel free to ask us.

  • More Color samples

    How we grade leather: (back to top)

    We have developed our own two-dimensional grading system for all of our soft leathers:
    Every hide has two grades, One “Surface” grade describing the quality and useability of the smooth and suede side, and one “Quality” grade describing the general extent and location of holes and damage in relation to how large of a useable piece can be gotten from the hide.

    The Surface grades are:

  • Grade A - Good smooth side
  • Grade BB - Suede side good, blemishes on smooth side.
  • Grade UT (utility) - some blemishes on smooth side, blemishes or unsanded areas on suede side.
  • The Quality grades are:

  • Select Quality (Sel) - No holes or small blemishes in hide except at extreme edges.
  • Excellent Quality (Exc) - No holes or blemishes in hide except slightly in from edges
  • Ordinary Quality (Ord) - One to three holes or small blemishes in major part of hide, but large size pattern can still be cut from hide.
  • Craft Quality (Cft) - Holes such that arm or leg pattern impossible. Good for small projects.

  • Every hide has one grade from each category (A-Sel, A-Ord, BB-Sel, UT-Sel, UT-Cft, etc) This system helps you get exactly the hide you need for your project.

    Also, some lower grade hides are described as simply “C”
    Grade C - Low grade, good for gloves, small pieces, etc.

    Leather Thickness: (back to top)

    Raw hides are uneven - some areas are thicker than others, so tanneries run all the hides through a machine that shaves the "inside" or suede surface of the hide down. This is called "splitting" or "taking splits". This leaves the hide a more uniform thickness and makes for a smoother suede side. The "splits" which are suede on both sides are then sold separately.

    Hides that are naturally thicker, like Elk, Moose and Beef, are normally split twice, but can be left thicker, as "Moccasin Weight" for projects that require heavier leather, such as moccasin soles, winter shirts and pants or any project where the leather will see a lot of use.

    Leather thickness is measured in ounces, with one ounce equal to about 0.4 millimeters. For reference, 1/8 of an inch is about 6.5 ounces.

    Deer, Horse, Goat and Antelope2-3 oz
    Elk, Moose and Beef Regular Weight3-5 oz
    Elk, Moose and Beef Moccasin Weight5-8 oz

    These weights are approximate and should be used as a general reference. Every hide is different, and hides are not perfectly uniform thickness. Some hides may have areas that are thicker or thinner than these estimates. If you have very specific needs, please let us know when placing your order so that we can pick out a hide that will work for you.