What's the Difference?

Bison Leather

Buffalo (American Bison) are no longer endangered.

The American Bison - or buffalo - has inhabited North America for more than 150,000 years.  They were over-hunted nearly to extinction in the 1800’s, but with carefully managed conservation programs, preserves to protect them and rising interest in raising bison for commercial purposes, they have been removed from the endangered species list.  Today there are more than one half million Buffalo in North America. Thanks to these efforts, the American Bison is thriving once again.  In fact, the President has made the American Bison the Official Mammal of The United States. 


Buffalo Leather or Cowhide?
Both are great in their own respect and match each other in many ways, but still what is the “difference?”  Anatomically, buffalo skin is thicker than cow skin. After the skin is removed, both are split into several layers. The principle skin, with hair, is called the top grain layer and other layers are called the split grain layer. Cowhide has a finer grain whereas buffalo hide has a coarse looking, uneven and sometimes pebbly grain appearance.  After processing, the buffalo hide is found to be softer than cowhide. Buffalo and cowhide are equally tough and have the same capability to resist punctures, thus, both are the same in strength, durability and elasticity.  Buffalo leather absorbs and releases moisture. This gives it excellent temperature adaptation as it adjusts to our body temperature, making it comfortable in the heat and the cold. This ability translates into an exceptionally comfortable product, especially when used for garments.  Bison leather is typically tanned using traditional methods, called “brain tanning,” which is an early practice used by Native Americans. Today it would be considered a “green” practice because it does not use the highly toxic chemicals found in modern tanning practices.  The outcome is durable leather that is soft and breathable.  Buffalo leather conforms to your body but will not stretch out of shape. The leather becomes more supple and comfortable throughout the years. So, whatever leather type you chose, rest assured that Buffalo Head Leather products will exceed your expectations.  Experience the difference today!