6 ways to identify genuine cowhide watch bands

Besides colors and designs, consumers should also learn carefully about how to recognize quality cowhide watch bands to have the best product experience, avoiding unfortunate risks when using.

And if  you’re a genuine leather lover looking for techniques to spot genuine cowhide leather, you’re in luck! This article will show you how to tell the difference between genuine cowhide leather and imitations.  

Why is cowhide popular in watch strap making?

Cowhide is a kind of leather with timeless durability, so it is popularly used to produce accessories such as wallets, belts, watch bands, bags. With regular care, genuine cowhide watch bands can have a long lifespan up to 7-10 years. The longer it is used, the softer it becomes. Besides, users will definitely feel comfortable with the toughness of the strap because when worn, the strap hugs the wrist but does not cause a feeling of constriction. The gloss of genuine cowhide watch straps is proportional to the time of use, to put it another way, the longer it is used, the more shiny it becomes.

Cowhide watch straps are diverse in designs and colors, providing many options for users. You can easily choose the suitable strap for many different dress styles.

The neutral color cowhide strap is very popular

Type of cowhide leather 

Vegetable Tanned Cowhide Leather

Vegetable tanned leather refers to the tannage, or procedure of tanning the cowhide into leather. It’s called “vegetable” because of the natural tannins used in the tanning process like tree bark. Vegetable tanning, often known as veg tan, is one of the earliest tanning processes known to man. It’s been around for hundreds of years. However, only around 10% of the world’s leather is tanned in this manner now.

What makes vegetable tanning so unique is it can be used to generate thicker leather and results in more body and character, which is ideal for bag creation. Vegetable tanned leather also tends to age better and develops a rich patina over time. It also has that awesome classic leather smell.


Full Aniline/ Full Grain Cowhide Leather

The best sort of leather available is aniline leather. When looking at aniline leather upholstery, the natural grain and markings on the leather are plainly visible. Because each animal has its own grain characteristics, you will notice the same in the leather.

High-quality skins or hides are used to make aniline leather. Sanding, on the other hand, is not employed in the preparation of this leather. As a result, the leather’s natural appearance is preserved.  In order to treat the leather, transparent aniline dyes are used. Protective treatments or coatings are not applied to aniline leather. Therefore, it still retains its natural feel.

Pull Up Aniline Cowhide Leather

To achieve deep, brilliant colors, pull-up leather is aniline dyed in the drum. It is finished with a combination of transparent waxes and oils, which gives the leather a very soft hand, or feel. When this leather is stretched or pulled, the color migrates and becomes lighter in the pulled areas. As a result, the name “pull-up” refers to this change in color. Drastic variations in light and dark areas grow as the leather is handled and stretched against the grain. The “pull-up” becomes more noticeable as the leather is stretched tightly around furniture frames and other materials. Marks, scratches, and traces of wear will appear on a pure aniline leather, and a deep patina, or sheen, will develop over time.

Pigmented Cowhide Leather

Pigmented leather is highly treated – and therefore a highly durable leather type.

The hides are buffed throughout processing to assist eliminate scarring, veining, and branding. After that, the leather is coated with a color pigment before the grain pattern is embossed into it. As a result, the finished leather is more durable, uniform, blemish-free, and easy to care for.

Pigmented leather is both very hard wearing and more resistant to fading and scratching. Because of the high level of protection, this type of leather may be kept clean by wiping it with a moist towel.

Whilst it’s not as soft to the touch as aniline, semi-aniline, pull-up or oiled leathers, the embossed finish removes the natural markings, giving it a uniform finish. Pigmented leather does not control temperatures as well as some of the other leather options in the summer and winter.

Semi-aniline cowhide leather

Because of the less intensive coating and the lack of compression of the leather fibres by a strong embossing, semi-aniline leather is soft and warm, and it feels extremely natural.

Semi-anilines, in contrast to aniline leather, which is fully porous and extremely delicate, offer superior protection The protection is by no means as strong as for pigmented smooth leather, where the pigment layer acts as a barrier and the hair pores are no longer recognisable.


How to identify genuine cowhide watch band

Identify with eyes

Real cowhide has rough, rough, natural lines, with indentations due to deformation during the cow’s life. If we look closely with the naked eye or look with a magnifying glass, we will see small pores and even scars. Meanwhile, the imitation leather is perfectly smooth, without natural incompleteness like real leather.

Genuine cowhide watch bands often do not have too prominent colors, and imitation leather has bright, inconsistent colors. Leather straps are available in a wide variety of colors.

Identify with nose

To check the authenticity of cowhide, you can smell it with your nose. All genuine leathers have the smell of leather; and artificial leathers have the smell of strong plastic.

Identify with hand

You can also feel the authenticity of the genuine cowhide watch bands with your hands. Genuine cowhide leather is soft and smooth, but still has a little ripple due to the pores of cowhide. In contrast, when touching synthetic leather, you will feel astringent, rigid, and poor in softness.

When touching synthetic leather in summer, hands will feel the heat spreading. Real leather is always soft and does not absorb heat.

When pressing on real leather with your hand, the indentation will quickly disappear as soon as you put your hand out because cowhide has a certain elasticity.

Identify with water

Water test is also a fairly simple, not time-consuming way that you can try to identify genuine cowhide watch bands. With this method, you need to prepare a cup of clean water, then pour the water on the surface of the skin. Next, observe the water permeability of that leather material.

The surface of the genuine leather has better water absorption, while the synthetic leather has better water resistance. You can test the water absorption of the strap by dipping your finger in water and wiping it across the surface. If the water absorption is good, it is genuine leather, the water absorption is poor or it does not absorb at all, and most of them are synthetic leather.

Identify with fire

Tear off a bit of fiber from the back of genuine leather and artificial leather, and when it is ignited, the one with a pungent odor and solid waste is artificial leather; the one with a hair odor that will not generate hard grain is genuine leather.

Cost difference

Many sellers claim to sell genuine cowhide watch bands at heavy discounts and deals. However, in most cases, it’s a faux leather cowhide watch band. An authentic cowhide band will never be cheap, as a lot of time and money goes into creating it. It can come at some discount, but you are indeed not paying for a genuine cowhide band if you get it at half the price.B.A Handmade is a manufacturer specializing in the development and production of premier quality leather watch bands in the US. Our main products are genuine leather straps, leather wallets, leather belts, etc. We don’t sell synthetic leather watch straps and almost all of our products are made from full-grain leather – the best sort of leather available nowadays. If you are looking for luxury and genuine cowhide watch bands, please don’t heisitate to see more HERE or contact us to request your own customized leather strap.

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