What is Deerskin Leather?

What is Deerskin Leather?

Deerskin leather has long been ingrained in everyday life and used within North American history.

Traditional terminology for the first type of leather we carry is "Brain Tanned." Brain Tanned leather is tanned using a wood smoking process that helps waterproof the leather, prevents stiffness once wet, and deters bugs and insects from consuming it. The wood smoking process gives the leather a natural, dark honey color while also permeating the skin to have a strong bonfire smell. This traditional tanning process is still widely used within North American Indian tribes for cultural practices and traditional clothing.

Modern-day terminology for this tanning practice is called Commercial Brain Tanning. The main difference between traditional and commercial brain tanning is that commercial brain tanning is achieved by using modern equipment, thus shortening the time needed to finish the leather.

Another popular tanning method we carry is chrome tanned. Chrome tanning can allow the tannery to produce a variety of colors, such as black, dark brown, and white. Leatherworkers can still use the chrome-tanned buckskin the same way they would use brain-tanned buckskin, just without the smokey smell!

Deerskin hair-on hides have more of a natural look but are still tanned nonetheless, just with the hair intact. The hair on these rugs tends to be brittle, so home decor enthusiasts will typically use these for accent-driven purposes, such as wall hangings, rugs, and clothing accessories.

The final deerskin we offer is rawhide. This leather type is typically used for drumheads, lamp shades, and other projects requiring stiff, but wet-moldable, leather.

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