What is Deerskin Leather?

Deerskin leather has long been ingrained within North American history. Native Americans tanned deer hides through a method of smoking them with woodsmoke. These hides were called buckskin and were used for clothing, pouches and a whatever soft leather was desired for.

The woodsmoking process gives the leather a dark honey color, prevents the hide from becoming stiff while wet, and deters insects from eating it. Modern day terminology for this practice is called “Brain Tanning” and these hides are still widely used within tribes for their cultural practices.

Modern day Buckskin is produced quite a bit differently. Instead of being smoked, these hides are produced through chrome tanning. This negates the smoke smell from the hide while still retaining its soft temper. While usages haven't changed you can now create clothing and bags without that smokey smell.

Rugskins are tanned with the hair left on the hide. The hair on the hide is very brittle so these hides are primarily used as accent pieces. Wall hangings, rugs and clothing accents are some of the most popular uses for hair on hides.

Another unique form of deer is rawhide. Rawhides are created by removing the fur, meat and fat from the hide. Hides are then stretched over a frame and then dried. It creates a very stiff leather, however when it is wet it can be re-formed and then thoroughly dried. Popular uses include making drums, chew toys and lampshades.