How to choose a quality cowhide rug
Every cowhide rug is unique not only in color and pattern but also the texture of the leather, silkiness of the hair as well as the size of each rug. What is the difference between a good quality cowhide rug and a poor quality cowhide rug?
There is no single answer to this question because of all the variables with leather, tanning practices and the skills of the leather technicians. In general, the more time they spend preparing the rug – the better the quality. Did you know it takes weeks to get a perfectly tanned cowhide? Because tanners want to be paid for their time the most reliable first indicator of quality leather cowhide product will be the price you pay. The cheaper the price the poorer the quality and the less time was spent on it. That doesn’t mean all expensive cowhide rugs are high quality – but its a good place to start.
So when shopping for a cowhide rug or any leather product, be sure to take this into consideration.
Authentic Leather International
When you purchase an authenticated rug from Authentic Leather International, you can be sure you are getting what you pay for – the highest quality cowhide rugs.
Here are some of the other consideration to look for, that you get with Authentic Leather International.
The rug should be soft, easy to fold with an even thickness across the whole rug. The hair on the rug should be glossy, soft and silky when touched.
All cowhides have natural flaws since they a natural product that we bring to life in their most natural form. We have the best technicians who repair these flaws during the tanning process making small imperfections almost invisible on the hair side of the hide.
So how do you ensure you are getting the best quality cowhide rug on the market? Purchase a certified, authenticated cowhide rug by Authentic Leather International! We stand behind our products!
Caring For your Rug
Are your edges curling up on your cowhide rug? The reasons and how to best handle it.
There are numerous reasons why this can happen but a poor quality hide that has been split unevenly is definitely one of the reasons. The reason for this is leather fibers in the thinner areas dry out faster than the fibers in thicker area and creates tension that make the corners curl. You can expect cheap cowhides to curl within months of purchase!
However even a good -quality rug from Authentic Leather International can curl with certain environmental influences.
Two things that can happen:
- The top leather fibers are drying and contracting faster than the bottom fibers due to heat exposure like a heater or direct sunlight over a long long period of time.
- The opposite can also happen but is less likely with high-quality hides. This is where the rug is laying on top of a heated floor which dries out the bottom surface quicker than the top. This is nothing to worry about though. Simply care for your rug and freshen it up by hanging it over a railing (hair-side down) that is not in direct sunlight every now and then.
Curling occurs only around the narrow leather parts between the legs and corners of the neck area
Take a spray bottle filled with water and mist it on the bottom/leather side of the cowhide to moisten the leather slightly. This will help that area to be hydrated again and the leather fibers to expand. Putting a flat object on it will flatten the curl or you can roll and work it into the opposite direction by hand.
Our RUGS are also steam friendly. Important to remember to use a thin cloth between the steam iron and the cow skin. Here at ALI you know what you get since each rug is photographed individually which means what you see is exactly what you get and not some other look-alike which you may find at other retailers.
How to clean your cowhide rug
Include your cowhide or zebra hide run in your normal cleaning routine. Vacuum with your vacuum head-brush. To do this, stand in the center of your African rug and work from your feet with with the natural direction of the hair always towards the outside only. Don’t go against the hair with a vacuum. Do this in a 360 degree angle until your rug is nice and clean.
You can also take your rug outside and give it a good shake to remove any dust or dirt on it.
Sweeping the hide with a broom helps to keep the hair soft and fluffy and also removes the dust or dirt from it that is trapped between the hairs. If your hide is in a area where it sees a lot of traffic, rotate it once in awhile by re-positioning it. Adjusting it and moving it into different angles and areas just makes it wear more evenly over the long term.
Note- If these rugs if taken care, they will last you a very very long time so you might have to include it in your will!
What should you not do to your rug?
DO NOT WASH, HOSE DOWN, SOAK OR DRY CLEAN YOUR COWHIDE RUG.
How-To Guide for Common Spills
This can often be the biggest worry for someone buying a high-quality rug.
What if my children spill food, sauce, butter, oil or jam on it. What if red wine is spilled on it? Don’t worry about any of these because a quick reaction and a little bit of “TLC’ will clean your rug easy.
Liquid spills on a cowhide or game rug:
Grab a paper towel or sponge and soak up the spill pressing and wiping with the hair as soon as possible.
Solid spills on a cowhide:
Take the blunt side of a butter knife and scrape with the hair till you have the bulk of the item(s) onto something other than the rug.
Try not to push it deeper into your leather rug. Now, mix some Dawn dish soap (regular or platinum) into some water in a bowl. Have a second bowl with clean water only ready as well.
Soak the sponge or cloth in the soapy water and make sure to squeeze it so it is only damp and not wet. Do not soak the hide or get it overly wet. Wipe the controlled spill vigorously in different directions. Here it helps getting anything within the hair out. Clean your sponge in the clean water and wipe again to remove any soap left on the rug.
Repeat these steps if necessary!
Liquids spills on a cowhide:
Liquid spills are the easiest to clean as long as they are done in a timely manner. The hair won’t take the color of the spill on but the leather underneath the hair might. After you are satisfied with your clean rug wipe the washed area with a dry towel to remove as much of the moisture as possible. Take a brush and brush with the hair in it’s natural direction. Leave to dry naturally, away from direct heat and a hot sun.
That’s it. It’s really quite easy. Buying an authenticated cowhide rug any other game rug from Authentic Leather will ensure a high quality rug that is easy to keep clean and will supply your house with a beauty that lasts for decades.