Leather Buying Tips from Crazy Crow Trading Post

Leather Buying Terms & Tips

Understanding Leather Industry Jargon Makes for Better Choices


Purchasing Leather

At Crazy Crow Trading Post, we purchase leather from several tanneries worldwide and sell it in the same form we receive it. The leather industry has general terms applied to the various ways that leather is sold by, such as side, hide, skin, split, etc. The actual size of these are determined by measuring devices at the tannery. As the size of each varies, the size of the item you order may vary as well.

Crazy Crow Prices Leather Two Ways:

  1. By the Hide: Most of our hides are priced by the each, based on a small range of sizes, such as 8-10 square feet, and you are charged one price regardless of size. This could be an 8 foot hide or a 10 foot hide.
  2. By the Square Foot: Some leather is sold by the square foot (sq. ft.), again, in the form we receive from the tannery. When you order products priced by the sq. ft., we will get as close to your specified quantity as possible. So, if you order 100 sq. ft., you may receive 94, 97, 101, 104, etc. because we normally cannot select hides that add up to an exact square footage. Your actual price will be for the total of square footage we actually ship.
Leather Buying Tips

Hide Markings:By the Hide:

When leather is measured and marked by the tannery, it is done to the nearest 1/4 of a square foot and marked as such. For example, a 10 and 1/4 square foot hide (10.25 sq. ft.) will be marked 101; a 10.5 sq. ft. is marked 102; and a 10.75 sq. ft. hide is marked 103. An 11 sq. ft. hide will be marked simply, 11.


At Crazy Crow Trading Post, we strive to display colors as accurately as possible on our Website; however, this depends on your computer display as well as variations in colors between different dye lots.

Leather Hide Parts (The images below illustrate how hides are divided into different cuts.

Weight/Thickness: Leather thickness is normally stated in terms of “ounces”. One ounce equals 1/64″ in thickness. Thus, a weight of 7 to 8 oz. means the leather is 7/64″ to 8/64″ in thickness. In order to provide leather of uniform thickness, most hides are run through a splitting machine. However, as each animal is different, there are almost always slight variations throughout the hide. Therefore, leather is normally stated as a range of thickness, such as, 4 to 5 oz., 6 to 7 oz., etc.

Conversion from Yardage to Sq. Ft. (Examples)

As stated above, leather is normally measured in square feet; however, some patterns call for a certain number of yards. The examples given below are general guidelines for converting yards into square feet:

The pattern calls for 3 yards of 36″ fabric.

Use a conversion factor of 9:
3 x 9 = 27
Add 20% 6
Total…33 sq. ft. needed.

The pattern calls for 3 yards of 45″ fabric.

Use a conversion factor of 11:
3 x 11 = 33
Add 20% 7
Total….40 sq. ft. needed.

The pattern calls for 3 yards of 54″ fabric.

Use a conversion factor of 13:
3 x 13 = 39
Add 20% 8
Total….47 sq. ft. needed.

Adding 20% allows some extra to make up for imperfections, holes or any loss in cutting.