Leather is the natural skin or hide of an animal. To make leather, any hair is removed from the hide, and the skin is preserved and softened in a process known as tanning. The outside layer of the skin, or ‘top grain’, is what is called leather. This shows the grain or pores of the animal skin or any other characteristic features. Leather can be dyed, coated and embossed to give it a wide range of different characteristics.

Chamois leather (commonly known shammy leather) is the skin of the chamois, a species of goat-antelope native to the mountainous regions of Western Europe and Asia. It is naturally a very soft type of leather. The term ‘chamois’ leather is sometimes also used to describe the soft inner layer of the natural skin or hide of other animals, including cowhide, goatskin, pigskin and sheepskin.

Properties and qualities

Leather is very tough and hard-wearing. It is extremely durable, flexible and does not tear easily. It has good insulating properties and is resistant to wind and water.

How does it feel?

Leather is fairly soft. Chamois, in particular, is a very soft type of leather.


Leather should not be washed. Rather, it can be wiped clean with a damp cloth or a cloth that has been sprayed with a very mild, leather-friendly detergent. For best results, refer to the care instructions on your leather product.