Kangaroo leather

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Kangaroo leather is considered an exotic leather in many countries. However, in Australia, where the animals exist naturally and in abundance, the leather is as "normal" as deerskin in northern Europe and northern America. Kangaroos are not bred. Due to a lack of enemies in their natural habitat, their numbers have increased,leading to them being hunted. Estimates from 2022 assume that there are around 40 million kangaroos in Australia and of these around 4% are used commercially for meat production and leather manufacture under strict control.

In Australia, kangaroo meat is heavily processed into dog food. However, a large part of the meat is also exported and is popular in other countries since the BSE crisis (aka mad cow disease) and also because of its low fat content. The largest buyer of kangaroo meat outside of Australia was the EU in 2019 and the largest buyer of kangaroo leather outside of Australia was Italy for the fashion segment with 2 million skins between 2012 and 2015. After the devastating bushfires in Australia in 2020, in which many animals died, some fashion labels such as Versace and Paul Smith excluded kangaroo leather from their collections.


Kangaroo meat is tasty and low in fat.


In 2021, the US Congress discussed an import ban on kangaroo products. The name of the campaign is “Kangaroos Are Not Shoes”. Campaign supporters point to animal welfare. The opponents of the ban point to the strict regulations in Australia and to meat processing. Overpopulation would be detrimental to nature and lead to the illegal killing of kangaroos. Controlled hunting is better for animal welfare, nature and economic aspects. In 2023, the sports shoe brands Nike and Puma decided to stop using kangaroo leather in the manufacture of sports shoes in the future. Instead of kangaroo leather, synthetic materials (plastics) are being used, which in turn are being questioned because of the microplastic discussion.


The Copa Mundial is a soccer shoe from Adidas and has been produced since 1979. It is the most sold football shoe in the world. The Copa's upper was made of kangaroo leather until 2022 and switched to calf leather in 2023.


Kangaroo leather is considered to be very tear resistant and can be thinned and made lighter than cow leather without affecting its stability. The average thickness is 1 millimetre, which is less than cattle leather which is, 1.2 mm to 1.4 mm thick. However, it is almost twice as strong. These properties are due to very strong cross links of the skin fibre.

Kangaroos are often used for leather gloves, shoes and boots, but also for motorcycle suits. They are usually chromium-tanned and do not look very different from cow leather.


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Complete skin of the kangaroo. - Pores of the skin.



Kangaroo leather hats from Sydney, Australia.


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Motorcycle suit made of kangaroo leather.



Kangaroo skins and sheep skins from Sydney, Australia.


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Whether kangaroo testicles dried or tanned or the dried paws; the souvenir shops in Australia are full of it.


Video about leather of different animal species

Leather of different animal species - Exotic leather

Other exotic leather