Latigo leather (Spanish látigo = the whip) is a firm, durable and porous smooth cow leather, which is particularly common in horse riding. It is used for saddle seats and straps. It can be vegetable or chromium-tanned and is characterized by the fact that it is oiled or waxed after tanning and dyeing. This makes a soft grip, which makes latigo leather also popular for dog leashes.
Latigo leather is mostly manufactured in black, brown tones and darker red shades. Brighter colours are seldom. White is achieved by bleaching prior to dying and applying a pigment based finish.
In Western saddlery, latigos are the name of the straps securing the cinches to the saddle rigging. They are named for the latigo leather which is used to manufacture them.
The disadvantage of latigo leather is that it can lead to discolouration on clothing, skin and dog fur, as the dye is sometimes not abrasion resistant enough because of the porosity and strong fatliquoring. This can be tested. Moisten a white cloth and rub the leather ten times. Fast, but not by force. Depending on the level of discoloration of the flap, the sensitivity can be deemed acceptable or not.
Discoloration due to friction with a dog collar made of latigo leather.