Thickness of leather

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Pig leather or Lamb leather are much thinner than Cow leather. Cow leather is so thick that it is usually split into two usable parts. An un-split cattle skin has a thickness of about 45 millimetres, which is practically impossible to stitch. For this reason, it is not found in the car sector and very rarely in the furniture industry.

To achieve the desired thickness, leather is first split and then shaved.

Split leather 001.jpg

Cow leather is usually split into at least two layers.


The usual thickness for car or furniture leather is 0.9 to 1.2 millimetres. Leather that is thicker than 1.4 millimetres is called thick leather. Garment leather for light leisure jackets has a thickness of 0.5 to 0.9 millimetres. The leather thickness varies depending on the type of leather.

Since leather is a soft material, it is difficult to measure the thickness simply with a calliper. The soft material would be pressed thinner and the results would be different depending on pressure. In the case of standardized leather thickness measuring devices, the thickness of the leather is determined with a predefined area and a predetermined contact pressure. As leather is not uniform in character or content, it is almost impossible to measure uniform results over the entire surface of a skin. The measurement of the thickness of leather is regulated by national and international standards.



Special measuring device to determine the leather thickness.

Close up view of the scale of the measuring device. The hide of leather in this case was 1.7 millimetres thick.


Measuring leather thickness Photo LeatherNaturally.jpg


During the shaving process in the tannery, the leather thickness is measured repeatedly (1st photo by [ LEATHER NATURALLY).


In case of vegetable-tanned leather, the following leather articles are produced according to leather thickness:

1.0 to 2.5 mm: wallets, leather bags, book covers

2.0 - 2.5 mm: robust leather bags, leather straps

2.8 - 3.5 mm: belts, soles of shoes, knife sheaths



Heavy duty belt: USA belt with 6.3 mm leather thickness. - Thin, butter-soft lamb leather.


Video about split leather and coated split leather

Video about the production of laminated split leather.

Additional information