Leather vs. lambskin

Written by jennifer gittins
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Leather vs. lambskin
Leather is used in many products. (Photos.com/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Leather is a term used to describe animal hides that have been processed. Lambskin is a type of leather but is different from other animal hides that are more commonly used for leather. In fact, lambskin is considered more desirable, so many companies will make it a point to note that a product is lambskin. Various types of leathers, including lambskin, have properties that make them ideal for different products.

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Leather can be the tanned hide of many animals, including cows, sheep, antelope, bucks and lambs (young sheep). To create the product, the skin is removed from the animal and soaked in a solution to remove bacteria. The hair is removed with a chemical spray and machine that removes the hair with dull blades. The hide is washed a second time before it is ready for tanning. Tanning involves soaking the skin in acid solutions over several weeks, though other methods of tanning exist and include spraying oil onto the skins or packing the skins in salt.


Lambskin is a type of leather made only from the hide of young sheep. Unlike most other animal hides that are used for leather, lambskin is more delicate, and tanning must be done more gently. For this reason, lambskins often soak for approximately 12 hours in acids during the tanning process rather than several weeks.

Pros and Cons of Leather

Leather is extremely popular for use in a multitude of products ranging from furniture to clothing and accessories such as belts, purses, hats and shoes. However, due to its popularity, many products may be marked as leather but contain only a minuscule amount of real leather. Genuine leather products will cost more than faux leather products. Leather furniture is easy to keep clean and can help reduce allergens in the home but is not recommended for homes with pets, which can damage leather surfaces.

Pros and Cons of Lambskin

Like many other leathers, lambskin is used for a variety of products, including jackets, wallets, purses, gloves and other clothing items. It does not hold its shape as well as other tanned animal hides, making it ideal for these items. Due to the nature of the product, it is softer and more supple than other leathers. It is more expensive than other leathers and is considered more luxurious. However, it is not as durable and may be damaged easily.

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