At the time when horses were used for transportation and power, the use of horsehide for harness making, luggage, shoes and other useful items was more common. World War 2 pilots would likely have been wearing jackets made of horsehide.
You can, however, find furniture, car interiors, purses, luggage, and rugs. Motorcycle enthusiasts appreciate the fine grain, substance, and durability of horsehide jackets and chaps.
For this reason, horsehide is preferable for motorcycle jackets that are meant to buffet the wind while riding. Gun holsters won’t break down as quickly as one made of cowhide.
And some feel, because horsehide is a tight grained leather, it will not hold rust causing moisture on firearms. And for this reason, compared to cowhide items won’t need to be oiled or conditioned quite as often.
But, leather is also made from horses picked up by dead stock trucks and sent to rendering plants. There are a few places where equips are killed for leather, but their hides may also go into the making of a folk medicine thought to improve skin health.
The horses in the fields were replaced by tractors and by motor vehicles as a means of transport. Horse meat is discredited because it has been found undeclared in food but, in principle, horse meat can be counted as normal, food as long as it is declared correctly.
Only the leather from the rear flanks of heavy workhorses is suitable. A few millimeters below the surface of the skin, there are two round pieces, which have a highly-compressed fiber structure (butt or shell).
Cordovan is one of the very expensive leathers, especially as the demand clearly exceeds the supply. Cordovan leather has its roots in the United States, where its manufacturing process has been perfected over the years, while shoes made of this leather have been less frequent in Europe.
Men's shoes made of Cordovan are therefore produced especially by American shoemakers. During the tanning process it becomes clearly visible which skin pieces can ultimately be used for shoe production and which are more suitable for wallets or leather belts.
Friction and heat create the characteristic effect which, however, can be destroyed by the use of incorrect shoe care products. Shoes from Cordovan have a very long life span if the production quality was good and if they are.
One of them is that it is derived from a French tanner family, which specialized in horse leather processing in a village of the same name. A very nice video about the Cordovan leather production in the USA.
Even if Cordovan is particularly robust, there are important rules for cleaning and care, which apply only to this kind of leather. Wet cleaning makes the glazed fibers swell, and they immediately become very dull and rough.
Moisten a soft cloth with a little GLOSS MILK and apply it in circular movements without heavy rubbing. In addition to the use for shoes, horse leather is also processed into jackets.
While leather is often promoted as being a 'natural' fiber, the tanning process can involve an array of toxic chemicals which permanently alter the protein structure of the skin. Many retailers now offer a range of leather -free bags, shoes, belts and other products that are not only fashionable, but also cruelty-free, with many utilizing new technology and eco-friendly, plant-based materials.
Scratch beneath the surface of virtually any industry with animals as the economic unit and you will find all kinds of ugliness, and the skin trade is no different in this respect. Most of those in the fashion industry are willfully ignorant of the origins and method of dispatch used to secure their exotic skins.
From snake to crocodile, to horses and even dogs and cats, it is a grisly and stomach churning business. Horsehide are used extensively in Europe, with Italy probably producing the most exports of horse skin products.
Horses are transported across the English Channel and on the Continent often to be driven across several countries before slaughter. It seems anyone with private hire insurance can participate in the process, with no requirement for horsemanship skills.
Many farm animals suffer the same fate, of course, and we are perhaps not so squeamish about buying leather goods made from cowhide or pigskin. Real pony skin is used by the fashion and clothing industry at the higher end of the market.
Shell Cordovan leather is made from the rump area of the horse where the flesh is thickest. This is because the process of tanning and preparation is incredibly complex and drawn out, taking months to complete.
Finally, the shells are hand glazed to achieve the rich, glossy look and feel prized by fine craftsmen. At the end of the day they are shoes made out of horses skin, sold for exorbitant sums of money.
It looks like the horsehide industry is alive and well, and there seems to be little objection to it within the monies who can afford luxury goods. Perhaps Shell Cordovan luxury goods manufacturers should also be questioned about the source of their hides, and the animal welfare directives their suppliers adhere to.