Leather Characteristics

We wish every piece of leather could be absolutely perfect! Coming from a natural animal it makes it challenging and almost impossible. In the 1000's of hides we have seen without fail they all have, markings, dark and light spots, wrinkles, holes, scratches and more. This is the reality we deal with and want to better bridge the gap on expectations and what we can provide. Here are some details on what our commitment to you is and some recommendations to help you  purchase the leather. 

Hides/Half Hides: Our hides come in different cuts - sides, double shoulders, butts, whole hides and more. Each cut will have different characteristics inherent to the cut

  • Sides will have the belly area that can be a little softer and show more wrinkle and stretching
  • Double shoulders don't have the belly but do show neck and back wrinkles
  • Butts are usually one of the cleanest cuts but the leather is very dense and tough
  • Whole hides have a little bit of everything mentioned in this article. There is also the possibility of a hole in the hide due to the tannery removing brands, etc.

Panels: Because we cut our panels from the full hides we are somewhat limited to how we cut them efficiently. To keep the yield up which results in better cost for our customers there may be a small blemish in some panels. We try our best to cut around them, but occasionally a panel will have one.

What we promise is that the blemish (Scratch, hole or bite) will be no bigger than a quarter (2.5 cm) diameter and will be kept to the side of the panel and not in the center. This gives you some flexibility to work around it easily. Again please read the aniline leather info in each listing to understand what qualifies as normal for a hide and not a blemish. Blemishes are only bites, scratches, holes, cuts

Finish: Depending on if the leather is Full Aniline (No added finish on surface to hide defects) or Pigmented (A spray color/finish to add consistent color and durability) you will see varying degrees of the naturalness of the leather with all its nuance. 

  • Full Aniline - No extra color/finish covering the natural grain. Reveals all the varying degrees of the natural leather. Leather can scratch and show wear. The charm of this leather is the way it will patina and age over time as there is nothing on the surface to slow its aging. Many love the worn look that can take months to years to create. But it will come with the need to be creative how you work less desireable areas into your projects. If you are looking for higher yield or more durability semi aniline or pigmented leather will be a better suitor
  • Semi Aniline - a slight bit of pigment/color is sprayed onto the leather to hide some of the less desirable areas. The finish may slow its patina or ageing
  • Pigmented - Leather is sprayed with a color/finish to give it great colors, a higher cutting yield and added stratch resistance and durability. The tradeoff is that it is less prone to ageing or the patina effect. The benefits are the economics and durability of these finishes

Scratches, holes and bites: All leather hides usually have some combination of these, even the highest of grades. The tanneries grade a hide in its entirety and one small marking or characteristic doesn't effect the grade. We purchase top grades unless mentioned in the listing. Meaning these hides are their very best even with blemishes. If you are making a large item where you need big clean pieces we recommend as much as possible buying some form of pigmented leather. Big luxury brands almost exclusively do this to ensure a higher yield. If you are using aniline leathers this will be challenging. We recommend that your order extra leather to ensure you can achieve your results and contact us before hand to assist you.

Coloration: Each batch of leather production can have varying shades of color. The tanneries do their best to stay within a tight tolerance, but there is a tolerance. Pigmented leathers are more able to stay in tight tolerance, the aniline leathers though are tougher and will even change colors over time as they patina. Please contact us for a sample if you require tight tolerances.

Flesh Side: Tanneries do not take the flesh side of leather into consideration when running production or grading leather. We can not guarantee the flesh side will be usable, a uniform color or without issue. While the tannery does try to produce a usable flesh side, it is not guaranteed. 

Recommendations: There is some skill and mastery involved in working with leather and selecting how to cut a hide up. We have a few recommendations

  1. If you are making large items (bags) that need perfect large pieces please contact us about helping select the right hide that meets your specifications. We can also send a picture
  2. Those that are most successful optimizing yield on a leather hide do so by working blemishes into less visible areas of their project. Also they embrace the natural variation and showcase it. Some of the Japanese crafters are masters and showing the beauty of a naturalness from non perfect leather. Embracing this can make your products feel more handcrafted and not something mass produced.
  3. If you have any hesitation call us and we can help you get the right leather article for your project


Return Policy

We are passionate about  making sure you get just what you want! We know occasionally you may want to exchange or return an item. We have a generous   30-day return policy on all items except split down leather. We just ask that if it is returned its original unopened form. For more information on how to return items Click Here

Splitting Services

We offer splitting on leather bought from us and we can also split customer provided leather. All leather purchased from us can be split at time of purchase. We have a large 28" band knife splitter that can split a business card into 3 pieces. We can split down to 0.5mm. For more information on contract splitting Click Here


Most leather hides we offer volume pricing discounts that can be combined with other articles from the same tannery. On hardware there are usually volume discounts as well. If you have a large order of the same product in different colors or same color contact us and we can usually figure something out

Shipping and Handling

Shipping is free within the US and we have competitive rates for international shipping. We ship worldwide to most countries! International customers will be responsible for import duties/fees on shipments so you may want to contact your country's customs department for what those costs might be. Most items ship in 3-6 business days, we may need an extra day for custom splitting or during the holidays. Please be understanding as we run quite lean to keep costs down which allow us to sell our products at the most competitive prices we can. For more information about time and rates Click Here

Contact Us

Because we are often out in the warehouse working on orders the best method to reach us is by email. You can contact us at info@rmleathersupply.com we try to answer all emails within 24 hours but often much sooner


We try very hard to keep all items in stock. Occasionally certain items will be out of stock. Everything that shows on the website is ready to ship from our warehouse. If the item is out of stock we try to keep an updated date in the listing of when it will be back in stock.