Natural features of leather

No quality defect, but visible individuality of the animal

Leder Naturmerkmale

When purchasing a leather couch, manufacturers and furniture stores often point out that the leather cover may have natural features that do not represent a quality defect.

Genuine leather upholstery covers are usually made from cattle hides. As each animal has individual skin characteristics, it is possible that these (depending on the type of leather) cannot be completely concealed and are visible.

Cattle from the Pampas steppe of South America in particular have many scars as well as brand marks. Natural marks include injuries such as skin tears, tick bites, scratches, skin scars (ulcers) or insect bites. All these visible natural characteristics do not represent a quality defect, but are the visible individuality of the animal from whose hide the leather was made.

High-quality upholstery manufacturers ensure that no (or as discreet as possible) visible natural features are incorporated into the leather cover. However, flawless hides are rare and therefore more expensive than those with the animal's natural individual skin characteristics.

The surface of a complete cowhide is grained to varying degrees. The central areas of the back tend to be smooth and even, while the areas on the legs and belly are more heavily grained. These different areas are all processed on a leather trim and do not represent a quality defect.

Examples of natural traits in cattle


Scratches, hedge cracks

Various types of mostly elongated scars are caused by injuries to sharp plant parts. For example, the animals get stuck on thorns or branches, but often also on barbed wire or similar prickly material (fencing around the site).


Skin ulcers, warts

As in humans, skin diseases such as warts, ulcers or so-called calf lichen occur in cattle, which are visible on the skin and remain visible because the scarring permanently changes the skin structure.



Branding is used to mark and identify animals. Some of the brands are very painful for the animals and are not permitted everywhere. These methods (e.g. hot branding, tattoos, cold branding) cause clearly visible skin damage.


Tick bites

Tick bites and bites from other insects are visible as small scars on the skin.

Horn blasts

In fights with other animals, horn blows can occur that leave recognizable scars.


Every animal skin is individual, just like the animal itself, and visible scars of various kinds, caused by injuries, are typical

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