Vegetable-Tanned Tooling Leather


We offer two varieties of tooling leather: Tooling Cow (2-2.5 oz.) and Tooling Calf (1.5-2 oz.). The open, unfinished surface of tooling leathers make them suitable for for projects which require stamping, carving, tooling, dying and/or staining.

Veg-Tanned Leathers

Tooling Cow

Weight: 2-3 oz*
Average Thickness: 1.25mm or or .05" or ~1/16"

— [Range: .03 - .055"]

NOTE! Our current stock of Tooling Cow is .03-.04" thick... thinner than average (and perhaps better for your mini crafting!) – 3/3/2016

Made from mature cowhide, this leather easily takes tooling and stamping. It has an overall crisp and substantial feel to it, and is not as prone to stretching or warping when worked as the tooling calf. It is usually the best choice for Traditional Scale western saddles.

Tooling Calf

Weight: 1.5-2 oz*
Average Thickness: .8mm or .0325" or ~1/32"

— [Range: .025 - .04"]

Made from younger cattle, this leather is trimmed to be thinner. It also has a more buttery and supple texture than tooling cow. This leather does accept tooling, however, because it is thinner and softer, patterns may not appear as deep or distinct as they might with tooling cow. It also tends to stretch or warp more easily when worked.

Our tooling calf also tends to have some blemishes, even among the best pieces. (usually oddities in the coloring, but sometimes a bit of texture, creases, etc).

Both types of tooling leathers can be used for many different types of projects, and the selection of which leather is best will depend on the project you are working on.

Please note that the color and shade of vegetable-tanned leather varies from batch to batch, as well as with age, and exposure to light and air.

* — some pieces or portions thereof may range up to 3 oz. on tooling cow, and up to 2.5 oz on tooling calf.

Leather Size Comparison Chart

Tooling Leathers
Part No. Description Price
TOOLING COW — 2-3 oz. / 1.25mm / .05" / ~1/16"   [current stock is .03-.04"]
LT2Tooling Leather, 8.5x 5.5 piece$9.50 each
LT4Tooling Leather, 8.5x5.5 seconds--
pieces have obvious imperfections
offered only on an "as available" basis
$5.00 each
LT3Tooling Leather, scrap bag/as available$2.75 each
TOOLING CALF — 1.5-2 oz. / .8mm / .0325 / ~1/32"
LCT8Tooling Leather, 8.5x 5.5 piece$7.50 each
LCT13Tooling Leather, 8.5x5.5 seconds--
pieces have obvious imperfections
offered only on an "as available" basis
$4.00 each
LCT6Tooling Leather, scrap bag/ .75 oz./ when available$1.75 each

Information about Tooling Leathers

Thickness & Weight
Leather weights indicate approximately how much 1 square foot of leather weighs. Generally speaking, the lighter the weight, the thinner the leather. However, in actuality, the thickness can vary due to differences between animals, tanning batch, type of animal the hide comes from and a variety of other factors.

Surface Marks & Imperfections
It is important to note that cattle aren't known as the smartest critters on the planet, and due to that fact, as well as leather being a natural product, there may be some minor variations in surface texture, coloring or small mars or blemishes here and there. Tooling/carving and dying usually renders most minor imperfections undetectable.

Tooling leather comes in "natural" color... which is a buff or light flesh-colored tone. Please note that tooling leather (as well as other vegetable-tanned leathers, such as Skiver) will darken or develop a darker "patina" when exposed to light and air, due to effects of oxidization. This is a normal and natural process. If you wish your leather to remain very light colored, store it covered, and away from exposure to light. Applying a leather finish coating on your finished projects can help slow or stop this process.

Main Leather Page

Leather Pricelist — Check Current Availability