BETA Trade Membership logo

Help - Leather Technical Information

 Leather Thickness

Inch

Millimetre
(.03937")

Decimal

Ounce
(1/64")

1/64"
1/32"
3/64"
1/16"
5/64"
3/32"
7/64"
1/8"
9/64"
5/64"
11/64"
3/16"
13/64"
7/32"

.40
.80
1.20
1.60
2.00
2.40
2.80
3.20
3.60
4.00
4.40
4.80
5.20
5.60

.015625
.03125
.046875
.0625
.078125
.09375
.109375
.125
.140625
.15625
.171875
.1875
.203125
.21875

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14

Saddlery Leathers

In England, the thickness of the hide is shown in millimetres, but the area is usually given in square feet (sq. ft.) - the imperial measurement. Shoulders are priced by the square foot but are sold by the piece. So, for example, a shoulder measuring 10 sq. ft priced at £4.00/ft would cost £40.00. Butts and Backs are normally sold as pairs or half pairs, not by weight or area.

Hide Thickness

2 - 5 mm

 

Soft leathers and bridle shoulder are available in 2 - 2.5 mm and are normally used only where there is little stress and suppleness is required.

3 mm

 

A light bridle weight, this leather can be cut into fine strips and is supple enough for narrow buckles.

3.5 - 4 mm

 

Now the standard bridle weight leather, this weight is supple enough to pass through loops and keepers.

4 - 4.5 mm

 

Heavy bridle or headcollar weight.

5 mm +

 

Stirrup leather weight.


Types of Leather

Butt

 

This is the most expensive, and best, cut of the hide. Measuring approximately 5 ft x 2 ft (150 x 60 cm) the belly and weaker shoulder areas have been trimmed away. They are available in 3 mm, 3.5 - 4 mm, 4-4.5 mm and 5 mm weights. Butts are normally sold as pairs (or half pairs).

Back

 

Extending the length of the butt by retaining the shoulder area, the back measures approximately 80 x 24 inches (200 x 60 cm). They are available in 3.5-4 mm, 4-4.5 mm and 5 mm weights. Backs are also normally sold as pairs or half pairs.

Shoulder

 

Taken from the shoulder of the animal, this is normally available in 2-2.5 mm and 3 mm although occasionally heavier weights are to be found. This is useful for repairs and also for bag work.

Panel Hide

 

This is available as a whole or half hide measuring approximately 1.5 - 1.8 mm in thickness and 40 - 45 square feet in area. Whole hides are sold as a piece, whilst half hides are priced by the square foot.

Russet or Tooling Leather

 

This is undyed leather, which can be wetted and moulded or carved before dying to produce a wide variety of leather goods. It is available in Shoulders, Butts, Backs and whole hides.

Bag or Girth Hide

 

Available plain or with a heavy "Wheat" print this is used for bag making, and in saddlery, for girths.

Buffalo

 

This is only available pre cut and pre stretched as stirrup strips or girth pulls. It is virtually unbreakable and should not need replacing if well looked after.

Pigskin

 

Is very strong and usually used only on saddle seats.

Colours

 

In saddlery the naming conventions of colours sometimes mean that a colour used in bridle leather has a different name when used in saddle leather e.g. Light Havanna bridle leather is the same colour as Newmarket saddle leather. We will try to give some idea of colours, although accuracy is limited by the resolution and colour rendition of your monitor. If in doubt ask us for a colour sample.

Contact: E-mail: Sales@ridingbitz.co.uk