What is Crazy Horse Leather?
There’s a misconception associated with crazy horse leather that it’s horse leather, but it’s not. Typical crazy horse leather is a type of leather made from full-grain cowhide leather, which is known for strength and durability. It undergoes a unique waxing process, making leather highly durable and giving a rugged finish. This leather is well known for its unique character, with a distinctive vintage and distressed look and feel that only gets better with age and use.
Why Is It Called Crazy Horse Leather?
It is named after the legendary Native American war leader, crazy horse, widely known for his toughness and bravery. Initially, this leather was used for making horse saddles, but with time its scope has become much wider and is now used in crafting high-quality leather accessories like shoes, bags, wallets, watch straps, keychains, and beyond.
It’s also important to know that “Crazy Horse Leather” isn’t a standardized industry term and is used differently by different manufacturers and sellers. Therefore, it’s recommended to research leather before making a purchase decision to ensure it meets your requirements. Real crazy horse leather will always be specified as full-grain cowhide leather.
Types of Crazy Horse Leather:
There are several types of crazy horse leather, but the most common are the following two.
Oil Pull-up Crazy Horse Leather: This crazy horse leather is made with full-grain cowhide and has been treated with oils and waxes to create a unique pull-up effect. The pull effect refers to the characteristic of changing color when leather is pulled, stretched, or bent.
Distressed Crazy Horse Leather: This type of crazy horse leather has an aggressive distressed look created by sanding the leather to create a vintage appearance. Accessories made out of this leather look dry when new, but with time it develops a heavy patina which gives it a shiny look.
Advantages of Crazy Horse Leather:
Durability: Crazy horse leather is made from full-grain cowhide leather and processed with waxes and oils for toughness and durability. It can withstand regular wear and tear and last for years if properly looked after.
However, it’s also very important to keep in mind that the durability and strength of crazy horse leather depend on several factors, like the quality of the leather, the thickness of the hide, the origin of the animal, and how well the product is looked after over time.
Appearance: There are two types of crazy horse leather, and the appearance of both is unique and different. The appearance of oil pull-up crazy horse leather is shiny, whereas the other one is more of a vintage and rustic look. Overall, crazy horse leather has a distinctive appearance and can be easily identified due to its vintage look.
Versatility: Crazy horse leather is versatile and used in crafting a range of leather products like wallets, bags, watch straps, belts, and many more, its scope is not limited to fashion products only. Products made with crazy horse leather stand the test of time and retain their shapes for years.
Resistance Against Water and Stains: Crazy horse leather is the perfect choice for backpackers and those who like to have leather accessories that have maximum protection against water, moisture, and sweat. Though crazy horse leather is not completely water resistant, it provides maximum resistance against water among all other leathers. To keep its resistance properties alive, clean and condition it regularly.
Cost: The cost of the crazy horse leather accessories is affordable, unlike other top-end leather types like vegetable tan or English bridle leather.
Disadvantages of Crazy Horse Leather:
Visible Scratches and Marks: The vintage and distressed look of crazy horse leather makes scratches visible, which enhances its vintage appeal; however, if you don’t like scratches, they can be removed easily by using a dry cloth and moving it in a circular motion over the scratch, which will cause natural wax of the leather to penetrate and fill the small scratches.
Limited Color Variation: Crazy horse leather is made in a limited range of colors. The most common colors in crazy horse leather are dark brown and tan.
Suitability: Though crazy horse leather products are durable but may not be suitable for all uses. For example, it may not be preferable for business use.
Real vs Fake Crazy Horse Leather:
Real and high-quality crazy horse leather can be distinguished easily based on the following.
Genuine crazy horse leather has a specific natural smell, whereas fake crazy horse leather will have a plastic lamination kind of smell.
Genuine Crazy horse leather will produce wrinkles when you bend it, whereas fake leather will come back to its original position after bending.
Genuine crazy horse leather will have visible grains on its surface since it’s full grain (less processed) leather, whereas fake crazy horse leather will have a uniform pattern of fake grains.
Why Does Crazy Horse Leather Get Scratches Easily?
Crazy horse leather may be more inclined to have scratches than other leather types; these marks can often be rubbed out with a soft cloth or by applying conditioner. It’s important to know that scratches and scuffs are natural parts of any leather’s aging process, which adds character to the leather accessory.
Moreover, crazy horse leather is not treated with a topcoat or protective layer, which makes it more vulnerable to small scratches from everyday wear and tear, which is a part of the appeal associated with this type of leather, as it is meant to develop a patina over time that reflects the life and experiences of the wearer.
How To Clean and Take Care of Crazy Horse Leather?
Cleaning crazy horse leather is no different than cleaning other types of leather. The importance of cleaning leather accessories and how to do it is explained in a step-by-step leather cleaning guide
Crazy Horse Leather Vs Genuine Leather:
Crazy Horse leather is a full grain cowhide leather which is a top layer of animal skin and less processed to retain its strength and beauty, whereas genuine leather is low-grade leather that has limited life and is not durable.
Crazy Horse Leather Vs Nubuck Leather:
Crazy Horse is a full-grain leather with visible grains whereas nubuck leather is a top-grain leather that has been sanded and buffed on the grain side to make it soft and velvety texture.