Sheepskin Guide

Cowhide vs Sheepskin Leather Jackets: Which Is Best?

Cowhide vs Sheepskin Leather Jackets

If you’re looking to invest in a new leather jacket, you’ll need to consider the type of leather from which it’s made. All leather jackets are made of animal hide that’s been dried, tanned, and processed. But different types of the animal hide are used to make leather, each of which offers unique properties and characteristics. While you can find leather jackets made of a variety of animal hides, the two most common are cowhide and sheepskin. So, what’s the difference between a cowhide and sheepskin leather jacket, and which one should you should choose?

The Grain

Although there are exceptions, most jackets made of sheepskin leather have a finer grain than those made of cowhide leather. Cowhide naturally has a coarser grain than sheepskin. If you ever get the opportunity to perform a side-by-side comparison of a cowhide and sheepskin leather jacket, you can feel the difference with your own hands. The finer grain of sheepskin leather jackets feels silky smooth, whereas the coarser grain of cowhide leather jackets feels rougher. But this is just one of several nuances between cowhide and sheepskin leather jackets.


Sheepskin leather jackets are significantly lighter than cowhide leather jackets. This is because sheepskin is naturally thinner with a smaller, finer grain than its cowhide counterpart, making it particularly lightweight. If you’re planning to wear your leather jacket during the spring or summer, the lightweight properties of a sheepskin leather jacket make it well worth the investment. It won’t weigh you down as much as a cowhide leather jacket, nor will it leave you feeling uncomfortably hot.


Because they have finer grain, sheepskin leather jackets are also softer than cowhide leather jackets. Even if you wear a sheepskin leather jacket with a sleeveless t-shirt, you can rest assured knowing that it won’t cause any discomfort. The superior level of softness offered by sheepskin leather jackets will allow you to wear them all day it long. It’s soft, supple, and feels amazing against your skin. Cowhide leather jackets can also be soft, but they typically aren’t as soft as sheepskin leather jackets.


Cowhide and sheepskin leather jackets feature a very similar appearance. With that said, many men and women prefer the look of sheepskin leather jackets over cowhide leather jackets. As mentioned above, sheepskin leather jackets have a finer grain. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s still noticeable to the naked eye. With their finer grain, sheepskin leather jackets have a smoother, cleaner appearance over their cowhide counterparts.