Most parents are familiar with cow leather, or cowhide, for shoes and other leather goods. However, cowhide isn’t the only material used for leather goods. In this article, we’ll compare cowhide with pig skin and microfiber leather to help you understand the different materials that make up Little Blue Lamb's Kids shoes.
Availability: Mostly from the West and Africa where strong beef industries exist. Most common and abundant leather source.
Description: One of the heaviest leathers. Very tough and durable. Soft and supple to the touch.
Pros: Tough and durable, commonly accessible. Dirt and water resistant.
Cons: Stiffens after getting wet and may break easily after. Heavier than pig skin due to its thickness and density.
Pig Skin Leather
Availability: Asia, where pork is a more staple product than beef. Hence, pig skin is a more common by-product.
Description: A dense leather similar to cowhide, but thinner. Known for it's resilience and ability to hold up well against abrasion. Does not stiffen after getting wet.
Pros: Not affected when it gets wet. Won’t stiffen up like cowhide. Light and porous makes for a more breathable layer. Better abrasion/puncture resistance compared to grain cowhide. Ages well and becomes more supple with use.
Cons: Not as soft and supple as cowhide in the beginning. Not suitable for use by Muslims due to religious reasons.
Availability: Globally. Manufacturers use different names and materials.
Description: Microfiber leather is made from a combination of microfiber non-woven fabric coated with a layer of high performance polyurethane resins. In the industry, it’s considered the latest version and highest quality of synthetic leather. Read our earlier article for more about microfiber leather.
Pros: More animal and environmentally friendly, recommended by PETA. Breathable, anti-bacterial and anti-odour, lightweight, water-repellent, and washable.
Cons: May not be as soft as real leather. May not age well like real leather.
Other known names: Vegan leather, PU leather, Synthetic leather.
How to identify pig skin leather?
The main tell-tale sign of genuine pig skin leather is the small 3-dots pattern scattered randomly on the surface. These spots appear only on one side.
If you are not sure, read labels. Note that the terms pig suede, pork suede and peccary also refer to pig leather.
Is pig skin good leather?
Pig skin leather has its benefits. It is commonly available in Asia where pork is a staple product. It is very durable and resilient and thus, holds well against abrasion.
Pigskin leather is thinner than cowhide, and its main advantage is that it remains pliable and doesn’t stiffen after getting wet. As such, it is often used as a liner for fine leather goods. It is, in fact, considered a luxury when used for certain items, including polo saddles.
Finally, pigskin leather is breathable and water, stain and oil repellent, making it ideal for use in shoes.
Is pig skin leather soft?
Yes, pig skin leather is soft, which means that it is more pliable than most other leathers.
Pig skin leather care
Similar to all other leather, pig skin leather items should be cared for properly if you want them to last. You can use a non-abrasive cloth, mild soap solution and leather conditioner to keep it clean.
Ensure that your cloth is damp but not too wet before wiping the pigskin item. Wipe in one direction and then the opposite direction until the dirty spot is cleaned. Rubbing it continuously in one spot will cause a nonuniform appearance on the leather. Dry it with a soft towel.
Besides this, pig skin leather items, such as pig skin shoes should be kept away from direct sunlight and heat. Store in a cool dry place, such as a closet. Do not keep pigskin leather items in plastic bags.
Pig skin leather shoes Singapore
Shop our latest children shoes collection with pig skin lining for more breathability.
Prefer without pig skin materials? Check out our children shoes collection without the use of pig skin.
Want to have the best of both worlds? Our Women's Trainers are made with cow leather and lined with pig skin for extra durability, performance, and comfort.