For Sale on eBay
Western Saddle Fittings/Pads
Model: Western Saddle
Category: Western Saddle Fittings/Pads
Purchase: I have acquired recently a saddle made in India at a very very cheap price via internet. I have paid only $ 155
Likes: Sturdy, economical, reasonable quality
Quality: Sturdy, generic quality standards (serves my basic purpose of trail riding, horse breaking and training)
Summary: Excellent buy.
I am not an expert on leather but being a chemical engineer I can tell you something about the leather properties and tanning.
Recently I had a review of Indian made saddle and the reviewer though appreciated the price and sturdiness, but had a comment about the leather being made of water buffaloes.
Folks, leather from cowhide (beef or dairy cattle) tend to be thick and strong. The grain is more uneven because of the size of the animal and the longevity in the environment. It is very abrasion resistant and stiff. When the hides are split (usually done) a thinner piece (ist veineer) is often used for clothing / shoes. Normally, the top side of the grain (top grain or the side that the hair was on) is used for finer fashion clothes because of the pattern of the grain. Cowhide tends to be the most expensive leather. The natural variations in leather patterns will let you know what if the leather is top grain or if it is the inner split and processed to look like top grain. Processed leather is often stamped to make a false grain. Olt time trick (grandpa's experience) tells good top grain Leather is uneven in pattern.
Now coming to the point, Buffalo leather (made from water buffaloes found in India, Pakistan, China etc) is very similar to cowhide. It tends to be stiffer than cowhide, however, this really depends on the tanning process. As regards the mechanical properties, it has more abrasion and tear resistant than cowhide. The grain tends to be more uniform and the feel stiffer. Remember, the chaps or jackets you wear or the leather wallet you have is most likely (99% chance) made from buffalo leather.
Any diverse or contradictory views are welcome.
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