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What Sets Elk Leather Apart From Other Types of Leather?

When searching for the right material for your leather clothing or accessory, it is important to take things like durability, softness, and more into consideration. One of the most popular options for use in both work and daily life is elk leather due to a number of its unique features. While it may be slightly more expensive than comparable materials, it more than makes up for it when you take its versatility into account. Learn more about why it is so valuable and sought after below from the experienced team at American Elk & Deer Leather below. Shop our online store now!

elk in snow

A Storied Past

Elk leather has been used by Native Americans for centuries. It is an animal-friendly material that is durable, soft and supple. The story of elk leather began more than 8,000 years ago when hunters in the Eurasian Steppes hunted and slaughtered elk with spears. The meat was dried and then stored in skin bags. Elk hides were later made into wide belts and other items which women would wear as part of their costumes, such as high boots. Elk leather was introduced in the 1920s by the United States government as an alternative to cowhide because it was more durable and had fewer defects than cowhide at that time. In the 1930s, it was mainly marketed as a masculine material. The "rugged" cowboy image that was popularized by Hollywood films like Little Big Man became synonymous with elk leather. This idea held true into the 1970s, when leather started being marketed as a "bohemian" or "sexy.” Throughout history, elk leather has appealed to people in many different ways, but it has always been at the forefront of materials that are both stylish and useful in everyday life.



One aspect that really sets elk leather apart from other materials of its kind is its heavy durability. With some kinds of leather, you have to sacrifice softness in order to ensure that it is strong and long-lasting. Elk leather is unique in that you are able to maintain its specific look and feel without compromising your comfort. It maintains these traits, even while being known as one of the heaviest leathers available. In comparison to deer skin, it is far less prone to stretching. This also means that when you are crafting shoes, chaps, wallets, or more, you have a material that will help you produce an item that you’ll be able to pass on. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about tearing or scratching — elk skin is heavily resistant to all kinds of different surfaces that might pose a risk to other materials.

elk by lake

Heat and Cold Resistance

Something that is important when it comes to choosing materials for clothing is that it is useful in any environment, especially if you spend a lot of your time outdoors. Fortunately, elk leather is extremely breathable and resistant to both heat and cold. If you are wearing a coat and chaps that you rely on to get work done outside, there is truly no better option. These unique characteristics make it incredibly useful in day-to-day life, as well!

elk leather

A Quality Middle-Ground

Leather made from deer skin is often sought after due to its softness and flexibility. However, this also means that it is more prone to damage from scratching, tearing, moisture, and other potential hazards, Conversely, buffalo skin is incredibly durable, but you run the risk of compromising the comfortability and versatility of different species’ hides. Elk leather strikes the perfect balance between the two — it can be used for any number of different products, while also maintaining its softness and form in the long term. Some of the numerous items that you can craft using this material include:

  • Wallets

  • Boots

  • Work Gloves

  • Chaps

  • Purses

  • Vests

  • And More!


A Distinct Look and Feel

Elk leather has a distinctive look and feel that sets it apart from other types of materials. The texture is smooth, but not glossy, which makes it ideal for high-end products like shoes, wallets or handbags. Elk leather also has a natural stretchiness that makes it very comfortable to wear. Other species’ skin, when tanned and used in consumer products, can either be too soft and fragile for regular use, or they can be too thick and difficult to craft with. In the past few years, elk leather has become popular among designers who are looking for unique materials with a strong heritage. Its specific characteristics add to the natural aesthetic appeal of the products that it is used to make.

elk by river


The last thing that you want when you are working in or exploring the outdoors is a cumbersome appliance or piece of clothing. You should be able to move freely and not give the weight of your accessories a second thought. This is one of the reasons why elk leather is so valuable for people who work outside. Despite the fact that it is lightweight, its durability isn’t compromised, making it an extremely important material for use in all kinds of clothes and other items. Even if you aren’t exposed to the elements, light clothing that is strong and still able protect your skin is a valuable asset to have.



When it comes to products that can be crafted from elk leather, the sky is truly the limit. It is as malleable as it is durable, allowing it to be crafted into a limitless variety of clothing items and accessories. It also comes in a number of different grades that we proudly provide at American Elk & Deer leather, including:

  • Scrap Leather

  • Economy Grade

  • Suede

  • Pull Up

  • And Other Standard Colors

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a new pair of boots, a wallet, chaps, vests, or more, you won’t find many materials that are as versatile as elk leather.

herd of elk

Made in the United States

A large contributing factor when it comes to the price and popularity of elk leather clothing and accessories is its rarity. Elk require very specific environments in order for their population to thrive. Without these circumstances, the number of elk in a region can quickly dwindle — this is especially true if you have hunters that are actively seeking out the animals for their skin. The Rocky Mountain region of the United States is home to a massive elk population in comparison to other areas of the country. That affords the team at American Elk & Deer Leather the opportunity to harvest and tan all of our resources within the country from a sustainable population. When you purchase a product from our company, you can be sure that you are getting a hide that is treated by committed workers in the U.S.A.

Don’t spend your money on cheaply-made leather products that won’t stand the test of time. Make a smart investment in a product that won’t break down easily and that you can pass on for years to come. Purchase elk leather to ensure that you are getting a quality hide that you can rely on. It doesn’t matter if you are creating a product that you can use when working outdoors or something for your daily life. This material is clearly one of the best out there, especially when you compare it to leather that is sourced from other animals.

If you are looking for elk leather from the best supplier in the business, be sure that you choose American Elk & Deer Leather. Our products are long-lasting and high-quality. See the proof for yourself when you shop our wide selection online today!