Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator

Leather Cuts & Hide Information

On this page we provide some basic information regarding the different cuts of leather which we have available from our stock. Hopefully this will help you to select the most suitable leathers required for your particular needs.

Leather Cuts Explained

All of our leathers are produced to basic commercially acceptable standards for colour fastness, fade properties and dry rub.

Shoulders – very popular with belt belt makers and for tooling as it is firm, but has a mellow handle.

Sides – this is hide cut in half down the backbone, and will include the belly areas.

Backs – this is one piece that includes the butt and shoulder areas, but not the belly. The best leather is near the spine at the butt end.

Whole Butts – it is the thickest and strongest part of the hide, and considered the best cut for firmer items such as belts. A half butt is .. well .. half the butt cut down the middle!

Bellies – as an animal eats and drinks it’s belly expands and then contracts again as the contents are digested. This action produces a stretchy, softer leather of varying thickness which is found at the edges of the skin.

Thickness / Weight – Leather is measured and sorted in terms of weight / thickness. At J. Wood Leathers, we sort our leathers by the millimetre thickness. For example we stock a range of natural veg tan sides in 9 different thicknesses, which go from 0.8mm all the way to 4.0mm +.  Some tanneries and merchants use the ounce weight. One ounce is equal to 1/64th of an inch thick. For those that prefer to go off the OZ, we have included a useful conversion table below:

Ounce Weight

Millimeter Thickness

2 – 3 oz

0.8 – 1.2 mm

3 – 4 oz

1.2 – 1.6 mm

4 – 5 oz

1.6 – 2.0 mm

5 – 6 oz

2.0 – 2.4 mm

6 – 7 oz

2.4 – 2.8 mm

7 – 8 oz

2.8 – 3.2 mm

8 – 9 oz

3.2 – 3.6 mm

9 – 10 oz

3.6 – 4.0 mm

10 – 11 oz

4.0 – 4.4 mm

Please note that due to the natural nature of leather hides, the weight/thickness across a skin will always vary slightly. That’s why each of the different weights is shown as a range, rather than a single figure.. 

If you should require any further information regarding the different leather cuts that we stock, or should you require help or advice with your leather selection, then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our sales team are always happy to help.