How Can You Tell the Quality of a Cowhide Rug?

How Can You Tell the Quality of a Cowhide Rug?

A cowhide rug is a versatile decor piece that can be used as a focal point to make a bold statement, or subtly connect other elements in a room to create a cohesive look and feel. 

However, it is important to know what to look for when buying a quality cowhide rug. Here are some pointers to determine whether your cowhide is authentic and of good quality. 

Know Your Source

Even if a cowhide is genuine, not all are the same - where you get your cowhide from is very important. 

Art Hide’s premium quality cowhide is sourced as a by-product of the meat industry in Pakistan, Brazil and Argentina, (all considered to be part of the gold standard of the cowhide industry), from regulated tanneries, where methods involved in tanning and dyeing are always safe for workers and are non-pollutant.

If ethical manufacturing processes are also important to you, you can rest assured that our cowhides are ethically sourced and all our manufacturing is against animal cruelty.

Art Hide’s product care and characteristics information leaflet can be downloaded here.

Physically Test the Quality

There are physical ways to test the quality of a cowhide rug:

Smell. Use your olfactory senses to determine if it smells like genuine leather. A natural rug won't smell of chemicals or the unnatural odour of manufactured materials.

Look. Quality cowhide will have a shiny, healthy sheen to it and features a consistent feel to the skin

Touch. The quality of the cowhide will be determined by how it feels. The higher the quality, the softer and more supple it will feel. A cheap hide, that has been tanned using a low-quality or low-cost tanning method, will be stiff and rough to the touch. 

Try Before You Buy

Not sure if the rug you order online will be exactly what you envisioned? Why not try our Box of Feels?

Choose up to 5 beautiful rug samples and they're yours to trial at home for 2 full weeks. Shipping both ways is free of charge and you simply return them using the self-addressed bag inside the box. Samples available in Australia and the US. 

You can select rug samples from the Ground Control range, or add some from our sister rug brand Ground Control, if you like. 

Return Policy

Physically testing out a rug before you purchase it is not always possible, for example if you are purchasing your rug online will mean you can’t inspect the rug beforehand. In this case it is essential that the company you are purchasing from has a good return policy. Once it is delivered, do your tests and if you are not happy with the results, you should be able to return it. 

Art Hide would like you to feel confident purchasing with us via our web store. We offer a 14 day no questions asked money back guarantee on any products purchased on the Art Hide website. Read more on our return policy and manufacturing warranty here


A great benefit of cowhides is that they are hypoallergenic, which helps reduce pathogens that carry allergies into your house. Synthetic rugs’ fibre tend to trap dust, pollen, pet hair, etc. Real cowhide rugs do not. Cow hair is thin and brittle which allows them to be allergen-free as these elements don’t tend to get caught up in them. Obviously, your cowhide rug may gather some dirt after some time; but the good news is you can just vacuum your rug or shake it off to clean the dust that has built up. 

Also read: What are the Benefits of a Genuine Cowhide Rug

All Art Hide rugs are made from premium cowhide and finished with commercial grade nylon thread and a ribbon edge finish, ensuring they will last a lifetime. Shop our classic cowhide rug collection online.
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