Leather as a material is durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. However, I was curious to know if there are any particular types of leather that are a lot tougher, more durable, with a lot more tensile strength than your regular leather.
So for this article, I set out to find the toughest leather in the world and I’m ready to share with you all I found during my research.
So what is the toughest leather in the world? While every leather will have its very own unique level of toughness, the kangaroo leather in particular stands out when it comes to share tensile strength, durability and resistance to wear.
For the rest of this article, I’m going to go over some additional unique qualities that makes Kangaroo leather the toughest leather in the world.
Qualities That Make Kangaroo Leather The Toughest In The World
According to a study conducted by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the kangaroo leather indeed has a combination of properties that makes it the toughest leather in the world. Here are the top qualities that make kangaroo leather the toughest leather.
Unique Fibre Composition
Kangaroo leather, also known as K-leather is by far the toughest leather in the world, first, because of its unique fibre composition.
The Kangaroo leather as the name implies, is sourced from the Kangaroo mammal. The hide from the kangaroo has a unique fibrous structure which when viewed under a microscope has a dense rope-like structure which is very compact — that lends its exceptional strength.
The hides from kangaroos are fine and highly uniform giving it extreme toughness unlike the hides from the skin on cows which comprised of an irregular bundled fiber structure.
Low Fats Content
Generally, Kangaroos live in extreme heat conditions and this together with their poor dieting contributes to the low fats content on their skin. Cabretta, bovine or even goat hides are not the same as kangaroo hides when it comes fats their levels.
The presence of fats on animals skins occupies a significant space in the cross section of the skin and during tanning (the turning of the animal skin or hide into leather) little bits and pieces of empty voids are left, which causes the leather to have its strength and thickness reduced throughout the leather.
The low fat content of the Kangaroo leather means it will retain all of its natural strength and durability without loosing any during or after the tanning process of the raw animal hide.
Retains Its Tensile Strength Even After Splitting
Kangaroo leather is naturally thin, and due to the unique fiber structure, no matter how thin kangaroo leather is made further it will still be able to maintain its toughness and tensile strength without giving in to wear and tear.
All in all, an average light-weight kangaroo leather due to its fiber structure will be more than 10 times stronger than any bovine or goat leather of the same thickness.
Usually, the Kangaroo leather will be just about 1cm or 1.2cm thick and when split to say 20% of its original thickness, the hide will still hold up to 60% of its original tensile strength. This is absolutely remarkable especially when we compare to the hides or skins of other animals.
For example, the most common hide, calf, when split to 20% of its original thickness, it will only be able to hold about 1% to 4% of its original strength. So with such significant difference, it’s clear how little kangaroo leather will still retain its even after its been split.
Kangaroo hide has a highly uniform fibre bundles that’s parallel to the skin surface with no sweat glands or erector pili muscles. Instead, it has elastin evenly distributed throughout the skin thickness.
This basically allows for the structural uniformity kangaroo leather has and more importantly it’s able to remain consistent in its toughness.
This unique feature also provides the toughest protection and because of that Kangaroo leather products can endure wear and tear and are resistant to abrasion and have natural UV protective properties.
What is The Toughest Leather for Gloves?
Goatskin leather is the toughest leather for the manufacturing of gloves. This is because goatskin has a natural moisturizer called lanolin which prevents the leather from drying and breaking — making the leather supple, waterproof and wear resistant.
Some other reasons why goatskin leather is the toughest leather for making gloves are:
- Goatskin leather, although super tough is very flexible and this especially makes it excellent for fine detailed work on for gloves.
- Goatskin is more durable, soft, and it’s also naturally water-resistant, warm, and exceptionally breathable than cowhide. This makes it a lot tougher as a material for gloves and offers the comfortability required in every high-quality leather gloves.
- It also allows for great wearability. This makes gloves made from goatskin the preferred choice for people like welders. It has the smoothness and toughness to allow welding materials to glide smoothly and safely against the leather.
- Last but not least, goatskin has a dense woven composition of fibers which is small in diameter and are also very elastic. This lends the goatskin leather the resilience a leather glove will need for heavy duty work.
What’s The Toughest Leather for Cowboy Boots?
There are a whole bunch of different leather that can be used for the cowboy boots often used for riding. These boots are made from all kinds of leather, from simply traditional leathers to rare and exotic ones.
But the toughest leather you will often find cowboy boots in is the cowhide leather. This is because it has excellent tear, heat, and puncture resistance, for long-lasting durability.
When compared to other types of leather like the pigskin, cow leather will actually become more tough and perhaps even brittle and this gives you a protective boot which is ideal for riding.
Cow leather is the toughest raw material for cowboy boots because the leather gives a sturdy yet firm and flexible build typically needed for a cowboy for an excellent rides.
Kangaroo leather is ranked by most experts as the toughest in the world because it has the best strength-to-weight ratio. Even with the thinnest kangaroo leather it will still be the most durable and most resistant to wear, tear, drying and any other adverse environmental or user impacts.