3 Reasons Why Ostrich Leather Have Bumps (10 Pros & Cons)

why does ostrich leather have bumps

Ostrich leather is often hailed as one of the most luxurious types of leather, and it’s not hard to see why. It has a thick and soft feel that makes it perfect for shoes, handbags, jackets, furniture upholstery, and more. But why does ostrich leather have bumps?

Why does ostrich leather have bumps? The bumps on ostrich leather are caused by the animal’s thick skin. The strong, protective layer of feathers and fur between the tough outer hide and muscle tissue is what causes these distinctive features.

As an ostrich grows, every new row of scales pushes up against those below it until there isn’t enough room for any more growth in that direction. This creates a bumpy texture at each point where one row stops and another begins.

I have been studying various types of leather in my quest for durable materials that can be used in manufacturing high-quality products. One type I have found with remarkable qualities is ostrich hide.

I wanted to learn more about this material since there were many questions surrounding what those natural bumps on ostrich leather could mean.

1. Bumps Appears As The Ostrich Grows

Ostrich leather has natural bumps that appear as the animal grows. These bumps are called quill follicles, and they grow in a pattern depending on where the ostrich is located on its body.

Quill follicles develop as feathers do: by producing keratin cells to form a flexible but strong material. The bumps are formed by the way that these cells develop on different parts of the animal’s body.

Quill follicles close to their head will be smaller than those further down their body because they grow at a slower rate.

Some quills next to each other may fuse together over time which can make them seem like one large bump instead of two separate ones.

2. The Bumps Helps The Ostrich Regulates Its Body Temperature

Ostriches also use these “bumpy” areas for temperature regulation purposes when it’s hot or cold (or vice versa). When an ostrich feels too cold, blood flow increases in these areas, causing the feathers to stand up and release heat.

When they feel too hot, blood flow will decrease in these areas which causes their long feathers to flatten out for more insulation.

The quill follicles develop as feathers do by producing keratin cells to form a flexible but strong material. The bumps are formed by the way that these cells develop on different parts of the animal’s body.

As indicated before, quill follicles close to their head will be smaller than those further down their body because they grow at a slower rate.

3. Size Of The Bump Will Depend On Time Of Death

The size of the bump will depend on when the ostrich died. Quill follicles don’t grow after death, so you can use them to estimate how old an animal is by looking at its bumps.

This lets scientists know which ostriches are ready for breeding and whether they’re healthy enough to do it.

The size of each bump on an ostrich leather will vary depending on how old an ostrich is at the time of death; older ostriches have larger bumps with greater spacing than younger ones because their skin becomes thicker over time.

The size of each bump also varies based on the pressure exerted during ostrich grazing as well as gender; females generally produce more prominent quills.

This is often due to the hormonal changes caused by egg production or pregnancy while males’ quills may be less pronounced depending upon a number of factors such as age, diet, hormone levels, and muscle mass.

Benefits Of The Bumps On Ostrich Leather

The bumps on ostrich leather provide a number of benefits. It is important to understand these benefits and what it ultimately does for the leather items they are used to make so that you can make an informed decision about whether they are the right choice for your situation. The benefits of ostrich leather with bumps include:

1. Increased durability

Ostrich leather with bumps is more durable than a regular ostrich. This makes it a good choice for items that are going to be used consistently and in high-traffic areas such as furniture or car seats.

2. Bumps On Ostrich Hides Prevents Fading

It also provides increased durability against fading due to the porous nature of this type of leather which allows air to circulate freely, drying out any moisture that may otherwise cause permanent discoloration on your product over time.

3. Bumps On Ostrich Leather Prevents Scratches

The bumps on ostrich leather also provide a protective layer against scratches.

The bumpy texture also prevents scratches from occurring by creating some form of friction resistance between the surface the ostrich leather may often come into contact with.

This is great because there is less need for an additional protective coating applied like what’s needed when using other types of animal skin products.

All in all, the raised quills on the surface provide a level of protection and resilience that you don’t get from regular, smooth leather products which will allow it to last much longer than other types of leather.

4. Helps To Determine The Gender From Which The Ostrich Leather Is Sourced

Ostrich leather also helps determine the gender from which the ostrich skin comes. This is due to coloration differences in males and females and the size of the bumps on the ostrich leather.

Males have darker colored feathers while females are more brownish-gray so this can be used as an indicator during the tanning process.

Male ostriches also have a different pattern of bumps on their skin which is more spread out and not as dense or pronounced in females.

This can be used to tell the two sexes apart during the tanning process or when you’re purchasing a leather item made from ostrich leather.

And because males are bigger than females, they yield larger quantities of leather when processed. For these reasons, you’ll find many products made from ostrich leather sourced primarily from males.

5. Tells The Age Of The Ostrich The Leather Is Sourced From

Ostrich leather is a pretty expensive luxury product and for this reason, the age of the ostrich will tell you about how much money it took to produce.

For example; Any item made from female-sourced ostrich leather will have been processed in an older animal and therefore cost more due to its rarity as well as because it takes more work during the tanning process.

Male-sourced ostrich skin generally has fewer imperfections like scars, which makes them look better when tanned and gives them a smoother finish – but these are more scars for the animal to have to deal with.

Generally, Male-sourced ostrich leather is generally considered more durable and there are many products made from male-sourced ostrich leather as a result of this, including shoes, handbags, jackets, and accessories.

Female ostrich skin on the other hand generally produces softer items like gloves or other such accessories that need to be soft on contact – due to their sensitive nature during pregnancy – male skins produce better-looking products because they’re less prone to damage in general.

6. Bumps On Ostrich Leather Gives Texture Perfect For Clothing And Upholstery

Bumps on ostrich leather give the material an appealing texture that is perfect for clothing and upholstery. It gives it a textured feel, which many people enjoy in their furniture or clothes.

The bumps are also more durable than other types of leathers because it has to be tanned longer before being used for anything else like shoes or wallets.

Cons Of The Bumps On Ostrich Leather

The bumps on ostrich leather can be a disadvantage depending on what you’re looking for.

  • It’s not as soft or supple compared to other types of leather.
  • It is also more expensive to produce. This is usually due to how long it takes before being used after tanning, so there will always be some sort of financial cost associated.
  • Another disadvantage of this type of leather can be when someone wants something smooth and soft as opposed to what the bumpy leather ostrich leather provides, then this may not be a fit.
  • Ostrich leather due to its bumps may not have much of a shine on its surface.
  • Unlike other types of leathers such as cow or deer, ostrich does not come in a wide variety of colors.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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