Shrunken Calf Leather Hides Exclusively Available Through Fine Leatherworking

Shrunken Calf Leather Hides, Exclusively Available Through Fine Leatherworking


We have partnered with the German tannery Perlinger to bring you exclusive access to shrunken calf hides. They are used world-wide by bespoke leather goods makers and the top leather goods companies. Products made from shrunken calf are some of the most highly-valued and sought after leather goods available.

A Unique Texture In Every Hide That Is Full Of Character

Shrunken calf is soft yet durable full grain leather. It is a combination of the texture of buffalo leather, together with the evenness of regular calf hides. The shrinking process pulls the surface closer together, subsequently resulting in a much more visible and deeper grain. Because the hide is shrunk, it also creates more durability and thickness but without the hardness of other similar hides.

Natural Full Grain

When you use shrunken calf, you can leverage its unique look to elevate your project to a higher level of quality. The pronounced grain can either be used to enhance a rougher look or in contrast, a simple modern design to create a more dynamic overall feel. Since this is full grain leather, you will find the texture to be naturally varied throughout the hide. Tighter grain will be characteristic of the top of the hide with bigger and more pronounced texture towards the bottom. Many bespoke craftsmen will use this variation to their advantage when selecting which portions to use. You will often see, for instance, the top of the hide running vertically down the center of a bag, thus giving it a flow of direction and leading the eye.

Meticulous And Sustainable Production

Shrunken calf goes through a special process to bring out the natural texture of the hide. These particular hides are sourced from Simmental cattle in Germany. These are considered to be one of the best sources for hides because of their alpine location and skin quality. Five generations of history have gone into the selection of materials and process of creating these hides. They maintain a strong relationship with the herdsmen and, as a result, are able to select the most pristine skins for this kind of leather. This allows them to use the natural surface of the hide without buffing, correcting or embossing to create the texture. In short, it is a true full grain hide.

The hides undergo a combination of tanning and finishing; a process that spans three weeks and over one hundred discrete steps. The initial process alone from raw hides to base tanning is a 150 hour process that spans the length of a week. This is three to seven times longer than other tanneries take. The ‘shrinking’ effect on the grain causes the hide to reduce by 20% in size, creating even higher value on every inch of the leather. No shortcuts are taken with this leather and the tannery adheres to a strict standard of quality and production. They even employ solar power and a state-of-the-art water filtration system that stands firmly above the practices of others.

We’re offering shrunken calf in 6-7 ounces and in various cuts to suit your needs. This has been much sought-after leather because of its characteristics and quality. It is only available in small quantities because of the strict selection criteria and purposefully small sustainable production. We are proud to be the exclusive US distributor of these high-quality hides and you can now have access to these leather hides too.