There are various types of leather available in the global market depending on the usage of the leather products. The difference in types of leather can also come from the animal source they are derived from. Accordingly there are leathers made from cow, sheep, goat, lamb etc. Some of the popular types of leather used for manufacturing various leather accessories are:
NUBUCK LEATHER - Nubuck leather is the top grain cow hide with brush kind of effect having short nap along with softness. It is more stain resistant compared to other anilines.
DISTRESSED - A term used commonly these days as an uneven colored finish. Most common in light brown naked buffalo leather (where each pannel on a garment is rarely a perfect match due to the unique qualities of each and every skin). In the 50's though the 80's distressed leathers had been where the painted outter coat finish cam off or rubbed off during use. Some people still use words like "rub off" or "pull up" (pull up has extra oils in it for a similar effect). Distressed can come in a variety of thicknesses, textures, skins and even colors.
PATCH LEATHER - Random scraps of leather are sewn together and then pressed to make a large flat garment later cut into pattern parts to make things from jackets to bags. Generally any type of leather is used here. Most common is garment weights of .9 to 1.0 mm thick in a variety of pigskins, lambskins, goatskins, sheepskins and even cowhide.
CALFSKIN - Rare in comparison to other leathers, baby cow, more durable than cow, thin, softer, thickness range from .8 mm to 2.0 mm thickness.
COWHIDE - Maximum valued material for texture and appearance, top grain finish, extremely durable, firm yet easy to break in, comfortable, thickness vary greatly from .8 mm thick thur 1/8" thick for belting and saddlery, grain can be from extra smoothe through a pebble grain uniform pattern, generally less expensive grains will have some spider web type gain pattern. This type of leather is the most common and is a staple of any supplier. It can be somewhat stiff at times but is available in many weights and cuts.
COW SUEDE - Maximum durability in a suede, comfortable, can come is a variety of softness, thickness can vary greatly from .8 mm thick thru 1/8" thick.
GOATSKIN - Economically priced leather more durable than pigskin but with a courser tiny pebble grain finish. Generally only available in weights of .9 to 1.1 mm thick.
NAPA LEATHER-This type of leather is made from sheep skin and is naturally one of the softest leathers and is closest in "hand" to a baby's skin.
SPLIT LEATHER - Economically priced leather that can appear like top grain finish or a rustic cracked finish leather. strong and durable and can vary in thickness from .8 mm thicn thru 1/8" thick. Split leather is made of inner layers of a hide that have been split away from the upper layers. It is very fragile typically used in the form suede.
BUFFALO - Value priced, heavy duty leather, hair folicles and grain often evident, durable and generally found in thickness from .9 mm to 3.0 mm thick.
STEERHIDE - A skin from a male cow or male buffalo that is generally the same properties of each but a bit tougher than the female skins.
SHEEPSKIN/LAMBSKIN - Extremely soft, comfortable, pliable but can stretch and excessively distort the shape of the garment after excessive use, some tanning can be expensive, softer and plumper is more expensive, less expensive skins have a tight small pebble grain and the cheapest skins will be course in it's feel.
DEERSKIN - Most value in softness vs durability, extremely soft and extremely durable, generally very expensive. Pebble grain common. Soft touch and somewhat spongy in it's feel. Thickness is between 1.0 and 3.0 mm thick.
CHAMOIS - Is baby lambskin. Absorbant and naturally yellow in color. This is the split section of the hyde. Can be used in washable garments, stains easily, extremely soft to the touch and my dry stiff unless hung neatly to dry. Thickness is from .8 to 1.2 mm thick.
NAKED - This is a tanning process or lack of finishes giving it the Naked name. Any skin can be naked but most commonly you will find naked leathers in cowhide with all the durability and qualities of such. Generally a more expensive skin because they have to use choice skins (without markings and scars) for the leather to be used in manufacturing without waste.
VEGETABLE TANNED LEATHER– This type of leather is obtained from Oak (bark) and other plants that contain natural tannins. Vegetable tanned leather can stretch easily, especially when soaked in water. It can also be easily carved, molded, hardened, dyed, painted, oiled, waxed... It is one of the most expensive types of leather.