When buying a cowhide there are many options. Do you want to buy you cow hide locally or would you like to buy your cowhide on line?
If you buy a cowhide locally you will be able to see and feel the cowhide. You will be able to tell if it was tanned properly and that the cowhide is the proper grade for your needs. It also easier to negotiate a lower price if buying in bulk through a local cowhide vendor.
Once you have purchase a cowhide from an online retailer and are happy with the quality and cost of the cowhide you purchased you can then feel more confident and safer when purchasing more cowhides in the future from the same cowhide vendor.
When purchasing cowhides online you will receive tanned cowhides. If you want a fresh cowhide that has not been tanned then you need to purchase a cowhide locally. You may be able to buy an untanned fresh cowhide from a local slaughter house, rancher or farmer. Sometimes if you contact the local State Fish and Game office and become friendly with them they may be able to help you out with a fresh cowhide occasionally.
If you are looking for a high quality and properly tanned cowhide and plan on purchasing it online sight unseen then do research. Call the cowhide website on the phone and discuss your needs. Be specific. Tell them what you are going to use the cowhide for and what you need. This will help any confusion on the part of the cowhide salesman. Sometimes people think they got "ripped off" when they purchased a cowhide but in reality they did not. Many low cost cowhides are sold simply so you can patch up other leather accessories such as leather car seats or leather jackets. If you are ordering a cowhide to make a high end leather jacket then you do not want to purchase the cheapest cowhide the website sells.
If you are looking to make make
multiple leather projects it is generally cheaper to order a full
cowhide as opposed to smaller patches of scrap leather.
Image Credit: (Flickr/cordery)