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Live in Skin

animal skins rugs: cow hides, zebra skins, sheepskins, reindeer hides, springbok skins

The use of animal hides has been a defining feature of humanity since the dawn of time. The sparse nature of humans’ natural body hair has meant that since the very beginning we have used the hides of our food for their insulating and protective properties. Cave men are thought to have used the hides of their kills for warmth and protection, on the body and in their dwellings, from the harsh conditions they lived in. As society developed through time, the hard-wearing, weather resistant and pliable nature of the material made it an ideal covering for the movable dwellings of our more recent hunter-gatherer ancestors. Through our more recent history, animal skins have been used inside our permanent dwellings too, for instance as bed coverings, rugs & floor coverings, wall hangings etc. Their warm and protective properties have allowed more comfort in our homes in the chilly winter months before the advent of heating. Nowadays, we use skins to add a touch of luxury, and a beautiful, rustic aesthetic to our homes. Whereas through history hides have been essential to our homes for their warmth and protective characteristics, now it is more for the style and beauty they bring to our homes. The two Lake Leather shops stock a wide range of tanned skins that can be used as animal rugs, wall hangings or simply draped over your favourite chair. Pictured are a range of cow hides imported from Brazil. We hand select these skins for colour and pattern, quality and a good blemish-free hide. We endeavour to do the hard work for you so the only decision you have to make is which colour you would like. Our stock changes all the time, but you might find cow hides, merino sheepskins, shearling double-face sheepskins, Mongolian sheepskins and cushions, reindeer hides, zebra skins, springbok skins, cushions and much more. We source our skins from all over the world. Our cow skins come from South America. South America has developed a rich beef producing industry and has inherited its leather tanning and leathercraft credentials from its Spanish and Portuguese heritage. For many centuries the very best leather came out of Cordova, in Northern Spain. This means that we get the very best cowskins from Brazil and Argentina - beautifully tanned hides from the healthiest of animals giving rich colouring and beautiful soft hair. Our reindeer skins are imported form Scandinavia, where reindeer are farmed for their meat as part of the traditional diet. Just as we are so familiar with cattle and sheep, reindeer have been a crucial to cultures in colder parts of the world. Not only farmed for their meat, reindeer produce velvet, antlers and their hides. Reindeer fur has evolved to be super-insulating for life in the colder climes. The fur shaft is hollow, so it is very lightweight but very warm. These insulating properties make it a very brittle fibre, so these skins are not suitable as floor rugs. They do, however, look amazing draped over furniture. Mongolian sheepskins have a light feel to the hand, and the soft crimped fibres feel as soft as angel’s hair. They should not be brushed, but you can carefully comb any knots out. These beautiful skins are available in a wide range of colours and products, from simple skins to throws to beanbags. Because of their unusual crimped fibres, the hides are often used in garment production too. Our zebra and springbok skins are directly imported from South Africa by a local Tasmanian gentleman and sold exclusively at Lake Leather. These are culled due to over population and locally tanned in South Africa. 

Come into our store to check out our range.