Shamanic Drums: Cow Hide vs Goatskin

When it comes to choosing the right leather for your shamanic drums, the choice between cow hide and goatskin can be a tough one. Both types of leather have their own unique qualities and characteristics that can greatly impact the sound and overall experience. In this blog post, we will delve into the key differences between cow hide and goatskin, helping you make an informed decision. 

Cow leather and goats leather are used for many different types of products such as upholstered armchairs, area rugs, seating, bags, accessories, cushions, purses and wallets, tables and chairs, and so much more. But in terms of quality, which one is best? Let’s start by looking at the leather.  

1. Look: Comparing Grain

cow hide and goat hide grain comparison

Before making a choice, it's important to consider the visual aspect. Cow leather tends to have a more pronounced grain pattern, giving it a distinct and rugged appearance. On the other hand, goatskin tends to have a smoother and more uniform grain, providing a sleek and polished look.

2. Feel & Durability

When it comes to feel and durability, cow leather takes the lead. Due to its thickness, cow hide is more difficult to stretch, making it sturdier and more long-lasting. Goatskin, on the other hand, is thinner and softer, offering a more delicate and supple feel. While both types of leather can withstand the rigors of drumming, not all leathers are of the same quality and cow leather is considered to be better due to its smoothness, strength and wear resistance.   

3. Price

Price is an important factor to consider when choosing between cow hide and goatskin. Cow hide tends to be more expensive, especially when it comes to drum skins. Additionally, cow hide may not be as readily available as goatskin, making it a less accessible option for some. Our goatskin shamanic drums from Indonesia vary in price from about £50-£65 whereas our cow hide Khenji shamanic drums from Pakistan cost about £120. 

4. Sound

The sound produced by a drum largely depends on the type of leather used. Cow hide drums tend to have a deeper, richer, and more resonant sound. The thickness of the cow hide contributes to the drum's ability to produce low frequencies with power and clarity. On the other hand, goatskin drums have a brighter and more focused sound, with a higher pitch and quicker response. The choice between the two ultimately depends on the desired sound aesthetic.

In conclusion, both cow hide and goatskin have their own merits and can be suitable for shamanic drums. Cow hide offers durability, a rugged appearance, and a deep resonance, while goatskin provides a softer feel, a polished look, and a brighter sound. Ultimately, the choice depends on your personal preferences and the specific qualities you are seeking in your shamanic drum. Whether you opt for the strength of cow hide or the delicacy of goatskin, both types of leather will undoubtedly enhance your shamanic drumming experience.

Frequently asked questions

What is cowhide used for? 

Cowhide is used for a variety of products, including furniture upholstery, car interiors, handbags, shoes, belts, and accessories. It is a versatile material that can be dyed, embossed, or printed to create different textures and patterns. Cowhide is also used in the production of leather jackets, wallets, and watch straps. Additionally, cowhide is commonly used in the manufacturing of rugs and carpets, as it is durable and provides a natural and rustic look to any space. 

Is cowhide leather expensive? 

The price of cowhide leather can vary depending on factors such as the quality, thickness, and finish of the leather. In general, cowhide leather is considered to be less expensive compared to other types of leather, such as calf or exotic leathers like crocodile or ostrich. However, the price can still range from affordable to high-end, depending on the specific product and brand. Cowhide leather is widely used in various products like jackets, shoes, belts, wallets, upholstery, and rugs, making it accessible to a wide range of consumers. 

Where can you buy goat hide? 

Goat hide can be purchased from a variety of sources such as leather suppliers and tanneries, online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Etsy. You can also find goats hide at specialty leather stores that cater specifically to leather enthusiasts and craftsmen. When buying goat hide, it's essential to consider the quality, thickness, and finish of the leather, as these factors can affect the final appearance and durability of the product.

What are the uses for for goats hide? 

Goat hide, also known as goatskin, has various uses due to its unique properties. Some examples of what it can be used for include; shoes, boots, gloves, jackets, and bags. Its softness, durability, and flexibility make it ideal for these products. Goats hide is also used in upholstery and furniture manufacturing. It can be found in sofas, chairs, and other upholstered furniture. Its natural grain pattern and texture add an elegant touch to the furniture. 

It's often used in bookbinding due to its durability and flexibility. It is used to create covers for high-quality books, journals, and diaries. Goat hide can be used to make accessories like belts, wallets, watch straps, and keychains. Its strength and resilience make it suitable for items that require frequent handling. It's commonly used as the skin for drums and other percussion instruments. The natural resonance and unique sound qualities of goat hide make it a popular choice among musicians. Some clothing is made from goats skin as it is typically lightweight natural and breathable making it suitable for warm climates.

Is goat leather real leather?

Yes, goat leather is indeed real leather. It is made from the skin of goats and is a popular choice in the leather industry. Goat leather is valued for its softness, durability, flexibility, and aesthetic appeal. It is widely used in the production of various leather goods such as bags, shoes, wallets, and belts. Additionally, goat leather is also used in upholstery, bookbinding, accessories, musical instruments, and clothing. Its versatility and quality make it a sought-after material for many applications.

What is the difference between goat hide and cowhide? 

The main difference between goat hide and cowhide lies in their texture, durability, and appearance. Goat hide tends to be softer, more supple, and lightweight compared to cowhide, which is thicker and heavier. Goat hide also has a distinctive grain pattern and a natural sheen, making it popular for luxury leather goods. Cowhide, on the other hand, is known for its durability and strength, often used in heavy-duty applications like furniture upholstery and automotive interiors. Ultimately, the choice between goat hide and cowhide depends on the specific requirements of the project or product.

Is goat leather high quality?  

Yes, goat leather is considered to be of high quality. It is known for its softness, suppleness, and lightweight nature. Goat leather has a smooth texture and is highly durable, making it an excellent choice for various leather goods. It is also resistant to water and abrasion, further enhancing its quality. Goat leather is commonly used in the production of luxury products such as handbags, wallets, and shoes. Its quality and versatility have made it a popular choice among manufacturers and consumers alike.

Up Next: What is Shamanism?


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