What is Crazy Horse Leather? (A Guide)

Curious about what is crazy horse leather and how it compares to other types of leather? Consider this your go-to guide on this unique leather!

Crazy horse leather is a real, full-grain leather that is well-loved for its ability to age well with time and use. This very strong kind of leather gets its name from its ability to hold a “crazy” (aka strong and wild) without breaking or wearing through. Crazy horse leather uses the entire hide (minus the hair) and is the strongest leather on the market. You can expect 20 years of use if you care properly for it!

I’ll go into everything you need to know below!

Is crazy horse leather real leather?

Crazy horse leather is real leather, and it is the strongest and most expensive leather that you can buy. It’s typically made from the full cowhide and is used in many — you guessed it — horse-related leather needs. These include saddles, reins, and more. 

The difference between crazy horse and real leather

As you already know, crazy horse leather is real, genuine leather. It’s important to understand how it differs from other types of leather you’ve heard about. Crazy horse leather is what’s called full-grain leather, and it uses the top layer of the hide, which uses all of the natural grain.

Top-grain leather shaves down the hide’s top layer and often thins it out to make it more malleable for use with fashion applications like leather jackets, shoes, and so on.

This difference helps you understand why crazy horse leather is so much more expensive than traditional top-grain leather. 

One cool part of crazy horse leather is that it’s unique, with marks and knicks on the finished leather — the real deal from the cow’s skin!

Fun Fact: Crazy horse leather is getting more popular over time as leather enthusiasts learn how durable it is.

Why is it called crazy horse leather?

I’ll admit that it is a very strange name. It gets its name because it’s physically capable of holding a crazy/wild/out-of-control horse back without the leather giving away. It’s not about being made from a crazy horse or anything like that. 

Is crazy horse leather any good?

Crazy horse leather is one of the most common kinds of leather for saddles and other commercial leather applications. It’s not used in shoes or jackets very much because it’s not the most breathable type of leather. It’s expensive, durable, and has an impressive lifespan, even compared to other leather types. 

In many situations, crazy horse leather has very little mechanical processing and is done entirely by hand to assure its quality. So, you can bet that it’s not just “good,” but it’s “great!” 

Can crazy horse leather get wet?

You shouldn’t get crazy horse leather wet. While it has some water resistance due to its strong integrity, you should never deliberately get leather — including this kind — wet. 

Is crazy horse leather waterproof

When you buy something made from crazy horse leather (like a duffel bag, for instance), it will have a strong waxy finish. This finish gives it a durable coating that will keep your leather safe from spills and water-related accidents.

Even so, you should strongly consider getting a waterproofing agent for your leather item. This is especially important if you’ll be using your leather out in the world a lot. 

Tip: Most leather sellers will give you advice on what products to use as part of their care guide.

How much does crazy horse leather cost?

The cost from one type of leather to another is hard to quantify by comparing two identical items (i.e., shoes or briefcases) because there are always other kinds of variables.

The best way to compare the cost is to compare it per square foot. Classic top-grain leather is about $2 per square foot, and crazy horse leather is about $5 per square foot. An average leather jacket will be about 35 square feet.

What is vintage crazy horse leather?

Vintage crazy horse leather is the same as crazy horse leather. Vintage refers to the distressing of the leather itself through the marks and imperfections. The point of this is to bring out visible imperfections so that you can enjoy its character!

Does crazy horse leather smell?

Even though crazy horse leather has a thick wax coating on it to help protect it, it’s going to smell like your average leather! I’ve written about what leather smells like if you’re wondering what that smell is!

Is crazy horse leather soft?

While it is very tough and durable, crazy horse leather is one of the softest leather out there. The secret to this isn’t the leather itself but how it’s conditioned and treated! Since it’s often processed by hand with incredible precision, the result is impossibly soft leather! If soft leather is your thing, crazy horse leather is an excellent choice for you!

What does crazy horse leather feel like?

Crazy horse leather feels softer than other types of leather, as I mentioned. You can feel the imperfections of the leather if they are deep enough, though most aren’t. For many who adore leather and everything about it, this particular detail is what makes crazy horse leather such a wonderful product.

Fun Fact: Many leather enthusiasts believe that leather can tell a story, and so getting crazy horse leather combines the animal’s story with your own story to come! 

How long does crazy horse leather last?

If you care properly for crazy horse leather (more on that next), you’ll be able to expect it to last 20 years and even 30 in some cases. This very durable and impressive leather is perfected by hand so that you are getting one of the highest quality materials for your leather item. 

If you want the best value for your money, crazy horse leather will certainly be the best choice, if not THE best, for your money. Just ensure that you take care of it properly — even the best products can only go so long if they’re neglected!

One of the most impressive parts of crazy horse leather is its toughness. Since a lot of other kinds of leather are perceived as “weak.” This leather has elasticity and simple strength in its overall integrity, making it a winner for those who want nothing but the best. 

How to care for crazy horse leather

If you want to do whatever you can to protect the considerable investment that is your crazy horse leather, you’ll want to focus on proper care. The top details are:

  • Do your research
  • Invest in a high-end cleaner and conditioner
  • Clean and condition as recommended
  • See your crazy horse leather as an investment

Do your research

Before you buy your leather, do your research on crazy horse leather. Understand what it needs, its dangers, and how to avoid prematurely aging it. The best way to care for your leather is to learn about it beforehand! This also encourages you to research your vendors to buy true crazy horse leather rather than an imitation!

Invest in a high-end cleaner and conditioner

There’s a reason that this kind of advice keeps on popping up! This is essential to ensure that you keep your leather as strong as possible! While there are some great DIY options out there, none of them can replace a purpose-designed cleanser and conditioner that is specifically going to nurture your crazy horse leather!

Clean and condition as recommended

You’ll want to focus on using your cleanser and conditioner as recommended by the products. You’ll also want to double-check with the care manual for your leather. This will keep it as strong as possible. While caring for leather can be frustrating, it’s easy to get used to after a while, and the results will be so worth it!

See your crazy horse leather as an investment

This is more about your lifestyle. This leather is a high-end and durable leather, but it’s not invincible. If you’re going to a muddy camping site, perhaps leave your beloved crazy horse leather item at home. Sure, it would most likely be okay in that kind of environment if you clean it properly, but why take the chance? 

Crazy horse leather is very impressive, even compared to other kinds of leather. It is a full-grain, durable, and impressively resilient kind of leather. It has unique marks and imperfections that give it a vintage effect and lots of original character. It can last between 20-30 years if you care for it properly! 

If you know someone who’s a hardcore leather lover, make sure you share this with them so that they know what’s out there to add to their collection!

Andre from leatherninja.com

Andre is a passionate leatherworker. He loves the smell and feel of leather, and he takes great care in selecting the right pieces of leather for his projects. Read more here.