Cowhide Rugs: Everything you need to know

Cowhide rugs are timeless pieces in any home decor. You have probably seen them in many rooms, with many different styles. That is because they stand the test of time and are very versatile. They are made with genuine cowhides, so it is essentially a large suede or leather rug. Cowhide rugs are so beautiful but may seem mysterious. There are a lot of questions about them which can cause doubt as to if it is right for you. But, once these questions have been cleared up, you will see just how straight forward and amazing they are. Below are 8 things that you need to know when it comes to cowhide rugs. From how they are made to style them.

How It Is Made

Cowhides are typically from cows in the meat or dairy industry. After they have died the hides are reused to create a functional piece of art. Without this process, their hides would have gone to waste. The real cowhides are handpicked to ensure they are fully intact and have an appealing pattern. Once the calfskins are chosen they are sent for processing where they are cured. They wash and salt the hides to remove any odor and ensure they are clean. Then, they are sent for tanning where they are made more durable and sometimes colored. There are different methods of tanning where it uses chromium or not. Chromium tanning is harmful to the environment, so Groms uses a chromium-free process. There are also no dyes used in order to preserve the natural beauty of the hide. After the processing is complete, the cowhide is ready for use.

Color Options

The signature animal print cowhide rug that you think of is probably a dark brown cowhide rug with large black and white spots placed randomly around the area rug. While that traditional tricolor cowhide rug style is very neutral and does match a lot of furniture, fortunately, there are other color options for you if that is not what you are looking for. The colors range from very light like a white cowhide rug to very dark brown or even cow hide black. These different colors come from the natural color of the animal, as well as how it is treated. The tanning process can have a large impact on the color of the rug, so there is a lot of variability in the coloring and you will be sure to find the exact color you are searching for. Compare a Brown Cowhide with a Pale Cowhide rug.

In addition to color, there are also different patterns of rugs. Each animal has a unique pattern, so your rug will be one of a kind. Some have very large spots, some are small spots, some have very large areas of light coloring, and some have a mix of these features in a sort of chevron or brindle pattern. Depending on your personal preference and style you can choose a color and pattern that suits your space.

What If You Have Allergies?

Many people are concerned that if you have allergies it is not good to have a cowhide rug. This is a large misconception that you do not have to worry about. Cows are actually hypoallergenic, so you do not have to worry about them holding on to allergens and releasing them into the air of your home. And, if you want to be extra cautious there are even hairless cowhide rugs sold by Groms, so you do not have to worry about anything being trapped in the hairs of the rug. Overall, if you have allergies you do not have to be concerned with cowhide rugs at all so you can definitely add it to your wishlist.


Even though it is called a cowhide rug it does not need to be laid down on your living room or dining room floor. Cowhide rugs are very versatile and can be used for many purposes. Some of the other most popular uses are as a wall hanging or draped across the back of a furniture piece such as a sofa or chair. Cowhides are very beautiful and can simply be used as a natural work of art. They add an extra layer of interest to your room with additional patterns, textures, and colors. Who knew that cowhides could be such a versatile piece to your interior design?

How to Style

Cowhide rugs are often seen in western-styled rooms, but they have now been incorporated into more modern designs as a touch of the natural world. Their neutral color pallet offers a wide array of ways to style them. Some of the most common ways are in a bedroom, entryway, or sitting area. These are places that you will be able to appreciate their unique texture when you are in your most comfortable state. Cowhide area rugs are not only used alone, but they are also often layered on top of other rugs to add even more comfort, depth, and interest to the design of a room. These are simply the ways that cowhide can be styled as a rug, there are even more options like a wall hanging or draping piece.

Cowhides can be hung on the wall in large rooms so that you can truly appreciate the whole hide. You can truly see the entire pattern and colors when it is hung from the wall. They can simply be hung by using nails in the corners of the hide to attach it to the wall. Do not forget that cowhides can be incorporated into any style of room that you are creating.


Because cowhide rugs are thinner than usual rugs and made of a natural material it is common to think that they are very dainty and fragile. However, Cowhide rugs are quite the opposite. A genuine cowhide rug is very durable and even approved for everyday use. While it is not recommended for having a stampede on every day, normal everyday foot traffic is perfectly fine for your handmade cowhide. Cowhide rugs will last for years when taken care of properly, even with your family members and pets using it on a daily basis. The care instructions are also very intuitive and not labor-intensive. This is a rug that will hold up to your standards and perform for years to come.

How to Care for Them

Caring for your rug is very easy and will not take you a lot of time. The care of your rug depends on who and how you are using it. When you first receive your rug if there are any wrinkles you do not have to worry. You can use a warm damp cloth on the leather side of the rug then follow it up with a hot iron. You want your iron to be continuously moving so as to not damage the rug. For regular cleaning you may want to begin with a traditional rug beating outdoors. You can then bring it inside for a light vacuum. If you have pets, you may want to use a deodorizing powder to sprinkle on the rug and then vacuum up the powder. This should remove any odors from your pets. If you find that the corners of your rug are beginning to roll this can easily be fixed by spraying the top and bottom of the area with water and then using a heavy object to flatten out the area for a couple of hours. Natural cowhide rugs are very simple to maintain, just make sure to avoid any excessive heat or being soaked in water.

Do They Move Around?

Nothing is more bothersome than your rug slipping and sliding under your feet every time you walk on it. So, will your cowhide rug move around? If your rug will move depends on how thick and heavy your rug is. The thinner the rug the more likely it is to move. So, cowhide rugs with hair are less likely to move than hairless rugs because there is more weight to hold them down. Luckily, there are methods that you can use to avoid your rug from moving. The easiest method is if you are stacking the rug on top of another rug you will not have to worry about it moving. However, if you are putting your rug on wood or tile you can use a non-stick rug pad under your rug. The pads are either made of a felt-like material or rubber. You can cut the non-stick pad to the size and shape of your rug and you will be all set. There is also another method of non-stick tape, however, there is a greater chance of damaging your rug, so other methods are better. Overall, if you find your rug is slipping there are so many ways to prevent this from happening.

Hopefully, you can see just how amazing cowhide rugs are. They are versatile in their usage, more durable than a traditional rug, made from natural materials, easy to care for, and stunning to look at. Cowhide rugs can be used in any style space, but are especially stunning in contemporary or modern designs. They add an extra element of interest and design that is offered in almost no other facet of the design world. Cowhide rugs are a traditional piece of household goods that can be used in any space and are sure to be a conversation piece for your guests and something you and your family will hold dear for years to come.