Is calfskin leather good?

If you’re a leather lover, there is no way calf products aren’t in your favorites list. Derived from the hide of juvenile domestic cattle, calfskin is one of the best types of leather, be it for garments, accessories, or luggage.

calfskin leather

Calfskin leather head to head competition with full grain leather which known for its softness and longevity. It beats many top-ranking leathers due to its practicality and quality. But is calf leather worth its expensive price tag? 

Let’s take a deep look at calfskin leather and how it is different from other popular leather options for jackets.

calf leather

What are the different types of Calfskin Leather ?

Calfskin leather, commonly known as calf, is divided into two types based on its feel and pigmentation.

full grain leather

Aniline Leather

Aniline calfskin leather features a naturally soft exterior due to its highly porous skin. It has prominent wrinkles and marks that resemble the natural skin of cattles. 

The main reason behind these wrinkles and marks is that the leather is not buffed, hence the rough texture. Aniline leather is dyed twice with soluble dyes so that they retain a bright and vibrant color that stains permanently. 

Semi-aniline Leather

Though the production process is very similar from cutting the hair-like fibers to polishing, semi-aniline leather is not as soft or supple as aniline. The semi-aniline calfskin is distinguishable from aniline because of its rugged exterior excluding wrinkles and marks.

This features minimum pigment for tanning and the light coat is enough to last a lifetime. In terms of life, semi-aniline is the better option as it is anti-wrinkle and doesn’t age.

Properties of Calfskin Leather

The animals used in deriving calfskin are considered ideal for not only meat but supplying leather, mainly because of the following properties. 

Small Pores

Unlike traditional leather, calfskin leather features numerous tiny pores that are visible only if you zoom in. In regular leather, the pores are interlinked but located wide and distant. The size of these pores is barely visible and it might feel like the leather has been buffed a hundred times to remove its pores.


Soft Texture

One of the biggest pros of calfskin leather is its soft and supple texture. The light grain and polished look of calfskin makes it super comfortable to wear. Be it in garments, shoes, furniture or other items, calfskin leather is a champion because of the comfort level it offers.

traditional leather


Most people consider calfskin as their top priority because of its durability. Calfskin is durable mainly because of its thickness and weight. 

The tight and leveled grain of the calfskin keeps its fibers packed together, making it more durable than other leathers. This leather is also durable in the sense of scratch-resistance and long-lasting stain.

Durable Leather


There is a huge misconception that calfskin leather is waterproof when it is only water-resistant. If you drench the leather in water, it is bound to get wet, but the tightly packed grains of the calfskin resist water. 

With that being said, if the calfskin leather is constructed properly, it might feature waterproof abilities to some extent.


Calfskin Leather VS Other Types of Leathers

Now you know what a calfskin leather looks and feels like, but what makes it distinguishable from other types of leathers. Head below to find out. 

Calfskin VS Cowhide

Cowhide is one of the most popular types of leathers mainly because of its availability. Majority chooses cowhide over calfskin because cowhide leather is more affordable, however, it is not as practical as a box calf. 

Appearance-wise calf leather gets one point as it is finer, lightweight, and thinner. It also features a luxurious touch, making it a suitable option for garments and such items. 

Calfskin VS Lambskin

There is a tough competition between lambskin and calfskin as they are almost identical in terms of appearance. Both are made of top-ranking meat and leather producing animal and have the same type of grain. 

The only difference between the two is thickness which affects the softness and weight in minor proportions. Calfskin leather is tougher, thicker, and less soft than lambskin and can be used for shoes, accessories, and layering items and garments. 

Calfskin VS Full Grain 

Full grain leather is considered the best leather out there for all purposes but calf leather beats it at certain points. Comparison-wise calf leather is more smooth and firm than full grain. 

Its smaller pores make it more water-resistant and durable than full grain leather. Generally full grain leather is considered extravagant, but calf leather is more costly and luxurious. 

Calfskin VS Goatskin

Goatskin leather also possesses less minor differences than calfskin leather. Just like calfskin leather, goatskin also features a firm leather grain and is water-resistant. 

However, goatskin is a tad bit softer and more flexible than its competitor. Still the top priority of most people while purchasing jackets or vests is calf leather. 

Calf Leather and Traditional Leather Care

Veal leather or calf leather has a very rich character, plus, it is extremely low-maintenance. However, there are a few precautions that can enhance the lifetime of your calf leather products. 


If your calf or veal leather products have started to turn dusty, light buffing with the right products can change them to their original form.

  1. Using a brush, tap the excess dust off the leather grains, making the calf leather dust-free. 

  2. Simply wipe the leather with a damp cloth first to wipe the dust and buff it with a dry rag.

  3.  Apply leather conditioner on another rag and polish it on the goods. 


Calf leather can often get greasy if left outdoors for a long period. The best and safest way to get rid of the grease is by washing the leather products.

  1. Sprinkle cornstarch over the grease stains and leave it overnight or for a few hours. 

  2. Create a solution of water and mild soap which is compatible with calfskin (having minimum alkaline pH levels).

  3. Dip the calf leather in the solution once or twice and rub it with a cloth.

  4. Blow dry at a cold setting before you apply leather conditioner to it. 


Concluding, calf leather is the best leather to purchase for wallets, shoes, and garments. The animal-derived leather prevents cracking that generally low-quality leathers do. Its smooth animal skin can support your style in any way. 

The price might be a concerning factor but a sale can always lower the burden. So watch out for calf items and receive updates of latest posts regarding calf because it is impossible to resist once you taste its lavishness.