Cowhide Rugs & Leather Rugs
Make a statement with a chic, contemporary cowhide rug for your home
Looking for something a little different for your home? Add a cowhide or leather rug to your room and leave a lasting impression.
A cowhide rug is made using the skins and hairs of cows. The hide is then cured, tanned and dyed using either a chrome tanning or vegetable tanning method, depending on the manufacturer.
While most people expect these rugs to feel like any other type of leather, cowhide rugs are luxuriously soft and cosy thanks to their natural fibres. This softness doesn’t come at the expense of durability, as they are also some of the most long-lasting rugs available.
Cowhide rugs are not only visually striking, but they’re also practical as well. A cowhide rug will save you hours of cleaning time, as its natural fibres make it quicker to vacuum or shake out dust and dirt compared to other fabrics.
Rugged and long-lasting, our range of high-quality cowhide and leather rugs will add the perfect finishing touch to your home.
Cowhide rugs for both modern and traditional decors
Hide rugs have been used as far back as the prehistoric era for their warmth and versatility. This is why, today leather rugs carry a classic, timeless feel that many associate with elegance and sophistication. Cowhide leather rugs have recently had a resurgence, thanks to their natural beauty, sustainability and practical benefits.
Cowhide rugs are known for their adaptability, and we’ve tailored our styles to suit any kind of decor. Our eye-catching rugs come in a range of stylish patterns, colours and sizes to perfectly fit in any room, including zebra patterns, geometric patterns and more.
If you’re looking for a natural colour scheme to suit your decor, our Atlas Ivory rug is exactly what you need. At 210x150cm, the Atlas rug is the right size for most living rooms. Its colour scheme incorporates cream, grey and tan shades, and would pair nicely with both dark floorboards and lighter-shade walls. Plus, the visible stitches add to the cosy, patchwork feel.
Speaking of cosy, both the Atlas Chevron and Atlas Mandovi rugs offer a classic, neutral colour scheme in a range of sizes. Their natural shades mean they’ll pair beautifully with a range of home decor themes, meaning you can move your cowhide rugs into almost any space and have them blend in. These hand-loomed rugs offer versatility and will fit perfectly in your bedroom or living room.
Make a statement with our contemporary Elena rug. The Elena’s geometric patterns create a bold impression, while the natural brown and tan colours keep it looking sharp. The 330x240cm Elena is ideal if you’re looking for a rug to be the centrepiece of your room.
If you need a bold rug in a smaller size, take a look at the Atlas grey rug, which comes in a range of three sizes to suit your needs. This rug features inviting creams on the outside that deepen into earthy, sophisticated greys and browns in the middle. With this unique design, the Atlas Grey rug will make any room memorable.
Hide rugs vs synthetic rugs
When choosing the right rug for your home, it’s important to consider the benefits that cowhide rugs can provide.
One reason for their popularity is their uniqueness compared to synthetic rugs. Synthetic rugs are machine-loomed, so the finished rugs often look almost identical in their stitching and colouring.
The hand stitching on cowhide rugs means that no two of our rugs are exactly the same. Each one will come with slightly different dimensions on their patterns and designs, giving them an extra feeling of uniqueness.
For example, the hexagonal pattern on our Elena Cowhide Leather Rug may have a slightly larger or smaller design for each shape from one rug to the next. While the difference generally only comes down to a few millimetres, this personalisation is one of the main reasons people opt for a quality cowhide rug over synthetic rugs.
Cowhide is also extremely durable thanks to its natural fibres, meaning your rug will last longer against the wear and tear in high traffic areas. While natural cowhide rugs start at a higher entry cost, they can last years longer than most other types of rugs on the market. This makes them a better long-term investment compared to rugs in a similar price bracket.
This is part of the appeal of leather rugs. While synthetic rugs are known to be durable and easy to clean, their material is not designed to maintain the same ageless appearance as a leather rug. This makes synthetic rugs ideal for areas with high traffic or an increased risk of spills, while hide rugs are best suited as a long-term statement piece in a living room or master bedroom.
Keep your new rug clean with our cowhide cleaning tips
A key benefit of cowhide rugs is that they are much easier to clean than rugs made with synthetic materials. Though naturally more durable and long-lasting than other rugs, setting aside a little bit of time every week to clean your cowhide rug will help you get the most value out of your purchase.
We’ve put together a selection of tips for cleaning and maintaining your rug hides.
Vacuum your rug
Regular vacuuming is a key step in keeping your cowhide rug clean.
Vacuuming a leather rug is much the same as vacuuming any rug, however, we recommend keeping the suction on low; if your vacuum has a rug or curtain setting, use this.
Additionally, it's a good idea to stand in the middle of the rug and push your vacuum in an outwards motion towards the edge of the rug. This will push any excess dirt outwards, making it easier to spot and remove. You can then use a brush to remove the remaining dust and dirt.
If your cowhide rug is particularly furry, make sure to follow the direction of the hair when vacuuming and brushing.
Shake your rug
Though cowhide rugs are hypoallergenic and pick up less dirt and hair than other rugs, it’s always a good idea to give your rug a regular shake to dislodge any stubborn particles. This is a great way to get rid of any allergens that your everyday vacuum may have missed.
Simply carry your rug outside and shake it gently. Cowhide is one of the heavier materials to work with, so this may be a two-person job depending on the size of your rug.
It can be useful to hit the rug with your palm, although we recommend avoiding hitting the rug with a broom or other item. This prevents leaving any unwanted marks on the material.
Steam clean your rug
Steam cleaning is a great way to keep your cowhide rug looking cleaner for longer. While it may sound invasive, a steam cleaner is perfectly safe to use on cowhide.
After vacuuming your rug thoroughly, apply the steam cleaner to your rug ensuring that you follow the direction of the rug’s hairs. We recommend making sure you keep your steam cleaner moving at all times, rather than spending too long on one area. This will help you avoid getting the rug too wet.
After steam cleaning, leave your rug to air dry.
How to remove grease stains
Grease stains can be a nightmare to remove from a rug, but the process is relatively simple when cleaning a cowhide rug.
The best technique is to lightly scrape the stain using a brush with hard bristles. Repeat this process and the stain should come out. If you still can’t remove it, try using a very small amount of eucalyptus oil on a dry cloth or piece of fabric. This is a great technique to remove stubborn grease stains, but the eucalyptus oil won’t leave an unpleasant or overpowering smell on your leather rug.
For even more persistent grease stains, try contacting a professional rug cleaning service. After all, cowhide rugs are an investment. Keeping them clean can give you years or even decades of use.
How to clean liquid stains
As a general rule, cowhide and water don’t get along.
Most water stains can be cleaned up by simply soaking up the liquid and letting your cowhide rug air dry. If your rug has gotten a good soaking by accident, you can air dry it outside — however, avoid air drying in direct sunlight. A breezy spot in the shade is the best spot for your rug, as sunlight can worsen the curling that often occurs naturally with cowhide.
For harsher liquid stains like coffee, wine, or milk, clean up the spill immediately before it can begin to sink into the hairs on your rug. Paper towels should do the trick, but make sure you don’t push too hard or rub the affected area; you’ll risk rubbing the stain further into the hairs and worsening the stain.
Apply lukewarm water to a wet sponge and carefully scrub the affected area until the stain disappears. You can also add a few drops of shampoo or soap to the water if the stain is harder to remove, but avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals. Cowhide is more sensitive to chemicals and cleaning products than most other rugs.
Make sure you also only use a small amount of water on your sponge to avoid soaking your hide rug. If using shampoo or soap with water, check that there is no leftover residue so that it doesn’t sink into the hairs.
How to remove food stains
For removing food stains, a good brush will be your best friend. Scrape the brush across your rug following the direction of the rug hairs. For persistent food stains, a combination of lukewarm water and a small amount of soap or white vinegar will do the trick. Apply the solution to a damp (but not soaking wet) sponge or fabric until the stain is gone.
If you don’t have access to a brush, a butter knife is a good alternative for removing food as long as you use it gently on the rug.
Cleaning methods to avoid
Like any material, there are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to cleaning cowhide.
- Avoid using too much water during the cleaning process. We can’t emphasise this enough: cowhide leather and water don’t get along!
- Do not air-dry your rug in direct sunlight.
- Avoid harsh cleaning products or products containing petroleum. Stick to small amounts of vinegar, soap or shampoo in lukewarm water.
- Do not dry clean, hose down, or put your rug in the washing machine.
Cowhide and leather rug FAQs
- Will a cowhide rug affect my allergies?
No! While the idea of placing an animal hide in your home may not appeal to anyone with allergies, cowhides are naturally hypoallergenic. A cowhide rug is actually a great choice for maintaining the cleanliness of your home.
The thick fibres present in synthetic and shag pile rugs mean that they pick up allergens like dust and pollen easily, so they require more vacuuming to stay clean. Cow hair is thin and delicate, making it harder for allergens to attach to it. While all rugs will become dusty over time, keeping your rug allergen-free will be much easier with a cowhide rug.
If you have mild to severe allergies or sensitive skin and want a rug that suits your health requirements, cowhide rugs are a good option.
- Do cowhide rugs smell bad?
While not overpowering, cowhide rugs carry the same natural smell as most leather products. Simply put, if you enjoy the smell of leather, then you’ll like the way your rug smells. However, it won’t overwhelm the scent of your room.
If you’re concerned about the smell, it’s also worth noting that any faint leather scent on your cowhide rug will fade over time, especially if your rug is placed in a high traffic area. As we mentioned above, your cowhide carries fewer allergens than synthetic rugs, meaning that your cowhide rug will actually be cleaner than most other types of rugs in your room.
- Will my cat or dog damage my cowhide rug?
All animals are different, so it’s always important to consider how your dog or cat will react to having a new rug in their home. One of the most common misconceptions about cowhide rugs is that pets (especially dogs) are more likely to chew on or attack these rugs because they come from an animal.
This is not the case. There’s no reason for your cat or dog to show more interest in a cowhide rug for this reason. Your furry friends will probably have a similar reaction as they would to any new rug.
If your pet likes to scratch or chew on your current rug, chances are they’ll do the same thing with your new cowhide rug — but not because of how it was made.
Cowhide is especially good for pets because of how much easier it is to clean. Simply shaking your rug will get most of the animal fur off it, with a light vacuum or wipedown removing the rest.
- Do I need an anti-slip pad for my cowhide rug?
Put simply, yes. Cowhide rugs often slip and slide on most types of flooring, including hardwood, carpet and tile. While this is less common with larger, heavier rugs, the issue will still occur due to the premium cowhide material that these rugs are made with.
While your cowhide rug will move around less when placed on high-pile carpeting, you may experience some bunching. Because of the nature of cowhide, your rug may also curl up in the corners, which can create a tripping hazard. We recommend getting an anti-slip pad no matter which surfaces your hide rug is sitting on.
Luckily, at Rug.com.au, we’ve made it easy to add the perfect slip pad to your order. Simply choose the Select Pad option on any product page on our website, choose your size from the dropdown menu, and add it to your cart!
- What do I do if my cowhide leather rug starts to curl in the corners?
Curling can occur naturally over time because the corners on hide rugs are thinner. If your rug begins to curl, it’s not due to a manufacturing fault.
We recommend an anti-slip pad to prevent any kind of movement or curling in your rug. However, there are some alternatives for curling prevention.
If you can, try to place your leather rug out of the sunlight. The heat can worsen the natural curling of your rug. When curling has already occurred, spray some water on the back and rub it into the corners, or lightly go over the back of your rug with a damp cloth. Or, use gravity! Another popular solution is to weigh down the corners of your rug with a small stack of books or DVDs. After a day or two of weighing, your edges should be as flat as when you first bought them.
- How do I store my cowhide rug?
Storing your cowhide rug is similar to storing any kind of rug. Simply roll it up and store it in a clean, dry area. Make sure there is minimal risk of leaking or mould in the area to prevent any water damage on your rug.
If possible, try to roll the rug around a tube core or cylindrical piece of cardboard. This helps the rug maintain its shape when in storage.
We also recommend placing a clean sheet over your rug wherever it's stored, to reduce its exposure to dust and other allergens. Though cowhide rugs are hypoallergenic, reducing the amount of dust they collect will save you from having to clean your rug once it's unrolled.
If your rug becomes musty after being in storage, refer to our cleaning tips above to spruce up your hide rug.
After removing from storage, place some heavy objects around the corners of your rug to reduce any unwanted curling. This will also help smooth out any wrinkles on the upholstery of the hides that may have formed while in storage.
- Will my cowhide rug look identical to your photos?
At Rug.com.au, we try our best to make all images on our website as accurate as possible to the final product. However, there may be minor differences between our product photos and the rug you receive, so we can't guarantee an exact match with our pictured rugs.
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, most computer monitors have small differences in the way they display colours. Some monitors can make images appear warmer or cooler depending on their manufacturer settings. While we wish our website could balance out the colours on everyone’s screen, unfortunately, that’s not possible. We always make sure to give our customers the most accurate measurements possible for their rugs.
In some cases, the length and width measurements for rugs may differ slightly from the numbers quoted on our website.
If you have concerns about size differences with your hides, please contact us with your order details we’re always happy to help! We also offer easy returns within 30 days if you find that your rug will not fit in the required area, or you are unsatisfied with your purchase. Terms and conditions apply.
Shop luxurious leather and hide rugs online with Rug.com.au
At Rug.com.au, we make it easy for you to add the perfect finishing touch to your living space with our rugs. Whether you’re looking to transform your living room or add some fun to your children’s bedrooms, we’ve got the right rug for you — at the right price.
Not sure what you need? Check out our handy rug buying guide and find the exact rug for your dining room, coffee table or bedroom.
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