Leather – Pigskin

By | May 7, 2016
Scrap of pigskin with a metallic finish. Source: eBay seller dcleather.

Scrap of pigskin with a metallic finish. Source: eBay seller dcleather.

Did you read the leather overview, first? You should.

Pigskin leather is a popular and relatively economical option for costuming. It’s also popular for lining other garments and accessories, such as handbags and wallets.

It can have a sueded or smooth finish and is commercially available in many colors, including metallic finishes. Pigskin which has been embossed to look like ostrich leather or other animals is widely available.

A downside to pig leather is that it has larger pores, which can leave the finish not quite as smooth as cow skin. But consider the ten-foot-rule* when you’re evaluating a piece of leather to buy. It might work out just fine.

Pigskin is pretty light – less than an ounce per square foot for lining weight, up to about two ounces per square foot for top grain. This means it’s not well-suited for costumes that are going to get beaten up on, or a lot of hard wear. This is garment leather, not armor leather.

Pigskin dyed pink and embossed with a lizard print pattern. Source: theleatherguy.com

Pigskin dyed pink and embossed with a lizard print pattern. Source: theleatherguy.com

In sewing, it has a lot in common with suede in terms of weight and drape.

I’ve been warned that the dyes on pigskin can bleed when cleaned, so be aware of that risk when integrating it with any other material. The dyes can also fade in sunlight, so store it in the dark.

Pigskin runs from seven to ten dollars per square foot, depending on the finish. A typical pigskin, if sold whole, is about seven or eight square feet. For what it’s worth, I find it for sale all over eBay, but you can’t beat going to a retail storefront and handling it for yourself before committing to buy.

*If it looks good from ten feet away, then you’re all set.

Pigskin with a suede finish. Source: theleatherguy.com

Pigskin with a suede finish. Source: theleatherguy.com

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