Oxen Manufacture

The manufacture of Ox leather is thought to be as old as the 7th Century BC. The process of tanning Oxen was described in Homers’ Iliad. During the Middle Ages, the Tanning process was developed and refined so that a better, more flexible leather was produced. Although the process of manufacturing leather has altered slightly throughout the years, it is still fundamentally the same today, meaning that leather manufacture is one of the oldest crafts around.

Ox hide leather is very similar to that of a cow, as an Ox is the collective name for a cow that has been castrated. This is one type of leather where the hide comes almost exclusively from being a by-product of the Food industry. Generally Oxen are not killed purely for their hide; it is just used to reduce the amount of waste produced.

Oxen leather is produced in much the same was as many other leathers, and can be finished with a variety of different finishes; it is very versatile leather. It can be made to resemble other more exotic leathers such as zebra and lizard, kept its natural colour, have a plastic coating applied so that it is a patent leather and studs and other decorations can be added.

Properties of Oxen

  • Pliable
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Does not rip or tear easily
  • Thick
  • Strong
  • Not as prone to cracking as most leathers
  • Flexible
  • Breathable
  • Supple
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Can be either dyed or left its natural colour
  • Lasts 5 times as long as fabric
  • Resistant to sun and heat damage

Uses of Oxen in Fashion Past and Present

  • Shoes. The brand ‘Converse’ have a range of Baseball boots made from Ox leather.
  • Belts
  • Handbags
  • Wallets
  • Motorcycle protective clothing
  • Fashion Clothing
  • Leather Jackets

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

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