Spot the Genuine Article: How to Identify a Real Cowhide Rug!

How to Tell if a Cowhide Rug is Real?

Key Takeaways:

  1. Texture and Feel: Genuine cowhide rugs have a unique texture and feel that synthetic materials cannot replicate.
  2. Smell and Backing: Real cowhide has a distinct smell and a natural leather backing.
  3. Price and Authenticity: Authentic cowhide rugs are generally more expensive due to their quality and durability.

You can tell if a cowhide is real by examining it for natural imperfections, such as scars or variations in color and texture, which are common in genuine hides. Additionally, real cowhide has a soft, supple texture and a distinct leather smell, unlike synthetic materials. The back of a genuine cowhide rug will also have a suede-like feel, further indicating its authenticity.
black and white cowhide rug in living room
How to Tell if a Cowhide Rug is Real?

Texture & Feel

When you're trying to determine if a cowhide rug is real, the texture and feel are your first clues. Genuine cowhide has a soft, supple texture that synthetic materials simply can't mimic. Run your hand over the rug; a real cowhide will feel smooth and luxurious, with a slight variation in texture due to the natural hair. Fake cowhide rugs, on the other hand, often feel plasticky or overly uniform, lacking the natural inconsistencies that make real cowhide unique.

Another telltale sign is the weight of the rug. Authentic cowhide rugs are heavier than their synthetic counterparts. This is because real cowhide is made from the hide of a cow, which is naturally dense and durable. If the rug feels too light or flimsy, it's likely a fake. Always trust your senses; the tactile experience of a real cowhide rug is unmistakable.

How To Select a Quality Cowhide Rug

Smell & Backing

The smell of a cowhide rug can also give away its authenticity. Real cowhide has a distinct, earthy smell that comes from the natural leather. This scent is hard to replicate and is often absent in synthetic versions. If you notice a chemical or plastic-like odor, you're probably dealing with a fake. The natural smell of leather is a strong indicator that you're holding a genuine cowhide rug.

The backing of the rug is another crucial aspect to examine. Authentic cowhide rugs have a suede-like backing that is soft and flexible. This natural leather backing is a clear sign of authenticity. In contrast, fake cowhide rugs often have a fabric or rubber backing, which is a dead giveaway. Flip the rug over and inspect the backing closely; a real cowhide rug will have a natural, unfinished leather look.

light tan cowhide rug by fireplace
cowhide rug price and authenticity

Price & Authenticity

Price is often a good indicator of whether a cowhide rug is real or not. Genuine cowhide rugs are generally more expensive due to the quality of the material and the craftsmanship involved in their production. If you come across a cowhide rug that seems too cheap, it's likely a fake. Authentic cowhide rugs are an investment, and their price reflects their durability and unique beauty.

Authenticity can also be verified through the seller. Reputable sellers will provide information about the origin of the cowhide and may even offer certificates of authenticity. Always buy from trusted sources to ensure you're getting a real cowhide rug. If the seller is vague about the rug's origin or can't provide any proof of authenticity, it's best to walk away.

tan cowhide rug on hardwood floor next to fireplace
cowhide rug visual inspection

Visual Inspection

A visual inspection can also help you determine if a cowhide rug is real. Genuine cowhide rugs have natural variations in color and pattern, which are unique to each hide. These variations are a hallmark of authenticity and add to the rug's charm. Fake cowhide rugs often have uniform patterns and colors, which can look too perfect and artificial.

Look closely at the edges of the rug. Real cowhide rugs have natural, uneven edges that follow the shape of the hide. Synthetic rugs often have straight, machine-cut edges that lack the organic feel of a real cowhide. The hair on a genuine cowhide rug will also lie naturally and may have slight imperfections, whereas fake rugs often have hair that looks too uniform and synthetic.

Caring for your Cowhide Rug

Shopping for the Perfect Cowhide Rug

If you are in the market for a cowhide rug, look no further! We have curated a collection of high-quality cowhide rugs, each uniquely patterned and crafted to add a touch of rustic elegance to any room. Here are some great pictures showcasing the variety of colors, shapes, and sizes available, so you can find the perfect piece to complement your home décor. Explore our selection and discover the natural beauty and durability that cowhide rugs bring to your space.

brown speckled cowhide rug
Shopping for the Perfect Cowhide Rug

Cowhide rugs are a versatile and stylish addition to any home décor, offering a unique blend of rustic charm and contemporary elegance. Their natural patterns and textures add warmth and character to living spaces, whether draped over furniture or placed on the floor. Durable and easy to maintain, cowhide rugs are perfect for high-traffic areas, making them a practical yet chic choice for any room in your home.


Determining if a cowhide rug is real involves a combination of tactile, olfactory, and visual inspections. By paying attention to the texture, smell, backing, price, and visual characteristics, you can confidently identify an authentic cowhide rug. Always buy from reputable sellers and trust your senses to guide you in making the right choice.


How can I clean my cowhide rug?

To clean a cowhide rug, simply shake it out or vacuum it using a brush attachment. For spills, use a damp cloth and mild soap to gently blot the area. Avoid soaking the rug or using harsh chemicals.

Can cowhide rugs be used in high-traffic areas?

Yes, cowhide rugs are durable and can withstand high-traffic areas. However, it's best to rotate the rug periodically to ensure even wear and tear.

Are cowhide rugs hypoallergenic?

Cowhide rugs are generally hypoallergenic as they do not trap dust and allergens like synthetic rugs. However, it's always a good idea to clean them regularly to maintain a healthy living environment.

Can you vaccuum a cowhide rug?

Yes, you can vacuum a cowhide rug. Use a brush attachment and vacuum in the direction of the hair to remove dust and dirt. Avoid using a beater bar or rotating brush, as these can damage the rug. Regular vacuuming helps maintain the rug's appearance and longevity.

Can you get a cowhide rug wet?

It's best to avoid getting a cowhide rug excessively wet. While a small amount of water from spills can be wiped off quickly without damage, soaking or heavy moisture can cause the hide to become stiff, discolored, or warped. If the rug does get wet, blot the area with a dry cloth and allow it to air dry away from direct heat or sunlight.

Thanks for reading this article on cowhide rugs; your interest is much appreciated!