Kidskin Leather: Definition, Uses, Care and Maintenance

Kidskin Leather: Definition, Uses, Care and Maintenance


If you’re a leather fan, then you’re very likely to define kidskin leather. Don’t panic if you don’t know what it is since this material has many titles. Kidskin is a hide or skin originating from a goat. So basically it is goatskin but the hides of a baby goat are used during the processing. Just like goatskin, kidskin leather is often referred to as Morocco leather. It is recognized for its smooth texture and lightweight. It is also one of the most resistant and waterproof leathers on the market.

Kidskin is often ultra-thin to the touch and has a very velvety finish. The semi-aniline finish is the most popular version of kidskin’s tanned material. This material is usually colored with aniline dyes and then a covered lacquer layer is added with a combination of leather paints. In such a way kidskin gets an even and glossy finish.

Preparing the hides for tanning is the first step in producing kidskin. Preparation involves maintaining the dry hide, extracting excess protein, hair, and fat, and adding chemicals and salts to the hide to help in the absorption of tanning products. The leather is tanned and dried until this phase is finished. Tanning also better protects the hide and prevents it from rotting. Current tanning procedures require tannins, chromium sulfate, or aluminum salts.

Kidskin is ultra-thin much like paper varying from 0.02 to 1.10 mm thick. Kidskin is a type of natural leather developed from goat hides. Kidskin is mostly made from the hides of baby goats, as the name suggests, but it can also be made from the pelts of fully-grown goats.

A lightweight, supple and premium finish is how you may describe kidskin leather. While it can be turned into almost any form of leather footwear or accessory, it is most commonly used for making ballet shoes for women. Though, its uses are much wider.

Major Types of Kidskin Leather

Since 1916 merchants and leather craftsmen have defined and distinguished 60 different types of kidskin leather. The most popular materials are:

  • Bronze kidskin (dyed for a nice bronze finish);
  • Cheveril (more flexible than standard kidskin);
  • Dongola (resembles kidskin but can include the hides of sheep or kangaroo);
  • Glace (or glazed) kidskin has an extremely glossy, shiny finish;
  • French kidskin – top-notch material in the terms of quality;
  • Kangaroo kidskin is a goatskin finished to mimic kangaroo leather’s texture;
  • Mat kidskin is beeswax and olive-oil treated material with a dull, soft matte finish.
  • Pebbled kidskin;
  • Royal kidskin;
  • Suede kidskin has a nice suede finish;
  • Vici kidskin is a trademark for high-quality chrome-tanned kidskin with a soapy and oily finish, developed by Robert Foederer in Philadelphia in the mid-1880s;

Kidskin vs. Calfskin

You should never confuse kidskin leather with calfskin or cowhide. The key distinction between kidskin and calfskin is that kidskin is a smoother, thinner leather made of goatskin, typically used for gloves. While calfskin is a natural leather created from a calf’s hide.

A lot of leather materials originate from cowhides, although there are also other leather origins. Kidskin and calfskin are usually of better quality and appear to cost more than pigskin or side leather. Calfskin leather, owing to its great shine, depth of color, and ability to avoid scuffing, is typically the most costly variety of leather. Kidskin leather is thinner, heavier and thus more durable than calfskin, offering a broad range of choices for style.

Kidskins can come in several varieties of finishes – including veg tanning, aniline, semi-aniline and crust. Calfskin doesn’t have such a number of finishes.

Kidskin is considered as a higher-quality material, like calfskin, and this is typically expressed in the cost of the leather goods. It is also used for a variety of leather pieces because this leather type appears to be a little lighter in weight than calfskin although being a very solid fiber. This makes kidskin leather very durable and can be used to create virtually every type of accessory. It is most widely used, however, to produce leather gloves, ballet shoes and different iPhone/iPad covers.


Kidskin is used by the manufacturers and makers of gloves. Some craftsmen and brands also create very thin and durable slippers with this premium leather material.

Used primarily for gloves, it is very durable and very luxurious since it is ultra-soft and extremely lightweight. Often, early lightweight hair rollers were made of kidskin, offering a curl that was really tight. In the doll-making industry, especially during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, kidskin was particularly widely used as a common material for both French and German doll bodies, especially fashion dolls.

Also, kidskin is used for the creation of musical instruments, such as Greek bagpipes. It was also a choice for drumheads such as those on tambourines and, in particular, on dairies from Bulgaria. Backs in the days, it was used in lighthouses, the Dalen light was made with a saturated paraffin-wax kidskin diaphragm.


  • Soft;
  • Lightweight;
  • Water-resistant;
  • Supple;
  • Flexible;

Thanks to such premium features as adaptability, versatility and suppleness, kidskin leather is often used for making soft and durable accessories. This leather is often strikingly lightweight. It very much resembles calfskin if you need to compare its features with other natural leather materials. Kidskin leather is also known for its exceptional quality, and the cost of such leather products typically represents this.

Kidskin often happens to be more lightweight than calfskin although being a very solid fiber, mostly used for a range of leather pieces. This makes it easy to render the leather very durable and can be used to manufacture virtually any leather clothes or accessories.

Care and Maintenance

To ensure the lifespan of top-notch and ultra-thin kidskin leather gloves or accessories, you should be very careful when cleaning and maintaining the material’s condition. Kidskin should be put and processed at mild temperatures, like other forms of leather. To prevent regions of excessive dryness or humidity you should repeat these precautions all the time. Following this routine would enable the leather to preserve its natural appearance and texture over time. Also, you may reduce the chance of cracks appearing on kidskin’s texture.

You should brush off kidskin leather if appropriate with a smooth, dry cloth in order to maintain and clean this material. It is then necessary to very carefully clean the product with lukewarm water.

Furthermore, a special leather cream, saddle soap and conditioner may be used. Apply these treatments after you have cleaned the kidskin leather. Then leave it to dry naturally without covering.

Proper maintenance and cleaning of kidskin clothes and accessories will help to minimize cracks and possible shrinking, thus increasing the lifetime of the garment.

Final thoughts

Kidskin is goat-based leather material. As you can possibly imagine, this kind of leather usually comes from the hides of baby goats. You may want to choose this material to make soft, lightweight and sturdy gloves or tablet covers.