Goat leather, traditionally called Morocco leather, is soft, lightweight, and at the same time incredibly strong. This distinctive material, particularly popular in the first half of the 20th century, is also one of the most durable leathers on the market. Goatskin is composed of a tight weave of fibers. In fact, the collagen fibers found in goat leather are significantly denser than those found in cow or sheep leather.
It is because of this durability that the leather is so perfect for making small leather goods – think about how many times you open your wallet or bend the folds of its interior. Small leather goods have to be made from hardwearing, but thin, leather. Goat is also often used to make light, elegant, high-heeled shoes, as the material will withstand high tension on the stitching and hold its shape.
In addition to robustness, goat leather is naturally water-resistant and very supple, thanks to the presence of lanolin, a waxy grease produced by the goat’s skin.
It also has a distinct grainy, pebble-like, texture to the skin, which can be varied using vegetable tanning methods. The small surface areas of each skin allow tanners to refine the skins in ways that are impossible for larger bovine skins.
And what about our tanners? Ettinger has sourced its goat leather from the same tannery in Mazamet, a small town in southwest France, since the 1950s. This outfit has been refining goat leather for more than a century. The company selects only the finest hides (only 5% of the skins on the market are of a high enough quality for the tannery to refine) and ensures that every one of their employees has at least 15 years leather-refining experience. Over the years, processes have evolved and demands have changed, but Mazamet’s refined goat leather is still some of the best in the world.