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A guide to deerskin leather

Deerskin leather is a versatile material with a uniquely luxurious look and feel.

While we’ve made a name for ourselves with goatskin leather here at Billy Tannery, branching into sustainable deer leather was the natural next step when expanding our product range.

A rare form of leather, most people don’t know all that much about deerskin, its properties or how to take care of it. But it does need a little bit of know-how to look and perform its best for the longest time possible.

We’re all about making premium leather pieces that stand the test of time, so we’ve put together this deerskin leather guide to share some key facts about this amazing material, and how to treat it with the care and respect it deserves.

What is deer leather? 

A simple answer for a simple question: deer leather is leather made from the hide of deer, UK Red Deer and Fallow deer in our case.

It’s not typically mass produced, meaning it’s not something you see used all that commonly. Deerskin tends to be reserved for higher end products - you’re more likely to come across deer leather handbags from top designer fashion brands, for example.

Billy Tannery Red Deer - Sustainable Deerskin Leather

Is deer leather soft?

Deer leather is incredibly soft, supple and breathable with a sumptuous feel.

It’s also very strong, making it a versatile material that’s ideal for many items such as bags, coats and gloves, plus our deerskin Parkland Desert Boots.

The buttery soft and stretchy leather negates any uncomfortable breaking in time, yet the durability of deerskin leather means your boots will be a reliable companion ready to take you on all kinds of terrains and adventures.

Billy Tannery Parkland Desert Boots - Deerskin Suede Boots

Is deerskin leather waterproof?

Like all types of leather, deerskin is not totally waterproof - it is porous skin after all.

However, deerskin leather can be treated to help it comfortably withstand showers, plus, deerskin is unique in that it doesn’t dry stiff. This doesn’t mean you have free reign to splash about in downpours however!

Waterproofing your deer leather depends on the type - whether it’s suede/rough-out or full grain.

In the case of full grain deer leather, we recommend using a quality waterproofing cream, such as Collonil Wax Leather.

Cream products aren’t suitable for deerskin suede/rough-out however. In these cases, a reputable waterproofing spray is recommended. If you have questions on what products to use on your deerskin Parkland Boots, please get in touch.

Keep in mind that you should never use artificial heat to dry your deerskin boots or accessories, as this can cause permanent damage.

Read more about how to make leather waterproof.

How to clean deerskin

In addition to keeping your deerskin as dry as possible, it’s important to keep it clean using a gentle hand - it’s very different to giving your patent brogues a vigorous polish!

Use a soft shoe brush to remove dust and dirt - this is easier when your deerskin is totally dry. You can use a damp soft cloth to remove more stubborn marks, but be careful not to make your deerskin too wet.

Don’t rub too forcefully, as this can damage suede and even remove the unique pattern of full grain deerskin.

You can also use a gentle water-based leather cleaning product to clean your full grain deerskin leather. Start with a small amount - you can always add more product but it’s a lot harder to take away once you begin.

Is deerskin leather sustainable?

Sustainability is a huge aspect of our ethos here at Billy Tannery. Our brand was born from a desire to prevent the unnecessary waste of the goatskins that are bi-products of the UK food industry.

When it comes to our deer leather Parkland Desert Boots, and our future deerskin products, the leather is indeed sourced sustainably.

Billy Tannery Parkland Desert Boots - Made in England Label


We us both UK Red and Fallow deer and hides - skins that were previously going to waste and being thrown in landfill. Our deerskin leather is fully traceable back to the UK’s best venison producers, so we know exactly where it comes from.

Like with our goatskin products, we use vegetable tanning methods to produce our deer leather, at our own UK leather tannery. This is an eco-conscious way to tan leather that uses mimosa bark to give it a rich colour, aroma and patina.

Read more about ethical leather.

Quality deerskin leather pieces

Deerskin leather is no rival to our goatskin leather, but rather an equally versatile material with many similar properties.

All our leather pieces, both goatskin and deerskin, are designed, made and sourced right here in the UK, with style and sustainability at their heart.

Browse our full range of leather products


Billy Tannery Leather Bags


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