Buffalo Hide Definitions & Related Terms

If you are considering a natural rug or robe then we encourage you to take a closer look a buffalo fur rug from Claw, Antler & Hide Company. Our quality furs make for great additional to any cabin, office or home. The size, quality, price and durability of our hides and furs are second to none.

In some cases, people shy away from buying buffalo hide products because they do not understand the terms, cultural significance or history.

In truth, many of the terms are actually synonyms which causes some of the confusion. As an example, someone may reference use the term hide, skin, pelt or leather and be talking about the same thing.

Below you find a few terms that get thrown around. It’s our goal is to help you make sense of them all.

Bison

Although Bison and Buffalo are used interchangeably, bison remains the scientific name. It is derived from the name of the species while ‘buffalo’ is believed to be derived from the French word for beef, "bœuf".

The definition of a bison is a humpbacked shaggy-haired wild ox with horns that point to the back, native to North America and Europe.

Bison is commonly divided into two categories; the Wood Bison and the Plains Bison.

Buffalo

Again, buffalo and bison can be used interchangeably. The definition of a buffalo is the same. A buffalo is a humpbacked shaggy-haired wild ox with horns that point to the back, native to North America and Europe.

Buffalo became the most common word used among the population while bison remained the official yet less used word to refer to the American plain’s largest animal.

Some folks may insist that the term “buffalo” is incorrect because the true buffalo exist on other continents and that the north American plains bison are only distant relatives.

Plains Bison

The term plains bison can be used interchangeably with buffalo or bison. The definition of a plains bison is a humpbacked shaggy-haired wild ox with horns that point to the back, native to North America and Europe. In the North American the natural habitat of the plains bison extended from Canada to Mexico. 

Free roaming plains bison can be found in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and the Custer State Park in South Dakota.

Buffalo Skin

Forget about food. When we talk about the buffalo’s skin we’re talking about the hide of buffalo, whether it is tanned or not. The terms hide, skin, pelt and leather are referencing the same thing.

Buffalo Fur

The plains buffalo fur is long and shaggy typically brown and sometimes almost black. The main difference between hair and fur is the way we use word.  The hair of non-human mammals referred to as “fur,” while humans are said to have hair.

While we commonly substitute the terms buffalo fur and a buffalo hide because together they make a single product. In truth, the fur is the connected to the hide and they are sold as a buffalo rug or a robe. When the buffalo hide is stripped of it’s fur, fat and meat it is called a buffalo rawhide

Buffalo furs can be described in many ways but often we reference the difference between a summer and winter coat.

At Claw, Antler & Hide Company our buffalo hides all have deep, lush winter fur. In contrast, summer coats on buffalo can be inconsistent, short and patchy.

Buffalo Rawhide

Rawhide is a hide or animal skin that has not been exposed to tanning. The skin from buffalo is prepared by removing all fur, meat and fat. Buffalo rawhide is often used for objects such as drumheads, lampshades, or chew toys for dogs.

Buffalo Wall Hanging

A buffalo hide can have many uses. A buffalo wall hanging is a large decorative piece of buffalo hide and fur hung on the wall of a room. While historically these wall hangings may have provided insulation and warmth to those inside, today it is primarily purpose is decorative. Buffalo Wall Hanging can be found in cabins, homes and offices and are often serve as focal point in an area of prominence.

Buffalo Rug

Like a wall hanging, a buffalo rug can serve both functional and decorative purposes. A buffalo rug is a floor covering made of animal skin and fur, typically not extending over the entire floor. While one can argue that buffalo rugs are more decorative than functional. A buffalo rug does serve to keep the floors warm. Similar to wall hangings, buffalo rugs can be found in cabins, homes and offices serving as a centerpiece in an area of prominence.


Buffalo Pelt



The terms hide, skin, pelt and leather are referencing the same thing. When we say buffalo pelt we are referring to the raw skin with the fur still on it. A buffalo pelt can be sold as a rug, throw, robe, etc.

Buffalo Throw

A buffalo rug, robe and throw are typically the same thing but have a different purpose.

Like a wall hanging or buffalo rug a buffalo throw has a true functional in addition to being decorative. A buffalo throw is a light cover for furniture. Buffalo throws can be used to cover sofas, beds, arm chairs, etc. Often times you’ll see a Buffalo throws tossed over the loft rail of a rustic cabin.

Buffalo Hide

The terms hide, skin, pelt and leather are referencing the same thing. When we say Buffalo hide we are referring to the raw skin with the fur still on it. A buffalo hide can be sold as a rug, throw, robe, etc.

You will hear us speak to the rugs and robes as buffalo hides more than anything else. While some may refer to the hair and use the word buffalo furs, we usually classify the rugs and robes as buffalo hides.

Buffalo Robe

Buffalo hides are often used as articles of clothing thus the name buffalo robe. Think of a cloak, wrap, mantle or cape made from a buffalo hide. This clothing is manufactured from buffalo-skin, typically has a heavy rich winter coat of fur. The practical function of a buffalo robe is to keep the owner warm and safe. However, today it is more often than not a fashion statement. The robe leather is soft and supple and is sure to get attention.

Buffalo Leather

The terms hide, skin, pelt and leather are referencing the same thing. When we say buffalo leather we are typically referring to the raw skin. Owners will often comment on how soft and supple the leather is on a Claw, Antler & Hide buffalo hide. Buffalo hides are naturally thicker and more durable than a cowhide.

Buffalo Bedding & Blankets

A buffalo robe, bedding or blanket are typically the same thing but have slightly different purposes.

Like a buffalo throw, buffalo bedding has a real and practical function in addition to being decorative. A buffalo blanket or bedding are used to cover beds. Again, this is a situation where a buffalo hide can have many purposes.

Buffalo Coat

The term buffalo coat can be the fur on the hide or it could mean a piece of outerwear apparel made from a buffalo. When referencing the fur, hair or skin of a buffalo, the term coat is appropriate. Specifically, when we describe the deep lush winter fur we often use the term coat. This is not to be confused with the product’s primary use as warm outer robe or buffalo coat.