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Leather products are made from the skin or hide of animals. Cowhide, which is abundant, is used most frequently. Leather artisans also use goatskin, pigskin, calfskin, sheepskin, and steer hide. Leather has many uses—as clothing, shoes, belts, hats, furniture, and even sculpture. The potential for leather products is almost limitless.

There are two main types of leather markets: commercial trade and custom leather. Commercial trade includes mass-produced and primarily machine-made items, such as belts, wallets, leather clothes, and furniture. A person in this field will probably work for a large manufacturer.

Custom leather products and art leather are primarily handcrafted, but the leather artisan might use a machine for some of the work. Custom work is sold at craft fairs, craft shops, galleries, and by commission.

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