Bison: Leather

Cibola Farms American Buffalo leather is produced from our heard of about 350 bison and harvested at processing time.  We have selected six main colors for the tanning process and provide both split hides and finished leather products for sale by way of our online shopping cart or directly at our retail market store at the farm.  The six colors include black, cognac, walnut, saddle tan, ox blood and walnut. The side link will take you to each page for a view of each of these colors. Occasionally we will send leather products out to our farmer’s markets around holiday season, and often carrying smaller items like bracelets, book marks and key chains at all times at all market locations.

All leather products are made by hand locally in Northern Virginia using leatherworks craft people that we work closely with to generate designs and patterns.  While it is often difficult or impossible to fulfill many special request orders, we are always open to entertaining inquiries and ideas that may lead to a new product idea or an improved modification to an existing design, so please do contact us with any questions that you may have.

Leather products for sale online will be added here soon.  At the moment, you will find our leather goods sold at our Farm Store and at our Farmer's Market booths.

Softer & Stronger

American buffalo leather is much softer and more pliable than most beef leather right out of the tanner’s shop.  There are many after-tanning processes that all leather can undergo to generate more pliability or more rigidity, so one can find rigid bison leather or super soft beef leather, but this generality of softer and more pliable buffalo leather is the norm.  While being softer and more pliable, it is also very strong.  We have experienced moccasins made from beef leather that lasted 12-18 months before wearing thin with holes in the sole, while bison moccasins of the same thickness of leather have lasted for more than 3 years before experiencing similar wear.  Buffalo string leather is much harder to pull apart (as in laces) over time and age than beef leather of the same thickness.

Tanning Method

Cibola buffalo leather is chrome-tanned, which uses a chromium salt that is found and extracted from nature in places of volcanic activity.  It is considered a far safer and less toxic material to work with than previous industry materials and is considered the leading choice by responsible tanneries.

Quality & Variability

All hides (whether beef or buffalo) come off the carcass with a wide degree of variability.  The belly section is always thinner, softer, more pliable and absorbs the tanning dyes differently.  The back section is always thicker, more rigid and has a darker absorption of tanning dyes.  The skin texture moving from top to bottom and from front to back also has a wide degree of variation that appears alligator-like in places, beef-like in places and elephant-like in places.  It is a beautiful and artistic flow of texture and color variation that generates unique and creative pieces.  The consistency that is often found in the construction of leather chairs or couches generally comes from beef leather that has gone through a process to provide a minimum amount of texture and to eliminate the possibility of color variation throughout the finished product.  You should be aware that purchasing Cibola buffalo leather or leather products will have this artistic variation.  Also, the bison are raised locally in Virginia, processed locally in Maryland by hand and products sold locally in the DC, VA and MD region, thus we are at the mercy of the local family owned and operated processing facilities in our region that are harvesting these hides by hand, which results in an increase in variability of quality.  We have a money back guarantee on all products (excluding return shipping) so that you are not left with a hide or a finished leather product that did not match your desire or expectation, but please be aware of this topic before you make a final purchasing decision.


There are 6 colors in the current production operation, and while all 6 are usually available in each piece, you should check availability in the online shopping cart. Select the thumbnail below to get a full view of each color.