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Note: Tanners trim the side and cut some of the fleshy leg pockets out, but some may remain. The dotted line indicates the area that may need to be trimmed, depending on the side.
- Thickest and firmest part of hide – at full thickness, it is 2-4 ounces thicker than rest of hide.
- Best used where minimum stretch, firmness and durability are essential.
- Fibers are thicker and more prone to cracking (be sure to temper in warm water before bending).
- Good quality, but may have more blemishes than the bend.
- Neck area may have more barbed wire scratches and natural fat wrinkles. Tanners make special efforts to smooth out the wrinkles, but depending on the age of the animal, they may still be visible.
- Has as much tensile strength (ability to stretch without tearing) as the bend, sometimes more.
The Back (Made up of the Bend and Neck)
- Very good quality.
- Best buy for products which require length and durability with least amount of waste (e.g. reins, stirrup leathers, leashes, etc.).
- Includes the areas of the bend and neck.
- Fibers are softer and looser than in other parts of the side.
- Often considered the “waste” section of the side – but it can be very useful for a variety of purposes.
- Sewn to the back of a bend, neck or middle, it provides comfort and has all the strength of the piece it is sewn to.