7 Different Leather Binding Covers for Bibles

Updated on May 28, 2020
Doneta Wrate profile image

Health Science BS. I have been selling Bibles on eBay for 6 years. Also been life long Christian and seen many dfferent Bibles.


1. Introduction: Why leather Bibles?

2. Goatskin Leather

3. Calf skin Leather

4. Calf split leather

5.Cowhide Leather

6. French Morocco leather

7. Genuine leather

8. Bonded leather

9. Care of Leather Bibles

10. Conclusion: The Seven Most Commonly Used Leathers

11. Bibliography

12.Video: Is the Bible God's Word

Why Leather Bibles?

Many Christians take pride in their Bibles. They use their Bibles daily, make important notes they want to remember, and hope their Bible will last a long time. Leather Bibles last longer than hardback Bibles. My hardback Bibles last only 3 years. But my leather ones last much longer.

Not all leather binding covers of Bibles are alike. Some will last for generations and can be an heirloom if properly cared for. Other leathers will last only a few years if used regularly. Different leathers handle differently and have various textures. Here is a description of the seven most commonly used leathers in binding Bibles. The best quality leathers are listed first, and then the lower quality.

At the end of the article are listed some websites to which you can refer.

Many Christians take pride in their Bibles.
Many Christians take pride in their Bibles. | Source

Goatskin Leather

Goatskin leather is a very resilient top quality natural grain leather, strong and supple, used in the finest bindings. Goatskin is also known as Morocco leather. The best goatskin leather comes from northern Nigeria due to the ecology and weather conditions creating the best hides. The native peoples specially process the hides by methods developed over generations for thousands of years. A long time ago, once finished, the hides used to be transported over the Sahara Desert to Morocco. Morocco historically was the trade center for goatskin leather to the ancient world. From this comes the name Morocco leather.

Calfskin Leather

Calfskin leather is a higher quality leather used for finer bindings. It is unusually soft and flexible, which increases with use. Calfskin is one of the favorite leathers of book binders.

Calf Split Leather

Real leather is taken from animal hide. Split leather refers to the underside of the hide; the other side, top grain, is superior and more expensive.

Calf split leather is tanned to approach the quality and feel of top grain calf skin leather. Calf split leather is stiffer than goatskin and has an elegant feel to the grain. It is a superior grade to French Morocco, genuine leather and bonded leather.

Cowhide Leather

Cowhide is a soft leather, more flexible than genuine leather. Although it is considered a premium leather, it is more economical than calfskin, but a higher quality than genuine leather.

French Morocco Leather

This leather is different from the goatskin Morocco leather. French Morocco is leather taken from a split hide--sheep skin, calf or cowhide. It is slightly thinner than the other grades of leather and therefore relatively flexible and soft even when new. French Morocco offers high quality real leather at an economical price.

The more modern leather Bibles will have the type of leather named on the back cover in the lower right hand corner.
The more modern leather Bibles will have the type of leather named on the back cover in the lower right hand corner. | Source

Genuine Leather

Genuine leather is always pigskin. You will never find a Jewish Torah made of genuine leather. A Seventh Day Adventist will be disappointed to learn his Bible is probably covered with pigskin. Genuine leather is the cheapest and most popular of real leathers. Pigskin covers are usually stiff and not as soft and flexible as the better quality leathers. Genuine leather is also known as Berkshire leather.

Bonded Leather

Bonded leather is the poorest quality of the leathers with which Bibles are covered. Bonded leather is actually leather scrapings mixed with plasticizer, colored and then pressed with a leather like pattern. It is the same idea as medium density fiberboard. It is cheaper, easier to produce, takes less skill to work with, and sort of functions much like real leather. That is, sort of. Bonded leather does not hold up as well as leather skins. It falls apart. Where the bonded leather has to bend when the cover is opened is not as strong as real leather and will break. Keep this in mind when buying a Bible you plan on using much.

Although there are varying qualities of bonded leather, the better quality imitation leather Bibles will actually last longer than a bonded leather Bible. Some come with beautifully designed covers. Some of the name brands to look for are TruTone, Kirvella, Leatherflex, and LeatherLike.

Care of Your Leather Bible

If you properly care for a Bible made from the better quality leathers, it can be an heirloom and last for generations, even with daily use. There are things that can be done to make the binding and cover last. Your grandchildren can be gifted their grandparents Bible. My husband has his grandfathers Bible, and he cherishes it. Here are two points to keep in mind for care of your Bible:

  • To keep the binding strong, do not store papers in your Bible. And do not stand the Bible on end in the book case. Lay it down flat. These two points weaken the binding of your Bible.
  • Periodically treat the leather cover with a conditioning oil. Some leather conditioning oils to look for are Fredelkas Formula, sapphir renovateur, leather honey, obenaufs leather oil, and Coach leather oil.

Take a little time to read your Bible and pray every day.
Take a little time to read your Bible and pray every day. | Source

The Seven Most Commonly Used Leathers

These seven leathers are the most commonly used in making leather Bibles. There are other type leathers that can be found, such as kangaroo and water buffalo, but these are rarely found and would be very expensive here in the states. Refer to this the next time you wish to purchase a fine quality Bible.


  • www.leathercaresupply.com
  • www.pantherpeakbindery.com/limp-leather-bibles.html
  • www.bibledesignblog.com/blog/2008/11/the-care-and-feeding-of-leather-bibles/html
  • www.cambridge.org/bj/bibles/about/leather-binding-materials
  • www.bibledesignblog.com/blog/2007/11/the-sincerest-f.html
  • https://biblebuyingguide.com/bible-buying-tip-cover-binding
  • https://thecripplegate.com/if-I-could-design-my-favorite-Bible

Is the Bible God's Word?

Which Leather did you like the Best?

Which cover binding will you look for the next Bible you buy?

See results

Questions & Answers

© 2019 Doneta Wrate


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Tim Schultz 

      2 weeks ago

      Excellent descriptions of the different Bible covers. I agree that the imitation leathers that are being produced are nicer than bonded leather.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)