Question from Stacey
I’m wondering if cowhide rugs are toxic, or if the end product is toxic to touch. I am aware that the tannins used in the process of leather-making are toxic, so I avoid leather furniture.
Would a cowhide rug be safe for my home?
Most cowhide rugs are made with a chrome tanning process, similar to leather. It is toxic. Some of the more toxic chemicals are Chrome VI, AZO-dyes, and formaldehyde. Like leather, cowhide can be made with a vegetable tanning process which doesn’t use chrome VI or some of the other harsher chemicals, but it does use chemicals. If you are interested in a vegetable tanned product, you would need to understand the chemicals used for the particular item.