Rawhide is a hide or animal skin that has not been exposed to tanning. It is much lighter in color than leather made by traditional vegetable tanning. The skin from buffalo, deer, elk or cattle from which most rawhide originates is prepared by removing all fur, meat and fat. The hide is then usually stretched over a frame before being dried. The resulting material is hard and translucent. It can be shaped by rewetting and forming before being allowed to thoroughly re-dry. It can be rendered more pliable by 'working', i.e. bending repeatedly in multiple directions, often by rubbing it over a post, sometimes traditionally by chewing. It may also be oiled or greased for a degree of waterproofing.


It is often used for objects such as whips, drumheads or lampshades, and more recently chew toys for dogs. It is thought to be more durable than leather, especially in items suffering abrasion during use, and its hardness and shapability render it more suitable than leather for some items. For example, rawhide is often used to cover saddle trees, which make up the foundation of a western saddle, while wet: it strengthens the wooden tree by drawing up very tight as it dries, and resists the abrasion regularly encountered during stock work or rodeo sports. Rawhide is, however more susceptible to water than leather, and will quickly soften and stretch if left wet unless well waterproofed.

Wet rawhide has been used by some earlier cultures as a means of torture or execution, gradually biting into or squeezing the flesh of body parts it encloses as it dries. When exposed to sunlight, a strip of wet rawhide that was stretched tightly around the forehead of the bound victim would shrink; as the material dried and if left unattended, the victim's skull slowly cracks as a result of the pressure.Fact|date=May 2008

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  • Rawhide — Raw hide (r[add] h[imac]d ), n. A cowhide, or coarse riding whip, made of untanned (or raw) hide twisted. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rawhide — [rôr′hīd΄] n. 1. an untanned or only partially tanned cattle hide ☆ 2. a whip made of this vt. rawhided, rawhiding ☆ to beat or drive with such a whip …   English World dictionary

  • Rawhide — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Rawhide peut faire référence à : Rawhide, western muet américain réalisé par Richard Thorpe, sorti en 1926 ; Rawhide, western américain réalisé… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rawhide — Seriendaten Deutscher Titel: Tausend Meilen Staub / Cowboys Originaltitel: Rawhide Produktionsland: USA Produktionsjahr(e): 1959–1966 Episodenlänge: etwa 60 Minuten Episodenanzahl …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • rawhide — /raw huyd /, n., v., rawhided, rawhiding. n. 1. untanned skin of cattle or other animals. 2. a rope or whip made of rawhide. v.t. 3. to whip with a rawhide. [1650 60; RAW + HIDE2] * * * …   Universalium

  • rawhide — [[t]rɔ͟ːhaɪd[/t]] N UNCOUNT: usu N n Rawhide is leather that comes from cattle, and has not been treated or tanned. [AM] At his belt he carried a rawhide whip …   English dictionary

  • rawhide — raw•hide [[t]ˈrɔˌhaɪd[/t]] n. v. hid•ed, hid•ing 1) untanned skin of cattle or other animals 2) a rope or whip made of rawhide 3) to whip with or as if with a rawhide • Etymology: 1650–60 …   From formal English to slang

  • rawhide — I. noun Date: 1829 1. a whip of untanned hide 2. untanned cattle skin II. transitive verb (rawhided; rawhiding) Date: 1858 1. to whip or drive with or as if with a rawhide 2. chastise 2 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • rawhide — noun Untanned hide. This throw was fair; the white cow came to earth again; and before it could rise Santa had made the lasso fast around a post of the corral with a swift and simple knot, and had leaped upon the cow again with the rawhide… …   Wiktionary

  • rawhide — noun 1》 stiff untanned leather. 2》 N. Amer. a whip or rope made of rawhide …   English new terms dictionary

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