Friday, October 29, 2010

Goin' Back To Basics

What’s the largest use of rawhide? My immediate response was, “To make cowhide rugs and wall decorations.” To confirm my answer, I did a search on the Internet and discovered (horrors upon horrors) I was wrong. Worse, I had to agree with the answer I found. What is it? To protect the cow from the elements, and also to keep it's internal organs from falling out. (Bet the ten-year-olds love it.)

Even so, I began wondering about how far back the use of cowhides went. The answer to that one was easier — back to the eviction of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. But I don’t think those were cowhides.

It turns out that civilizations have used leather since their beginnings. Fresh rawhide needs some cleaning and refining. Ancient civilizations let nothing go to waste. They domesticated and raised cattle herds. When the need arose or at designated times according to their cultures, they harvested a cow or two. Sinew became thread. Bones became tools and implements. Hides became clothing, shoes, blankets, tents, water sacks, packing bags and drum covers. And it wasn’t just cowhide. They supplemented with the skins from all the animals they hunted.

Back in 5,000 to 3,000 BC, the Sumerians in Mesopotamia used the leather they made to craft long dresses and diadems for women. The Assyrians preferred leather for footwear and wineskins; they inflated it for use as raft floats. Ancient India innovators processed the leaver in a style known as Morocco. The Egyptians became real leather artisans and crafted tools, weapons, and simple ornaments.

Next were the Phoenicians and the Romans with their ornately garbed generals in leather breastplates. Each civilization built on the use and skill base of the previous.

Early on, there were problems. One was the way the skins became stiff at low temperatures and rotted in the heat. They solved these through trial and error in what turns out to be one of the oldest crafts known to man—the process known as tanning.

The first rudimentary tanning process is documented in Homer’s Illiad and various other Assyrian writing. This too improved with time. When modern archaeologists excavated the ruins of Pompeii, they discovered a tannery with all the preserved.

Notice that each civilization found a way to use finished cowhide for numerous uses, and often in decoration—whether they did it themselves or used as a cowhide rug or wall hanging.

Fortunately, we don’t have to do any of the hard work it takes to process a hide. We just have to go online and visit Rawhide Conmpany. And we can select from a number of colors and patterns of natural cowhide rugs and cowhide decor.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Express Your Individuality With A Unique Cowhide Rug

While surfing the Internet the other day for new and different decorating ideas, I found a bonanza. Cowhides. Why not? They’re durable, expressive, and can be dyed any color or pattern. The closer I looked, the more I realized that like people, each natural cowhide has a personality unlike any other. Some are naturally flashy.

And if you want colorful or flashy, Rawhide Company can definitely do both with Wild Colors and Solid Colors. Whether you’re creating a sports motif with your team’s colors, a teen expression nook in a bedroom, or a game spot in the family room, there’s a color and pattern just right for each situation.

Along that line, I want to decorate a special place for the man in my life—something I that screams his personality while claiming the room as his private domain. Yeah, a Man Cave. The rich Brindle cowhide patterns and colors lend themselves for the more reserve retreat for head of the house. What a great project. I’m envisioning a paneled room outfitted with sturdy leather furniture accented with several cowhide pillows, a giant television with surround sound on the wall, a couple of and built-in refrigerator. Whoa! Isn’t it great how to find a few marvelous pieces like the rugs and pillows, then build an entire room around them?!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shades of Gray

A truly beautiful color (or - value, I might say...) is gray. It's a timeless classic that goes with so much, and so many styles.

If you prefer modern elements in your design - you could opt for the minimal 'bare' idea using the deep browns of natural woods - coupled with the contrasting 'metal' feel of gray. It's an underused and beautiful combination. Since this style often uses natural woods with heavy wood patterns, it's best to stick with a solid color gray cowhide rug to add a splash of gray to your minimal, modern space.

Or, maybe your wood does not have strong grains - in which case the gray brindle cowhide rug is quite stunning as well.

There is still yet another option - that would work well in a traditional style design, minimal or modern - or just about any living or bedroom space - and that is the larger (for larger area) is the gray and brown patchwork cowhide area rug.

All three of these options offer versatility with the design and offer warmth, nature and design elements when used in a design.