By Karenna Cochrane

What's the difference between leather and lambskin? Technically they're both considered real leathers, but there are a few qualities that make each material unique. Lambskin is usually less expensive, but it can be softer and thinner. Genuine leather, also known as full grain, is sturdy and practical.

Genuine Leather vs. Lambskin
credit: Timur Emek/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages
Genuine Leather vs. Lambskin

Genuine Leather

Full-grain genuine leather is derived from premium rawhide material. This is a popular type of leather for upholstery projects and DIY ventures in the home. It can be treated for stain resistance. It also has that unmistakable genuine leather smell.

Lambskin

Lambskin is used in coats, skirts and other clothing. Like calfskin, it's soft and supple against the skin. Although generally considered less expensive than genuine leather, it can still get quite pricey. Lambskin is less durable than full-grain leather, but there are simple ways to protect it. Some treatments are very affordable, costing less than 10 dollars.

Color and Repurposing

Most genuine leather and lambskin is treated with dyes, even if it looks natural, so both can be found in any color. Leather is great for reuse. Older leather furnishings can take on new life as pillows, wall hangings and smaller home goods. Similarly, lambskin coats and pants are ideal for repurposing into wallets, clutches and purses.