What Is Carpincho Leather?

Whether you’re searching for exotic leathers for a new pair of gloves or for a high-end leather accessory, there are myriad possibilities. One such leather is called carpincho, and it is considered one of the premier leathers by experts. Let’s get some insight into the origins and characteristics of this luxurious leather.

What Is Carpincho Leather

Carpincho refers to a large South American rodent. The leather from this animal is a fine product that ages well and becomes more comfortable over time. It’s similar to peccary leather and is often used to make luxurious gloves. Various types of leather from many animals are available, but carpincho definitely has a special place in the market.

Image from Fachera

Where Does Carpincho Leather Come From

The name carpincho is Portuguese, and it refers to a swamp-dwelling animal that is known as the world’s largest rodent. The Spanish name for this animal is capybara, and this is probably its most common name in English, as well. This semi-aquatic species is found only in parts of South America including north Argentina, some parts of Brazil and Paraguay. Some of the best specimens are found in Argentina.

While the capybara is not endangered, hunting them is illegal in Argentina. They are raised on farms and only certified farm-raised carpincho hides are legally used for making leather.


Carpincho leather is soft and supple, comparable in quality to peccary. It is delicate to the touch but very tough and durable. This fine soft-grained leather is best processed in its natural color, oxide or rust brown.


The skin resembles a soft-grained, brown-speckled suede. Due to the rigorous life of the capybaras raised on farms, the leather may feature natural markings and scars from fights between capybaras. These are a sign of real leather and enhance the beauty of the product. The distinguishing feature of carpincho is the bundle of 5-6 bristle pores that dot the surface, as opposed to the 3 follicles of peccary leather.

Products Carpincho Leather is Commonly Used For

Being an expensive and relatively rare leather, carpincho can be crafted into luxury gloves, wallets, bags, belts, jackets and footwear. One of the famous carpincho products are the boots and other clothing worn by traditional Argentinian cowboys, called Gauchos.

Advantages of Carpincho Leather

Because carpincho is thin but strong, it is suited to lightweight leather goods that will see daily use and yet will last a long time. Like any beautiful and exotic leather, it will add a touch of luxury to your wardrobe and make you stand out. Over time, it develops a patina that adds to the natural beauty of the leather. Carpincho items such as gloves get even more comfortable after a few years of wearing them.

Disadvantages of Carpincho Leather

Besides being quite rare and expensive, carpincho is not suitable for applications where water may soak the leather. While this leather is soft and strong, it’s not good for products requiring rigidity and exposure to the elements. However, it is admirably suited to luxury goods that will last a long time.

How to Care for Carpincho Leather

In order to keep your carpincho items looking as beautiful as the day you purchased them, follow a few simple instructions. Avoid getting the leather wet, but in case it does, let it dry naturally in a cool dry place. Clean the leather with a suede brush after it is dry to remove any dirt.


Because of their similarity, carpincho and peccary are often compared to each other. Like peccary, carpincho also has visible follicle pores on the hide, which help to make the leather distinct. Both are tough and supple, with excellent stretch and very durable. Peccary and carpincho leather are both used for high-end gloves and other luxury items.

Carpincho is less expensive than peccary since it is less fine and less sought-after by collectors.


Carpincho leather is quite the exotic material. It comes only from a small region of the world. It’s recommended for the fashion-conscious buyer on the lookout for comfortable, durable and distinctive leather items.

Other Similar Leathers

Other leathers you may find interesting include:

  • Peccary
  • Elk leather
  • Reindeer
  • Chamois
  • Cabretta