Zulucow’s high quality, cowhide rugs derive from South Africa’s Nguni cattle.

The Zulus have bred them for their beautiful colouring and dramatic markings for amongst other things: ceremonial clothing. Nothing in South Africa goes to waste; the hides are a natural by-product of the meat industry.

The Nguni are part of a rich Zulu culture. Their hides, which have held a significant role in traditional Zulu culture for centuries, are now adding value to these small-scale farmers. In fact, so deep is their love and appreciation for the Nguni cow’s unique appearance that the Zulu people have developed evocative names for the cows according to their patterns. For example, they name a hide which is mainly white with black flecks: ‘Inasenezimbukane’ (flies in butter). Another hide resembling skylark eggs, they call: ‘imaqandakahuye’ “The eggs of the sky lark”.

Today the Zulus are deriving skills and a sustainable income from the Nguni. This is as a result of jobs created not only in crafting Zulucow’s sustainable cowhide bags, belts, cushions, but also in tanning.  I select each hide individually and we are careful that nothing goes to waste. The off-cuts are made into smaller items. These include door-stops, key rings and purses. With an increased concern for the sustainability and provenance of what we buy, I’m proud to say that Zulucow’s range is made from by-products of a traditional food industry in South Africa.

One of the core brand values of Zulucow; is that all our cowhide rugs and cowhide products are sustainable. They are dependable.  And finally, don’t impact the environment.

Zulu herdsman, artisan, ethically sourced cowhide
If you want to find out more about our wonderful artisans head over to this page – here