We have been on the hunt lately for some special hair on hides in the rich orange shade of the UT Longhorns. But what about the inspiration for the color - the cattle themselves? And what IS that shade of orange really called?
May Pantone suggest....
When we source hides, we often pick a general color or "look", and can anticipate from the manufacturer (based on our relationship with them and their knowledge of hides) what we'll get. Every one is unique because the animal is unique. Don't think about it too hard, it can become morbid. For hair on hides, unless they are dyed to a specification and are a brilliant shade of unnatural green, blue, red or pink, they can come in a variety of browns, blacks, blonds, brindles or greys.
May Nature suggest...
This particular search took us to discover a little more about the Texas Longhorn cattle breed. Longhorns can be brown, orange (also known as "red" or "Longhorn red") or black, with varying degrees of white. Their direct descendants have been in the new world since they were brought over by Christopher Columbus to the Carribean island Hispanola. (Here's a nice synopsis on the breed.)
A little background - which turns out to be much more interesting than one might think - from the Longhorn Alliance states "between 1493 and the mid-19th century, feral longhorns flourished in the Americas. During that three hundred fifty year period, they used principles of natural selection to develop hardiness, disease resistance, ease of calving, strong mothering instincts, and other traits vital to their survival. What evolved was an animal which could survive in harsh environments, one which had sound legs and could walk miles to water, to breed, and to utilize available forage, and one which could also produce and raise a live healthy calf year after year." Not too shabby.
For our part, this hearty breed intrigues us for their hides - to use on reupholstering chairs, ottomans, and the like. Hair on hides can be especially unique and create great conversation piece furniture that is sure to be noticed.