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Ostrich skin is an exotic leather requiring more process to tan for production than cowhide leather.  Some of the reasons are due to the texture of the skin, but also due to the delicate tanning and finishing processes.

A well tanned ostrich skin hide will feature these qualities:

1)      No holes, scratches, or inconsistencies throughout the material – Since most ostriches are farm raised, so natural scarring is less of an issue in the tanning process and the finished skin.  Look for any holes where quills should be – a high grade Ostrich hide should have no holes in quill points.

2)      Little or no transparency through any quill points on the hide – Hold the skin up to the light.  Can you see through it?  If so, the skin was probably shaved or rubbed too low during the tanning process.

3)      Soft to the touch – A good ostrich hide will have a soft, luxury feel to it but is a very strong, thick leather.  The quill points will be firm as well.

4)      Consistent coloring throughout the hide – Ostrich skins can be dyed to feature rich, bright colors.  They should have consistent color throughout the entire hide if it has been properly dyed and finished.