In the small town of Hotchkiss you can find a buffalo, actually you can find a lot of buffalo; in the form of furniture. "Turns out buffalo leather is wonderful stuff," says Julie Littlefield.
Littlefield is the owner of The Buffalo Collection. While this little cowgirl fits perfectly on a buffalo ranch she hales from suburban Chicago. Littlefield says, "Who would have dreamed you'd be in this business, but isn't life like that."
Littlefield started out in the buffalo meat business but all that changed after making a few couches for her ranch out of buffalo hide. It was something her guests just couldn't leave behind.
"(They) loved it, bought it, and we realized perhaps we ought to make more," says, Littlefield.
But The Buffalo Collection wouldn't be the same without help from local artists.
Jana Anthony knows how to turn fuzzy buffalo fur into a beautiful blanket.
Anthony says, "They're extravagant when they are groomed." Anthony says trimming the fur gives it consistency and makes it soft.
The main difference between buffalo hides and cow hides is that buffalo hide is softer, stronger and more durable than cow hide. Plus the buffalo is indigenous to the Americas. Not even a cow can claim that.
Amber Kendall and her husband Jason use hide scraps to make a kind of string. Kendall says, "It’s really fuzzy and gets thrown away a lot."
That string like hide will be braided and used in almost everything.
"Adds quite a bit to the furniture," says, Kendall.
And while you can find everything from buffalo pillows to buffalo purses there's one thing Littlefield would like to put buffalo on, a hog. Littlefield says, "We dream of putting it on Harley Davidson."
From couches to choppers, look out cow hide buffalo is back.
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