The French operation hosts the group headquarters and is managed by Mr. Nick Winters. France is the third largest exporter of 'salted' hides and skins in the world. 11 countries make up 80% of all raw exports (US: $1.92 billion, Australia: $.615 billion, France: $0.412). 


Cattle Hides:


All calf and bull hides come from controlled feedlots, thus offering premium grain quality, and are suitable for quality leather goods, shoe uppers and upholstery leathers. The medium/light cows are mainly from dairy herds and offer excellent value on price per square foot. Heavy cow hides are mainly from cattle reared especially for meat production and often finish in top quality sole leathers or premium sofa leathers.

As part of the BIGARD group, NW Hides & Skins sells up to 25,000 French bovine hides, 4,500 French calfskins and 15,000 French lambskins per week.

As a global group, NW Hides & Skins trades up to 45,000 hides, 10,000 calf and 30,000 lambskins weekly.

Beef - Main Raw Hide Categories

Category Weight Range 
(Green Weights)

Average Green Weights


Salted Weight

Wet-blue Yield
Calf 9/15 13.25 0.90 10.5/11.0 24/36 sq.ft.
Calf 4/18 16.0 0.89 13.5/14.0 29/31 sq.ft.
Calf 16/22 20.0 0.89 17.0/18.0 32/34 sq.ft.
Cow 20-31.5 30.0 0.86 26.0/28.0 48/50 sq.ft.
Cow 32+ 39.0 0.85 33.0/35.0 54/56 sq.ft.
Bull 28-36.5 35.0 0.85 30.0/31.0 47/49 sq.ft.
Bull 37-46.5 46.5 0.84 38.0/40.0 54/56 sq.ft.
Bull 47+ 59.0 0.83 48.0/50.0 60/62 sq.ft.


 Lamb & Sheep Skins:

There are many different breeds found throughout France, ranging from the Dutch origin Texel, English crossbreds, native breeds such as the Aveyron or Merino d'Arles, and Spanish type Merino/Entrefinos to name just a few. Many of these finer wool breeds are excellent for double-face production.


France also has an important milk lamb production (lambs fed only milk through to slaughter) which is renowned for its top double-face qualities. The majority (95%) of the mature sheep production is suitable for light pickled sheep, with heavies hard to come by. 



Lamb - Main Grades and Seasons

Category Average Size/Dozen Main Season
Baby Milk Lambs (laitons) 70/78 sq.ft. Jan-May

Lambs Central France

(agneaux du centre, herbs)

 80/85 sq.ft. July-Dec
Sheep (moutons)  100/110 sq.ft. Apr-Oct
Aveyron/Lacaune Small  63/68 sq.ft. Jan-May
Aveyron/Lacaune Medium  78/84 sq.ft Jan-May
Aveyron/Lacaune Regular 84/88 sq.ft Jan-May