In today’s world, face masks are everywhere. Outside of protective face masks, masks are worn for costumes, fashion, or many other reasons and many of the best are made from leather.
Leather masks are made from real or faux leather. They can be worn for many purposes and come in a variety of different styles and types. While very elaborate leather masks can be quite expensive, leather’s lasting power means that when you purchase a leather mask, you’re purchasing a work of art.
Let’s explore more about the styles, variations, and which might work best.
What Is a Leather Mask?
A leather mask is any mask made from either genuine or faux leather. Leather masks can fall into several categories, from costume to everyday to intimate accessories. Leather is an uncommon material for face masks of any type, but leather’s durability and beautiful look and feel make it an excellent choice regardless of use.
Types of Leather Masks
Leather Costume Masks Leather costume masks are any masks made of leather that are worn for costume purposes. These masks may be full-face or only cover [art of the face. Leather costume masks are often quite edgy and dramatic, made to show off the artistry of the leatherworker and the qualities of the material.
Leather Movie Wardrobe Masks
Leather movie masks are truly unique and fun! These masks often mimic popular masks or costumes from movies. Examples include Hannibal Lecter’s iconic leather mask in The Silence of the Lambs or Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Leather Cosplay Masks
Cosplay is known for being an outlet for creatives to show off their talent. There’s no exception to this when it comes to leather masks – many cosplayers take it upon themselves to create their own masks out of a variety of materials, including genuine and faux leather.
COVID-19 Leather Masks
In today’s world, protective face masks are everywhere. The necessity of face masks to protect against COVID-19 means that the opportunity for creative self-expression has extended to these new-normal accessories. Those who are artisans or talented crafters can create leather masks for themselves as a bold, edgy statement. While these masks look great, they’re not very breathable – for this reason, thinner leather is a must for leather COVID-19 masks, since leather masks require multiple filtering layers under perforated leather.
Here is pattern design to make your own COVID-19 mask:
Leather Eye Masks for Sleeping
Leather eye masks are a bold take on traditional sleeping masks. Made from either genuine or faux leather, these masks are made to softly and securely cover the eyes to ensure a peaceful sleep. They block external light from the wearer’s vision to make it easier to fall asleep.
Leather Masquerade Party Masks
Leather masquerade masks elevate traditional masquerade masks with a luxe, edgy material. Masquerade masks cover the upper half of the face, like the eye area and bridge of the nose, for a mysterious look. They’re traditionally worn for “masquerades”, which are parties in the Venetian style in which attendees wore elaborate, formal costumes with beautifully crafted masks.
Leather Half Mask
A leather half mask is a mask that covers half the face. Masks that cover the top half are worn for costume parties and masquerades, while masks that cover the bottom of the face can be for costume parties as well as protection from airborne disease or privacy from facial recognition software.
Leather Wolf Mask
Rugged, natural leather is an excellent material for creating wild masks, including animal masks. Wolf masks may cover the top, bottom, or entire face. They resemble a wolf’s face and may be stylized or realistic.
Scary Leather Mask
Leather’s bold, edgy qualities are perfect for scary masks. Popular styles for scary leather masks include iconic beak-shaped plague doctor masks, intimidating steampunk masks, and even terrifyingly realistic monster masks.
Venetian Wolf Mask
A Venetian wolf mask covers the top half of the face, in line with traditional Venetian masquerade masks. These may be elaborate or plain, stylized, or realistic. Venetian wolf masks are particularly feminine in comparison to full-face wolf masks, especially when they are stylized.
Leather Mask with Zipper
Perhaps the most controversial mask on this list, most leather masks with zippers fall into the bondage and fetish category of leather wear. Masks in this category have a zipper over the wearer’s mouth. However, today’s demand for unique masks sees this formerly controversial mask type and zipper placement as a source of inspiration, and many leather and non-leather masks are being made with zippers as both decoration and as functional parts for ease of use while drinking or eating.
Renaissance Leather Mask
Today’s Renaissance masks are heavily inspired by Venetian masks. They are beautifully elaborate half-face masks inspired by animals, nature, and art. Simpler Renaissance masks would feature intricately embossed patterns in natural colors.
Leather Samurai Mask
Samurai masks, known as mempo, were traditional facial armor for Samurai warriors. As is the case with much of the Samurai’s appearance, these leather masks were meant to protect the face while also serving as an intimidating first impression. The leather masks would be artfully tooled with beautiful designs and could be found in many styles, from faces with simple, strong features to elaborate grimaces featuring fangs and horns. Today, artisans create modern versions inspired by traditional masks.
Leather Mask Motorcycle
Though they are usually a similar shape to surgical masks, leather motorcycle masks are strictly physically protective. These masks are meant to protect the wearer from the elements as well as from potential physical harm in the event of an accident. Motorcycle leather masks may be quite simple or beautifully sculpted and tooled.
Leather’s lasting power means that when you purchase a leather mask, you’re purchasing a work of art.
White Leather Face Mask
A white leather face mask is, quite simply, a leather face mask of any type made from white leather. White leather may be genuine or faux leather – genuine white leather has been bleached to obtain its tone, while faux leather has simply been manufactured in white.
Men’s Leather Mask
Men’s masks tend to be larger and wider than women’s and may also be made of more rugged materials. For this reason, it may be easier to find leather face masks of all types in men’s sizes. Men who work with hazardous materials may prefer the extra protection a leather face mask gives thanks to leather’s durability.
Leather Surgical Mask
Not unlike leather COVID-19 masks, these masks cover the mouth and nose of the wearer to protect from airborne contaminants while also protecting others from the wearer’s own airborne particles. For real surgeons, leather masks are not practical, but these masks make a great accessory for a “scary doctor” Halloween costume!
Leather Dust Mask
Much like leather COVID-19 masks and surgical masks, leather dust masks are meant to protect the wearer from exterior particles. Dust masks are worn by those who work with plastics, wood, metals, or other materials that may produce tiny breathable particles when shredded or carved. Leather is a durable material, but it is not breathable, so these masks may have multiple filtering layers beneath a perforated leather outer layer.
Here is a good video on how to make your own leather mask. Perfect for protection and COVID-19.
DIY/Homemade Leather Masks
How to Make Leather Masks
Leather masks can be quite an undertaking for those not experienced with mask-making or leatherwork. However, there are many tutorials available from experienced mask makers! An excellent, detailed step-by-step for making beautiful Venetian-inspired masks can be found here. Keep in mind that you will need some professional tools and a lot of time!
Leather Mask Pattern
An excellent place to find leather mask patterns is Etsy, particularly if you’re looking for specialty masks like Halloween masks. These patterns are not usually available for free, but are almost always around $5 or under.
Where to Buy Leather Masks
|Amazon||Amazon’s selection of leather masks, particularly faux leather costume and cosplay masks, is impressive. Amazon also offers some faux leather masks for COVID-19, but be sure to check the breathability and filtering properties of these masks before purchasing and wearing in order to properly protect yourself and others.|
|Etsy||Etsy is the go-to resource for leather masks. It’s simply not possible to find a wider selection of leather masks than on Etsy. As a bonus, by purchasing from an artisan on Etsy, you’ll be helping a small business!|
Specialty Stores or Manufacturers or others?
If you’re looking specifically for fetish or bondage masks, specialty leather retailers are the best option. These retailers often have many years of experience to ensure that you’re purchasing the best quality, safest masks.
Custom-made leather masks ensure that you have a custom piece to admire for years. For this, Etsy is a great resource – most of Etsy’s artisans take commissions.
The world of leather masks is vast. Leather is an almost magical material, able to be molded and shaped into just about any type of mask imaginable. Whether you’re looking for an unconventional COVID-19 mask, a protective mask for motorcycle riding, or a costume mask, leather is an excellent, long-lasting choice.
With some practice and skill, you can even make your own leather masks. If you’re looking to purchase a leather mask or make your own from scratch, be sure to take a look at some of the examples in this article to find the perfect style for you!
If you’re interested in other leather accessories, click here for my guide to leather knife rolls.
How long do leather masks last?
Leather masks can last for years, even decades, when properly cared for and maintained.
Are leather masks expensive?
Leather masks can vary greatly in price range, depending on the type of mask, materials used, and quality of craftsmanship. Leather masks can range in price from a few dollars to thousands of dollars