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Leather is an item that has been in the Lord of the Rings mod since Public Beta 1.
Leather can be obtained in a variety of ways, but one of the most common is killing cows, Kine of Araw, aurochs, horses, ponies, elks, deer, camels, giraffes or zebras. Killing a horse in Rohan, however, could get you killed by the Rohirrim. In addition, leather will sometimes drop when certain NPC's are slain, such as Dunlendings, Dwarves, and Southrons.
If you're not up to killing stuff yet in order to obtain your leather, you can also obtain it from Hobbit holes in the Shire, or from various chests in Ranger camps and watchtowers. You can also unsmelt used leather armour.
Leather can, of course, be used for creating saddles and mediocre leather armour, which helps block out the cold of Forodwaith (useful when travelling to The Pits). However, if you have some available, fur makes much stronger armour, and it's even warmer than leather. Players can also use it to craft (Ithilien) Ranger, Wood-Elven, Haradric, Dunlending and Rohirric armours on the proper crafting tables.
Another important use for leather is making animal armour such as horse, warg or boar armour. All of these follow the same pattern. They use six pieces of metal (most often iron – see article for more details) and one piece of leather, and the appropriate crafting table.
If your chests are overflowing with leather from multiple Near Harad invasions, or from killing a bunch of Dunlendings, you can always sell the leather to the Blacksmith of Rohan or the Uruk-hai trader.
It can be used for creating books.