How does cowhide feel? You're probably referring to Eastman's A-2? Those are different hides. I was referring to the ELMC Californian in black which isn't painted, has no coating and doesn't feel oily. Anyway, comparing one leather to another and making statements which can be generalized is always difficult (if not impossible). I've owned four Californians and each of the brown ones was slightly different. One was substantially heavier and another had totally different grain and temper. This black Californian's leather is totally different from the brown ones.