Does Croc-embossed leather come from crocodiles?
Let's start from the beginning, when we say we use crocodile-embossed recycled leather, it does not mean we use the skin of crocodiles. Rather it is cowhide, which is a byproduct of the meat industry. It probably didn't have perfect skin because it was a meat animal. But instead of wasting the hide (which is often covered with scars, discoloration, and stretch marks) it is coated with layers of paint or vinyl (shiny patent leather) and then embossed with steel rollers to give it a leather-like look. So our Crocodile-embossed leather is cowhide from the meat industry, that is embossed with a repeating texture to make it look exotic, without the cruelty.
It is good to keep in mind, that anytime you see a leather that looks 'perfect', and doesn't cost thousands of dollars, that should be the biggest clue that it's a 'corrected grain' leather, which means the animal wasn't raised to have perfect skin to be butchered for its hide. We feel this is a responsible use of something that would otherwise be wasted, and can be turned into something beautiful for your bag!
Let's be real: animal skin is just like human skin. It is rarely perfect. It has stretch marks, and scars and wrinkles and we shouldn't forget it and expect leather purses to look flawless.
How is Crocodile recycled leather created?
So, what they usually do to use the meat industry's cow skin is they will correct tanneries. Sometimes if it's in great shape, they'll just add oils. But where there are stretch marks, and wrinkles and the skin doesn't look perfect they'll cover it with a thin layer of vinyl (like you see on patent leather) that could just be really heavy paint and then they emboss it. Using textured steel rollers can make it look like a crocodile or alligator or python.
Is Crocodile leather sustainable?
As an additional layer of sustainability, at Crystalyn Kae, all of our Crocodile-embossed leather is rescued from FabScrap, which is a non-profit that takes back leather from major design houses in New York and then re-sells it to designers like Crystalyn. Our design team is able to make clever use of small hides of leather, which larger companies would waste.
Is coated leather water resistant?
This coating keeps the leather really protected and it also makes the purse material water resistant and stain resistant. Added colors can be bright, juicy, and vibrant. It's good to know that you shouldn't get these fabrics too hot - they will become a little sticky because they'll start melting like plastic. So if you're eating out on an extremely sunny and humid day, don't leave your card case on the table for too long. These fabrics won't also stretch nearly as much as uncoated leather because of that extra coating on them. Nevertheless, they are durable and have a big variation of textures that makes them look very authentic.
What can you make from Crocodile recycled leather?
With a durable and vivid material like this option is wide. When sourcing recycled materials the final usability of each fabric is very much tied to the size of the sourced fabric. We love to tie the use of crocodile recycled leather with other vintage or vegan fabrics and of course, make it all using superb quality craftsmanship. Limited-edition bags that we design at Crystalyn Kae are highly versatile and durable, we keep the focus on making handbags beautiful, practical, and perfect for everyday use. Here are some of the small-batch bags and accessories created using crocodile-embossed leather.
Share in the comments what has your experience with the crocodile recycled leather been?