An exotic skin has been appreciated for many centuries. Moreover, our ancestors believed that it attracted wealth and prosperity to people’s lives. Today, exotic leather is still in demand as a material for manufacturing wallets. It emphasizes the good taste of its owner and showcases his individuality. But this is not the only reason to buy a wallet made of exotic leather. This material, whether it be the skin of a stingray, a snake, or a crocodile, is very durable and it will please its owner for many years to come. Over time, the surface acquires a certain gloss and weathering effect, which allows a wallet to actually have a second birth in a new look.
If you are keen on purchasing a biker wallet made of exotic leather, here are some tips on how to pick one.
When producing men's wallets, manufacturers use skin from the abdominal part of a crocodile, skin from the head or back part, and also the tail part. The skin of the head has 2-4 rows of pronounced growths. The most valuable is the skin from the ventral part, i.e. it is the softest and can be easily processed. Here, the pattern of scales has more geometrically correct shapes. They form lines that are practically parallel to each other.
The real crocodile leather will always be expensive, but it is worth its money. This skin is very durable, therefore, crocodile leather products will serve you for many years, emphasizing your status and individuality.
Crocodile skin from the abdominal part
To distinguish genuine crocodile skin from the abdominal part, you should carefully look at the skin pattern. All "squares" should have different sizes and should not be repeated (they are like people’s fingerprints). If you look closely you will notice that each "square" will always have a small bulging dot – it is an undeveloped horny growth.
It is simply impossible to achieve such an effect by embossing to imitate the natural crocodile leather. Patterns will repeat themselves. This is how you can tell the genuine crocodile skin from knock-offs.
Head and dorsal crocodile skin
The head or dorsal portions have a visible pattern formed by longitudinal crests. These horny plates are called osteoderms. You can palpate them only if a product is made of real crocodile skin. If you press these horny plates with a fingernail, they will never subside. This also distinguishes the real skin from forgery because it is almost impossible to imitate horny growths.
The tail part of crocodile skin
The tail of a crocodile has bony scutes, which have a specific triangular shape and are arranged in a row. Just like with the head and dorsal parts of the skin, when you press a scute you will feel a horny plate that won’t cave in.
By its structure, stingray skin resembles a canvas decorated with beads or pearls. It consists of large and small bumps. Stingray products are perfectly worn; they are resistant to scratches, kinks, and cuts. It is proved that this leather is 5 times more durable than regular calfskin.
It is not that hard to identify genuine stingray skin: it consists of small bumps whose size is smaller than a match head. Faux leather will have much larger bumps.
The Internet suggests many ways to check if stingray skin is real. For example:
- Light a lighter (or a match) and bring it to leather. If it is a forgery, the bumps will start melting when heated. The real leather does not react to heat in the same way - the beads will not melt.
- Take a needle, heat it with a match or a lighter and try to pierce the skin. The natural stingray leather will be very difficult to pierce, and it will emit a loud crunch sound.
However, sellers won’t probably allow conducting such experiments with new products. You can do it after purchase though.
Meanwhile, here are some ways to determine the real stingray skin without ruining a product:
1. Each stingray skin is absolutely individual (the pattern and arrangement of the beads are absolutely unique). The bigger is a stingray, the larger the size of the bumps. Beads do not have a right round shape. They are different in size and fit tightly to each other, which is impossible to achieve with artificial leather.
The size of the beads of a genuine stingray skin is different. The bumps increase in size from the edges of the skin to its center.
2. Natural stingray leather is coarse to the touch - if you rub it with your palm it will be smooth in one direction, and rough in the reverse.
3. If you buy a biker wallet or a belt made of stingray skin then look at it carefully. Upon closer examination, you can see barely noticeable wedge-shaped joints. This is due to the fact that several stingray pelts can be used to craft a product. Since the size of the beads always varies from the center to the edge, they form peculiar joints.
However, sometimes only one pelt is used to make leather accessories. In this case, there will be no joints, but such products are much more expensive than those that are made of several pelts.
It is not difficult to identify a real snake skin (especially python one). The genuine snake leather is never smooth. It is rough to the touch and if you look closely you can distinguish each scale separately.
Each snake pelt has a unique pattern that never repeats. The pattern won’t be symmetrical. And, of course, there are no two absolutely identical accessories because each will carry an individual pattern. Nature does not use templates, so the products made of genuine python skin are always unique. Wallets, belts and wallet chains made of genuine snake leather always look very solid and stylish.
If you put a palm to reptile skin and it instantly becomes warm then you have a genuine leather product. But if it heated slowly then most likely it is a knock-off.