To answer a few questions of this poster: it takes four crocodiles to make a bag because there are specific cuts of the crocodile skin used in making bags. You don’t use the entire skin to produce a bag, you use the material that meets the bag’s design.
Second, the bags cost a lot, if demand is high it means they aren’t charging enough. They are a luxury brand, if too many are selling at $50k then they’re too cheap for their market, they should be selling them at $100k instead. They likely will when they can’t keep up with demand. And why not? It’s a luxury market so it’s not about the price.
Chances are they are breeding them because they don’t want to deal with any irresponsible farmers who are producing hides of less quality than they need for their handbags or because their production lines are thinning natural populations which can endanger an ecosystem. That and the industry has grown enough to cut them out and bring another industry in-house (any good crocodile leather importer would do the same as business grows). It takes years for a crocodile or an alligator to grow to a size adequate for leathermaking.
In fact, there are regions where farming is ideal due to the populations of the species. Here’s another perspective from the Alligator leather industry. Through intelligent farming and conservation, the American Alligator has not only survived 30 years ago but thriving today:
Crocodile leather hides are one of the most sought-after exotic skins in the world, because they are rare, expensive and difficult to get, moreover the natural beauty of the leather veins, and the great pliability and durability make it perfect for manufacturing products such as bags, shoes and belts.
Crocodile bags are generally considered to be the king of handbag world, almost every famous brand has released its croc line. These big names include Hermes, Chanel, Balenciaga, Mulberry and more. Crocodile leather is a limited commodity and takes the time of a professional to tan and equal skill to craft. Crocodiles are a common river creature and many species of crocodile hides can be procured legally from Southeast Asia, South Africa and Australia. Each crocodile farm is required to release 10% of crocodile population back into the wild, as the birth rate is much higher in croc farm than in the wild. This way, the species environment has been balanced and we can continue to purchase croc bags.
As a fantastically designed crocodile purse features precious genuine crocodile leather, glamorous style and super versatility, it is not only a stylish accessory to boost your personal taste, but also a collectible treasure to invest in that can be passed down through generations.
Most consumers cannot tell the difference between crocodile leather, alligator leather, and caiman leather when it comes to purchasing high-end luxury items. This is a daunting task for the untrained eye – if you want to distinguish between the three, you should first understand the difference in market value:
Alligator and Crocodile have significantly higher market value than caiman skin. This is due to their strength and availability, you will find that alligator and crocodile are true luxury goods while Caiman leather, even though its a genuine leather and similar in appearance (thus its appeal in lower budget markets), it has significantly lower value and significantly lower durability.
It is very important to distinguish between these when purchasing high-end consumer goods like handbags, purses, wallets, belts, etc. to avoid purchasing an inferior product at a premium cost. Sometimes dishonest salesman and exporters will claim that their products are genuine Crocodile leather, only to find out later that what they have actually purchased is a much cheaper Caiman skin product.
The biggest difference between Caiman and Alligator or Crocodile leather is that the Caiman leather is not near as durable. A Caiman fuscus crocodile have small bony plates – if you bend the leather across these plates you will see that the leather creases between the scales. While the skin is still pliable and very strong, these thick scales are the telltale signs that you have Caiman leather. A proper Alligator or Crocodile hide will not have these bony scales. A saltwater crocodile (such as the Nile Crocodile) and the American Alligator skins will have smoother, seamless bend without any spaces between the scales.
Note also that between Crocodile and Alligator that a genuine Alligator hide likely comes from the Southern United States and will feature an umbilical scar that is unique to the species.
Keep in mind that Caiman crocodile is still luxurious, durable, and gives the appearance of it’s larger Crocodilian cousins. They tend to be smaller and more common, which is translated in their lower prices. Be warned that many wholesalers, exporters, and salesmen often try to pass Caiman fuscus crocodile as genuine Alligator or Crocodile leather, so if you’re looking for Saltwater Crocodile, be sure to know the species of Crocodile is not caiman if you’re really looking for the the larger crocodile.
A surefire way to be sure you are getting what you paid for when purchasing crocodile hides is by sourcing your material through a direct exotic leather broker who distinguish Caiman from the more expensive crocodile species - American Exotics distinguishes these two species of croc – or by purchasing your Crocodile handbags, belts, and other products through a reputable retailer or wholesaler with the knowledge of the grading systems and quality of the skin.
Cleaning most Crocodile leather is going to be just like cleaning most any kind of leather never use anything that contains an oil, a wax, dyes, or silicones.
Be careful with most kinds of cleaning wipes sold – many contain chemicals that will ruin the finish on finished leather, leaving it with a substandard texture and color. You will want to use a water based cleaner that is designed specifically for leather or take it to a leather cleaning professional.
If you’re simply trying to remove a spot, first attempt to use a rag dampened with a little water. Add a little moisturizing soap if you would like, but nothing that contains harmful alkalies like baby wipes. Pat it dry and allow it to dry entirely. Check and see if it still needs cleaning.
If the leather is very dirty or stained, I would recommend getting a professional leather cleaning solution or visiting a local professional leather cleaner.
Make sure you clean the surface dirt and oils off on a regular basis with a water-based cleaning solution!
Crocodiles, such as the Nile Crocodile, are abundant, predatory reptiles that rely on their rough skin for protection and survival in the wild. Crocodile skin is a very versatile leather popular in many applications due to its exceptional strength and durability.
Crocodile leather will also vary depending on the Grade of the skin, the tanning process, and the piece of the skin you are using. First of all, you will want to determine if what you need for production is the Crocodile’s back or the Crocodile’s belly.
Each has a unique texture:
Crocodile back – A very rough, thick leather with a scaly stippled texture. Back skins are great for accenting surfaces with a wild, highly textured look or when a very durable surface is needed – a good piece of Crocodile leather is very durable and will last for years.
Crocodile belly – Expect a relatively thinner leather that is more easily shaped and is smoother to the touch. This is often the leather of choice for personal accessories like handbags, wallets, and boots.
As you can see, each have their own applications and advantages.
Especially with large scale production of products with Crocodile leather, you will want to be sure that your supplier gets you the best price on the Grade, Tanning options, and cuts you need. The best way to ensure the legal, timely, and accurate importing of Crocodile Leather is by contacting a direct Exotic leather broker. A broker who specializes in importing Exotics like Crocodile skins and is familiar with all aspects of the fishing, tanning, and importing procedures will provide the least hassle and can often give the best price.
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on many variables.
First of all, it must be understood that Crocodile hides, like many resources, are commodities that fluctuates greatly with supply and demand. The “price” of a Crocodile hide will go up if the supply is down and the demand is high, and drop vice-versa.
Here are some of the things that will all affect the price of a Crocodile hide:
Raw or Tanned – Do you want a raw Crocodile hide, or do you want a finished tanned Crocodile hide? The tanning process you require will change the cost – some are more expensive than others. If you are not capable of tanning the hide yourself, it is highly recommended that you allow a professional hide tanner with the right equipment, time, and tanning solutions to tan the crocodile hide for you.
Belly or Back? - All crocodile leather hides cut lengthwise, leaving two cuts: a Belly cut and a Back cut. This will affect the price, so you should be absolutely sure if you’re purchasing a belly skin or a back skin when you make a purchase. Remember: getting what you need will be more important than the cost. Nothing will be worse than getting a large order of Crocodile hides shipped, only to find out they’re not the right type!
What Species? – There are many legal, tradeable species of Crocodile. There are also Alligators and Caimans which have similar skins with slight variations. One of the largest, best crocodiles for leathermaking is the Nile Crocodile, with the males growing between 11 ft (3.5m) long and the females over 8 ft (2.5 m) long.
What grade? – Crocodile skins are usually measured by their Grade, which will determine
Ask yourself: What are you using the Crocodile leather for? Are you crafting products, exotic upholstery, or wall mounting the hide? Your individual needs will differ based on what you intend to do with the hide.
Often, calling tanneries direct will demand large purchases for material that you may not get to see up-front. They will also try to get the highest price possible since they are likely specializing in that skin. If you have never purchased wholesale crocodile leather before, I would suggest contacting an exotic leather broker who understands the current market climate before making a purchase with the first tannery you’ve spoken with. A good exotic leather broker can get you a better price for your skins due to the relationships they have made with the farmers and tanneries – saving you both time and money. Use our inquiry form to reach our global supplier for the best crocodile leather hides.