Crocodile Skin Manufacture

Crocodiles have been hunted for their skin since roughly the beginning of the 19th Century, but trading of these skins didn’t really begin until 1910. By 1920 there was a regular trade of Crocodile skin between the Sunda Islands and British India. This trade gradually began to increase and include more and more countries such as the Philippines, Thailand and Africa.

During this time, Crocodile skins were only used in high-end luxury goods, not mass produced clothing and accessories. Most of the skins manufactured today are process in Singapore and come from the species of Crocodile called the Caiman Crocodilus. However of the 24 species of Crocodiles available, 15 of them are traded for their skins.

The trade of Crocodile skins peaked during the decade 1950-1960, and then plummeted in the late 1960’s. This was due to the overharvesting of the Crocodile population. This problem has now been solved with the introduction of the CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species) in 1973. This ensures that only a small proportion of the Crocodile population is affected. Real Crocodile skin has seen a decrease in popularity because of the controversy surrounding the way it is made and also the introduction of synthetic replacements.

Properties of Crocodile

  • Soft, supple leather
  • Has a scale pattern
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Long lasting
  • Large spectrum of colours available
  • Unique. All the patterns are different
  • Different sized scales depending on the Crocodile it is from
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Strong
  • Durable

Uses of Crocodile in Fashion Past and Present

  • Shoes
  • Handbags
  • Boots
  • Often associated with high Fashion labels such as Gucci and Hermes.
  • Outerwear
  • Wallets
  • Belts
  • Small leather accessories
  • High Quality pieces

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

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