Lizard Manufacture

Lizard skin can be derived from many breeds of lizard, depending on the type of leather required. Lizard leather can vary greatly in terms of grain pattern, weight, colour and size.

Lizard hides are generally quite small and can be finished in various ways such as matte, glazed, metallic, two-tone, Hologram and printed.

Lizard skin became traded in notable numbers during the 1980’s. It reached a peak in 1981 of around 3.5 million skins but then began to decline during the mid 1980’s. This is believed to be because of the changes in fashion and the novelty of a new ‘exotic’ skin wearing off. One of the most popular species at this time was Varanus which is native to Africa. Many lizard skins can be traded and used to make leather, but factors such as the size of the hides, the patterns and the rarity all help to dictate how much the leather produced will be worth.

Lizard skin is often replicated. This can be done using synthetic materials but, more often it is done using Cow leather. It is chrome tanned and then ingrained with the same grain pattern that lizard skin has. This is done because Cow hide is produced in a greater abundance, the pieces are larger and the cows are used in the food production industry. This therefore reduces waste and means that less Lizards are killed unnecessarily.

Properties of Lizard

  • Smooth and elegant texture
  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Fully waterproof
  • Available in many colours
  • Soft suede underside
  • Luxurious
  • Becomes more attractive with age
  • Supple
  • Resistant to damage

Uses of Lizard in Fashion Past and Present

  • Lizard skin was used frequently by Chanel in their handbags
  • Belts
  • Boots and Shoes
  • Watch Straps
  • Handbags
  • Purses
  • Synonymous with many other luxury brands such as Burberry (for belts) and Rolex (for watch straps)
  • High quality goods

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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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