Ostrich Legs Manufacture
The Ostrich is a large flightless bird native to Africa. The skin of the Ostrich’s legs is very popular and was especially so throughout the 18th Century. During this time, Ostriches were almost hunted to extinction. After this time, Ostriches became very popular for their feathers; they were used extensively in Millinery, but by the beginning of the First World War, this had also declined.
It wasn’t until 1970 that Ostrich leather became popular again and it was around this time that Ostrich farms were set up so that the amount of Ostriches hunted could be regulated. It also mean that Ostriches wouldn’t face near extinction again and the wild Ostrich population could be properly maintained.
Ostriches were first farmed in Australia in the 1860’s and were traded all over the world. The demand for Octrich leather carried on increasing until 1914 when the social stigma attached to wearing Ostrich leather became apparent and groups of animal rights activists started campaigning for the banning of Ostrich farming.
Nowadays, Ostrich meat is becoming more and more popular because of the fact it is low in both fat and cholesterol. This means that more and more Ostrich hides will be coming available for commercial use, to reduce the waste caused by the food industry.
Properties of Ostrich Legs
- Often described as the best quality leather in the world
- Strongest commercial leather available
- Characteristic ‘goosebump’ surface
- Full of Natural oils which means it is resistant to cracking or splitting
- Difficult to replicate
Uses of Ostrich Legs in Fashion Past and Present
- Currently used by many large fashion houses such as Hermes, Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton.
- Cowboy Boots made from Ostrich leather were very popular throughout the 1980’s.
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