Snakeskin/Python Manufacture

Leather made from snakeskin is considered to be an exotic leather. This means it is rarer and therefore more expensive than other types of leather. The three preferred types of snakes used in leather manufacture are Python, Cobra and sea snake. Some of the reasons for this are that these are the larger snakes, meaning that larger pieces of leather can be produced; they also have the most interesting grain patterns and colours.

Pythons are hunted in their native regions of Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Large snake farms have been established to raise the pythons in captivity. The organisation CITES which is the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species, has regulated the hunting and export of Python skins so that the numbers can be controlled and maintained.

Snake skin leather generally comes in a shiny finished. It can also be matte effect, but this is less pliable and less popular. A metallic finish can also be applied to the snakeskin, but this is quite rare. Snakeskin leather products are usually kept their natural colours, but they can also either be dyed or bleached to achieve different effects.

Properties of Snakeskin/Python

  • Very strong
  • Rare
  • Expensive
  • Unique patterns
  • Available in many colours
  • Soft and smooth to the touch
  • Supple and Stretchy
  • Durable
  • Can either be shiny or matte
  • Can be finished with many different finishes

Uses of Snakeskin/Python in Fashion Past and Present

  • Belts
  • Boots
  • Shoes
  • Handbags
  • Vests
  • Used by many top designers

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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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