What is Exotic Leather?
Exotic Leather is an all inclusive term that really means any leather that isn’t made out of cowhide. Now that could be a lot of things, but the most common exotic leathers are moose, snake, alligator and crocodile, ostrich, wildebeest, stingray, and buffalo(bison). It is less common, but still totally possible to find lizard, kangaroo, shark, elephant, hippopotamus and many others. Many people don’t consider them “exotic”, but deer and elk leather are also generally available.
What is Exotic Leather Good For?
Exotic leather, due to its nature, is a bit pricier than most leathers, so why on earth would you want it? First and foremost, most people buy exotic leather just because it looks and feels absolutely awesome and unique.
The look and feel of stingray(pictured above) for example is unlike any other material you are going to find. It is just absolutely unique, and thus it is very stylish. It is incredibly versatile, as it can either be sanded, which makes it very soft and easy to work with, or left unsanded for an armored skin that will break your needle as you try and sew it. It also has all the positive qualities of good cowhide leather. Not only can it match the durability of cowhide, but some exotic leathers can even exceed it by fair amount. To see for yourself, you can check out some stingray belts here.
The exact strengths and attributes vary from one exotic leather to the next. For example, you can only guess how tough and durable elephant leather is. By no means is it common, but they are called pachyderms for a reason(pachyderm means thick skin).
Because I live in a cold climate, one of my personal favorites is hair on buffalo leather, often referred to as woolies. If you have an article of clothing that is made out of buffalo leather, you may never be cold again. Their skin and hair is thick as it comes, to protect them from the vicious wind and snow on the western plains. It can protect us from the vicious wind and snow just as well!