Fashion is truly an artistic form of expression. Everyone has their own personal style that is, in some way, a reflection of who they are. Trends and fads seem to happen overnight and, inevitably, disappear just as quickly. This is why it is important to have timeless signature pieces in your wardrobe. Stingray leather items are one example of a long-lasting, signature piece that will stand the test of time.
Stingray skin can be used for almost anything you. Its incredible durability and exotic beauty make this type of skin a unique choice for anything from wallets to furniture. Because stingray skin can be bought in nearly any color, you are sure to find a skin that suits your needs. Some things simply look better in stingray skin! Here are a few ideas for your next purchase, and why they should be made of stingray skin:
1) Wallets for Men and Women:
Wallets are considered a daily necessity. Who wouldn’t want to have a wallet that is durable enough to last a lifetime? Stingray skins are much more durable than leather made from cow hide. Not only is the material strong, but it is beautiful and one of a kind with its unique diamond-shaped marking and beady texture.
Each piece of stingray skin is carefully crafted to produce a specific product. Skins can be dyed nearly any color and can have a rough or smooth finish. If you want a wallet that truly sets itself apart from any other, stingray skin is the way to go.
2) Boots and Shoes:
Boots and shoes of all types are a fabulous way to wear stingray skin. Natural stingray skin is bumpy and has a beady texture. The fish has a remarkably unique diamond shape on their back that is made up of a beautiful, pearl-like substance. In stingray leather products, this marking is often used as a focal point in the design, being highlighted in the middle of the item.
When displayed on a boot or shoe, the eye marking gives the piece a truly different look. That feature is also a sign of luxury and wealth. The exotic nature of stingray leather means that you will be sure to wow anyone who sees your footwear. The diamond shape will also help people recognize that your leather is not just any old piece of cowhide, but that it is stingray.
Aside from its beauty, stingray skin is a very durable material that it is perfect for the wear and tear that shoes are subjected to. It is resistant to water, fire, punctures, and tearing.
3) Sofas and Other Furniture:
Couches, chests, recliner chairs, you name it, and stingray skin can be used in it. Many people prefer the look and feel of leather. A common problem is that the wear and tear on cow hide or pig skin leather creates a rippled look after only a short few years of use. Additionally, these leathers tear much easier than the incredibly hardy stingray skin.
The durability of stingray leather makes it much less likely to be torn or punctured. It is truly a miracle material that is ideal for any piece of furniture. If you want to have the sexy, sophisticated look of leather but want to invest in a product that is going to last a lifetime, stingray leather is perfect for you.
4) Knife and Tool Handles:
Whether you work with knives and tools recreationally or you use them for your profession, it is important to have a comfortable grip to avoid splinters, sores, and blisters. It is also important that the knife or tool does not slip from your hand while in use. Stingray skin leather is ideal for this. Its beady texture and ultra-durability make it a wise choice for practical yet attractive decorative handles. It is a soft material that will not be punctured by other tools that are flung in the tool box. Historically, knife and sword handles were one of the first uses of stingray skin leather. Ancient Japanese cultures found stingray leather to be beneficial for both recreation and wartime.
5) Custom Motorcycle Seats/Accessories
Motorcyclists love their rides and take great pride in showing off their unique custom modifications to their fellow enthusiasts. What better way to make your fellow motorcycle enthusiasts green with envy than a unique bike seat with the bold, attractive pearly pattern of stingray skin? The distinctive eye shape that naturally occurs on stingray leather will draw the eye to your custom ride.
With stingray leather’s inherent toughness, the material makes for the perfect motorcycle mod to weather the toughest road conditions. The natural water resistance of stingray makes it a superior material for standing up to rainstorms when compared to traditional cow hide. The resistance to punctures and tearing also mean that stingray leather is ideal for use in saddlebags for your bike, as it will weather exposure to loose chunks of gravel and pavement scrapes much better than cow or pig hide.
Make your ride bolder, tougher, and more distinctive with stingray leather today.
Whether you are wearing it or furnishing your house with it, make your next leather purchase in stingray skin. Its unique look is timeless and it is strong enough to last for generations to come. Resistant to water, fire, puncturing and tearing, you truly cannot go wrong. This incredible material makes for an elegant addition to your wardrobe or your living room. No matter the product, make it better by choosing stingray!
If you would like help with your exotic leather purchase, contact us today. We have the experience and know-how to help you make the most of your order.
The guiding principle in determining the right stingray skin for your product is that the usable surface area on a stingray skin is typically a square panel two inches less than the width of the skin. For example, the usable surface area of a 10” stingray skin is approximately an 8” x 8” square.
Any panel 11” x 11” or smaller can be covered by one skin. That is because the market for defect-free stingray skin larger than 13” is scarce. Any panel that is that size or smaller will require only one skin 2” larger than the size of your panel.
If either dimension of your panel is larger than 11”, the panel will need to be broken into four quadrants covered by four separate stingray skins. In this case, the size of the skin required will be ½ of the largest dimension plus 2. For example, if you need to cover a panel that is 14” wide x 8” long, you divide 14 by 2 and add 2 (14/2+2=9). As a result, you need four 9” skins.
This assumes grade 1 skins only. Make sure you ask for that. Otherwise, 20-30% of your stingray skins will likely have holes in the center square.
Here is a quick step-by-step summary of how to select the right stingray skin and how many to cover each panel:
- What are the dimensions of each panel?
- For panels with both dimensions 11” or smaller, you will need one skin 2” larger than the largest dimension.
- For panels with either dimension larger than 11”, you will need four skins 2” larger than half of your largest dimension.
- Add up all stingray skins in each size to place your order as stingray skin is priced by size.
- Remember to ask for grade 1 skins only.
You have decided that stingray skin is for you. Great choice! But where can you get the perfect grade, color, size and finish that you’re in the market for? Well you have a variety of options. Of course, we here at Panam Leathers sell some of the finest stingray skin, but we certainly are not the only ones. Here we will break down the different vendors and you can decide which is best for you.
While we are tanners of most other exotic skins, we don’t tan stingray. Most stingray tanneries are in Southeast Asia. There are many of them but fewer good ones so make sure you know who’s who. Typically, they don’t stock much – almost everything is made to order. For large quantities, their prices can be very competitive if you can wait for the several month delivery timeframe. Buying smaller quantities from stingray skin tanneries doesn’t make much sense because they apply sizable surcharges and it doesn’t take any less time. For smaller quantities, you are better off working from the stock of either distributors or manufacturers (see below).
Distributors are companies that purchase skins from tanneries and then store them in their warehouses or stores to sell to the public. The good thing about distributors is they keep a variety of stingray skin in stock which means you can walk right out of the store with whatever you need without waiting several weeks or months. Of course, they charge you more than the tannery charged them. If you are looking for a stingray skin that the distributor does not carry in stock, they would need to place a special order with their supplier. This is typically subject to high minimums, long wait times and higher prices than ordering directly from a tannery. Also, a lot can be lost in translation between you, the distributor and their supplier. But distributors usually have dependable sources and long standing relationships with tanneries which should keep them honest.
Stingray skin is a difficult product to work with because it is very bony. The manufacturers of handbags, furniture, boots or whatever you are making should have experience working with stingray skin. Assuming that’s the case, the manufacturer themselves may have tanneries or distributors that they prefer to work with so they know they get a product that they can work well with at a fair price. In addition, the manufacturer should know exactly how much stingray skin they need in what sizes and grades. If you are ordering a leather sofa, be sure to review over the pattern with the manufacturer to help determine exactly how much fabric they will need in total. Just make sure they don’t over-order to make the cutting easier for themselves at your expense.
All in all you have several options in terms of where you order your stingray skin from for your desired product. Tanneries, distributors, and manufacturers are all possibilities for your purchase. Find the one that suits you best. Tanneries are a good option for large orders with plenty of lead-time. Distributors make sense if you need something quickly and you don’t mind spending a little more for it. Buying from manufacturers can save you some unnecessary headaches. Whatever you decide, we’re here to help.
Stingray skin is very durable and uniquely beautiful. The bony remnants of the dorsal fin provide a pattern that looks like a tiny cluster of pear-like beads (called the crown). This is one characteristic that makes it truly unlike any other leather. The skin can be used for virtually anything you wish. Common uses are handbags and boots but many prefer to use it for larger items like seat covers and furniture. Whether you are making a piece of furniture or a watchstrap, how do you choose the perfect skin? There are many things that factor into this answer. What is the stingray skin being used for? What size and grade of skin is needed? What is my budget in this project?
Use Determines Size
The intended purpose of the stingray skin is vital in determining which type to purchase. As you might assume, larger items typically require larger skins. Generally, we’ve seen our customers use the following sizes (in width) for these products:
|Size (Width in inches)
||Stingray Skin Uses
|4” to 6”
||Home interiors, auto, moto or other upholstery
|6” to 9”
|9” to 11”
||Cowboy boots and other Western wear
|11” to 13”
||Ladies’ wallets or other large accessories
|13” to 17”
||Men’s wallets or other small accessories
Only 5% of stingrays produce 15” skins so availability in these sizes are limited. Of course, each project is different but you can use the above as a general guide.
Grade of Stingray Skin
This hole would make it a grade 2 stingray skin.
Stingrays are wild fish living among an ocean of other wild animals, coral, grainy sand basins and the other uncontrollable elements of Mother Nature. As a result, many stingrays have scuffs or other flaws on their skin which could be a result of rubbing against sharp debris or encounters with other wildlife. This is a factor in which grade of skin to choose. If your item requires large, flawless panels like a handbag, you will need a grade 1 skin. If your product requires smaller panels like money clips, belts or other small accessories, you can use grade 2 stingray skin. The difference between a grade 1 and grade 2 skin is that a grade 1 skin will not have any defects in the square centered around the crown of the skin (the tiny cluster of pear like beads in the center of the skin).
Color and Finish of Stingray Skin
Stingray leather comes in a variety of colors and finishes. Basic finishes included unpolished (also called standard, unsanded, single crown, pearl) and polished (also called sanded, jewel crown, art deco). The polished skins are buffed smooth and lacquered. These skins are softer, smoother and finer looking but since the skin is buffed to smooth it out, the color isn’t quite as rich as on the unpolished. For the same reason, the crown is less pronounced on the polished skins. We stock over 20 stingray colors across these two finishes in a variety of sizes but we can also dye to match.
Although, not commonly stocked, there are other specialty finishes available, including metallics, holograms, animal and floral prints, a soft oiled finish and others. In addition, the crown can be manipulated to be all different kinds of shapes (crosses, long lines and more). Of course, there are costs associated with the additional work that these specialties involve.
So you’ll want to think about aesthetic, feel, timing and cost when you are picking your colors and finishes.
All of these factors affect the price of the stingray skin. Larger, better grade skins are more expensive than smaller, lower grade skins. Specialty finishes are more expensive that basic finishes. In the case you are making to order, smaller volume orders will have a higher per skin price than larger orders. The grade and finish will typically affect the cost by approximately 10-15%. Size and quantity can have a lot larger affect.
Supply and demand can alter the cost as well. The price usually moves in the direction of the demand curve. If stingray skin is a staple item in a season’s fashion, the price will be higher than when it is less popular.
Stingray skin are a beautiful and luxurious leather option. Ranging in almost any color you can dream of and a wide variety of sizes and finishes, your options are virtually limitless. If you are aiming for a rough-textured wallet, an unpolished look may be best for you. On the other hand, if you are making a leather chair you may want to consider a smooth, sanded finish. Keep in mind the size and condition of skin and the maximum price you are willing to pay.
You may be wondering what it is that drives the prices behind items such as the stingray skin that we offer. Why do the prices on these skins vary from time to time, and why do some skins cost more than others at the same time?
There are actually a number of factors that affect the price of exotic leathers like stingray skins.
Supply and Demand
Like anything else, basic supply and demand plays a role in determining the price of stingray skin. Most stingray skin comes from Southeast Asia, and are a byproduct of local fishing sources. These skins are from wild animals, and as such the supply is vulnerable to weather patterns and other external forces.
On the demand side, stingray skin is a product used in fashion. When designers and fashion houses are using stingray skin on products in their seasonal collections, it can drive the price up.
However, supply and demand aren’t the only things that will affect the price you may pay for the stingray skin you buy.
Size and Quality
No matter what the market conditions are for stingray skin at the moment, both the size of the skins you buy and the grade of the skin will affect the final price of your order. In most cases, the larger the skin you order is, the more it will cost. Also, defect-free, top-grade skins will be significantly more expensive than skins that have scratches, scars, or punctures.
When you are ordering skins, you will naturally want to consider the type of product you will be making when you order so that you can get an optimal price. Large leather items such as car or motorcycle seat covers may require very large sections of pristine material, while smaller items such as wallets and watch bands will only need smaller sections of material, allowing you to work around some defects and order smaller, less expensive pieces of skin overall.
When actually making an order for stingray skin, the number of skins that you order at once will affect the total amount you pay per skin. Generally speaking, a significant portion of the cost of your order is in the actual setup for the coloring and finishing process that will generate the finish you want. This includes preparing the chemical/dye mixtures and other critical procedures. There is a minimum amount of chemicals and labor that will be used whether you order one stingray skin or one hundred skins, so very small orders tend to have surcharges attached to cover the tannery’s costs.
Other than order quantity, certain finishes and dyes may cost more because they add extra steps to the process, increasing labor and material costs. For example, the unpolished finish costs less than a polished finish, as there is less work and materials involved. However, the dyeing and polishing of a skin will typically impact the final price of your skin less than the quantity, size, and grade of the skin.
When you need to buy stingray skin, keeping these price factors in mind while you order can be helpful in making sure that you get the most out of your exotic skin order. If you would like to learn more about how we process stingray skin, or have questions about the ordering process, contact us today!
We've already given you a good amount of information on how we tan lizard skin, as it's something we know quite a bit about. We've also given you information on how to select the correct lizard skin for your project, something that you'll need for your project. But, now that you have all that information, where exactly do you go to buy these skins? We sell them directly, but we're aware that we're not the only option. Here are a few more options for you so that you can make the best decision for yourself.
Distributors of exotic skins (like lizard) are exactly what you might assume: they buy skins from folks like us and resell them to manufacturers, designers, brands and individuals. They make their money on high-volume sales, so they keep a large stock handy for that purpose. However, thanks to their position as a middleman, the prices will be higher through a distributor.
Because they're depending on marked-up sales in high-volume orders, the selection you typically find at a distributor is limited to the most popular finishes and skins. Because they're premade, you have to take what you get. In some cases, distributors will take custom orders but a lot can be lost in the communication between you, the distributor and the tannery.
Tanneries are one of the biggest parts of the supply chain because they're the producers of the lizard skin. We're one of them. We are also one of the few remaining independent lizard skin tanneries not owned by one of the large fashion houses. When you buy from a tannery owned by a fashion house you are essentially buying from a competitor. They have an inherent conflict of interest which is often reflected in higher prices or lackluster service.
Another advantage that we have over our competitors is that we're US-based. Most other lizard skin tanneries are in Europe or Southeast Asia. Lizard skin, like other exotic skins, are classified as wildlife product, which means that US Customs officials and the US Fish and Wildlife Service have to do some poking around if the skins are shipped in from overseas, which can delay delivery for a while—up to several months, in some cases. Most of the other tanneries you'll be buying from are outside of the US, subjecting your orders to long wait times. We don't have the same problem as we're based in the US, meaning you get your lizard skins faster from us.
Your manufacturer can also source lizard skin for you, meaning that you'll get someone who knows how the products are made and how much skin it will take. However, be aware that sometimes they will overbuy allowing them to be a little less frugal with the skins. Be sure that they're buying what they actually need rather than what they want.
All things considered, we hold our competitors in great esteem. It takes all of us to keep our industry going, and it's wonderful to be in an industry where there are so many talented people.
We've already given you a good amount of information about ostrich skin. Now, that you have all that information, where exactly do you go to buy these skins? We sell them directly, but we're aware that we're not the only option. Here are a few more options for you so that you can make the best decision for yourself.
Distributors of exotic skins (like ostrich) are exactly what you might assume: they buy skins from folks like us and resell them to manufacturers, designers, brands and individuals. They make their money on high-volume sales, so they keep a large stock handy for that purpose.
Tanneries are one of the biggest parts of the supply chain because they're the producers of the ostrich skin. There are no ostrich skin tanneries in the USA. Ostrich skin tanneries are mostly found in Africa where the largest ostrich farms are. For larger enough orders, the tanneries will take orders directly from the customer, but for the most part they sell through local distributors in their various markets.
Your manufacturer can also source ostrich skin for you, meaning that you'll get someone who knows how the products are made and how much skin it will take. However, be aware that sometimes they will overbuy allowing them to be a little less frugal with the skins. Be sure that they're buying what they actually need rather than what they want.
All things considered, we hold our competitors in great esteem. It takes all of us to keep our industry going, and it's wonderful to be in an industry where there are so many talented people.
Some of you might be interested in learning a bit about the tanning process for our lizard skin. Tanning is essentially the transition of a raw skin into a leather, without which the skin would be susceptible to decomposition and bacteria. The process involves these steps:
- Dry salting as a preservative measure
- Beamhouse operations:
- Soaking to clean the skins
- Liming to descale them
- Deliming to raise the acidity
- Pickling to further raise the acidity
- Chrome tanning to convert the material into inorganic material
- Shaving to degrease and thin out the leather
- Re-tanning to re-soften the leather for working
- Drying (either by hang-drying or by toggling)
- Dry cleaning
- Shaving to prepare the leather for the product
- Applying the finishing touches
The Beginning Steps
Hang DryingWhen we receive the skins from the suppliers, they're boardy and extremely susceptible to the elements. They arrive salted which removes the moisture from the skins and preserves them until we can work them. The first stage of the process is the beaming. First, we soak the lizard skin in water to clean them, remove the salt, and rehydrate the skin so that we can begin working them.
The Tanning Process
ColoringAfter that we move onto liming, which removes scales, nails, mucins, natural greases and fats. It also splits the fibers and makes the collagen in the skin workable. Next, we delime the skin to raise the acidity after the liming lowers it. The next phase is the pickling which is a treatment with acid to further lower the PH in order to allow the tanning chemicals to penetrate. After the pickling process comes the chrome bath which makes the skin durable and no longer susceptible to the elements. Once this is done, it is no longer an organic skin; it has become inorganic leather.
FinishingAfter this, we re-tan the lizard skin, this time using vegetable-based products. This is done so that the tougher skin that results from the initial tanning process is made supple again. We then either hang-dry or "toggle" (which uses a special type of oven to evaporate the water) to remove the water and humidity. From there, the finishing process begins, where we dye the lizard skin, shave it down to the required thickness for the application, and finish it with seasons and protective coats so that it feels good, looks good, and is protected from the elements. From there, it goes onto the manufacturer where they turn it into the footwear, furniture, handbags, etc. that you're all familiar with.
That is the basic overview of our lizard skin tanning process, and we hope that it has been both informative and interesting to you. If you have any questions about anything in here, please feel free to comment below, and if you have any other inquiries, don't hesitate to contact us.
Just like everything else that you buy, there are various factors that can affect the price of ostrich skin. Mostly, it’s about supply and demand. However, there are other considerations that you’ll need to take into account when you’re shopping for ostrich skin.
Raw Material Factors
In normal market conditions, the most influential supply and demand variable affecting the price of ostrich skin is the grade. The better grade skins are used for garments, handbags and upholstery which can sustain higher prices than the lower grades which are used for accessories, footwear and small leather goods.
Ostrich Skin Scratches
Ostrich Skin Holes
However, market conditions are not always normal. For example, in 2011, an avian flu epidemic struck ostrich farms in South Africa, reducing the number of ostrich skins available from the mid hundreds of thousands per year to under 100,000. Not only does an event like this limit the supply of skins but farmers also need to charge more for the skin since they can’t sell the meat. Naturally, this drove prices up substantially.
In the case that ostrich skin needs to be made to order, the number of skins ordered per product will greatly affect the price. A lot of the work that goes into producing ostrich skin is set up, like mixing chemicals or dyes, setting water temperatures, etc. Whether the tannery makes one ostrich skin or 100 skins, the set up time is about the same. As a result, tanneries will typically apply substantial surcharges for smaller orders.
Quantities aside, some colors and finishes cost more to produce. For example, the standard matte finish is typically the least expensive. On the other hand, ostrich skin with specialty finishes or garment thickness that require more work, expensive chemicals or additional materials command a higher price. These types of costs are passed through to the customer, but they are relatively small compared to the other factors affecting price.
Flame Red Matte Finish
Flame Red Light Sheen Finish
Just remember to keep these factors in mind when you’re buying your ostrich skin, as these factors (and more) can move prices. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!
What are you using it for?
The first thing to consider with ostrich skin is what are you using it for? Do you need the skin to be very soft, perhaps for garments or a very soft bag. If so, you will want to use garment weight ostrich skins which average approximately 11 square feet and are approximately 0.6-0.8 mm thick. If it doesn't need to be quite so soft, you can use standard weight ostrich skins which average approximately 17 square feet and approximately 0.8-1.0 mm thick. The garment skins are typically 20-30% more expensive than a standard ostrich skin of the same color and grade.
Gradeable AreaOnce you determine whether you need a garment ostrich skin or a standard weight one, you know approximately what size the skin will be. However, you also need to consider that only approximately 2/3 of the skin contains the full quill. The “quills” are the distinctive little bumps on the ostrich skin. The full quill section of the skin is the center of it where the quills are the most pronounced. The rest of the skin (1/3) has either partial quill (less pronounced quills) or no quill.
So for example, if you need 100 square feet of ostrich skin, are you looking for 100 square feet of full quill or 100 square feet total? If you need 100 square feet of full quill, you should order a total of 150 square feet. The easy way to do this math is just multiply the square footage amount of full quill you need by 1.5.
Full Quill, Partial Quill,
No QuillThe next thing you want to think about is your yields. Since ostrich skin is expensive, you want to make sure you utilize as much of the skin as possible. What is the size of your panels you need to make your product? Are they large panels? The larger the panels are, the better grade the ostrich skin you will need. Handbags and upholstery typically grade one skins. Boots, small leather goods, shoes and jewelry can normally use lower grade skins which are less expensive.
The grading standards for ostrich skin is fairly straightforward, and knowing these standards means that you can select the correct skin for your project. Divide the belly of the alligator skin into four imaginary quadrants:
- Grade I: No defects on any quadrant
- Grade II: Defects on one quadrant
- Grade III: Defects on two quadrants
- Grade IV: Defects on three quadrants
Defects are commonly holes, scars and scratches. A common misconception is that if you buy a grade III or IV skin, your finished products will have defects on the skin. This is not the case. A manufacturer experienced in working with ostrich skin will cut around the defects so that your finished product will only include defect-free panels.
Grading - Holes
Grading - Scratches
Grade I/II ostrich skin usually makes garments, handbags, upholstery and luggage. Grade II/III ostrich skin is usually used in shoes, wallets and boots. Grade III/IV alligator skin grades are used for small leather goods.
Ostrich skins are mostly stocked in dozens of matte colors, but there are also some specialty finishes available, like classic, pull ups, stone washes and a few others. The matte is the baseline price with the specialty finishes typically being approximately 20% more expensive.
Pricing the Skins
Ostrich skin is priced per square foot. Each grade is separated by a 3-5% price difference, of course better grades being more costly. Specialty finishes and garment skins are also more expensive per square foot, typically by 20-30%.
If you have any more questions or would like to price out ostrich skin for your project, feel free to contact us. We’re ready to help!