Exotic Leather Blog

What Affects Ostrich Skin Price?

Posted by Abram Mendal on Jan 3, 2014 10:25:00 AM

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 Scratches
Ostrich Skin holes
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.

Production Factors

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
FlameRed Classic
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!

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Topics: ostrich skin