Here on the Pan American Leathers blog, we’re huge exotic leather enthusiasts. These hides help bring a unique identity to any fashion project that they’re used in, and allow fashion designers to really leave their mark on a project.
As such, we’re always on the lookout for new or interesting exotic leather projects, whether they’re fashion wear, furniture, or luggage. The more unique the project, and the less common the material choice, the better.
It’s been a while since we last talked about stingray leather on the blog, which is a shame, considering how resilient and unique this material is compared to almost any other type of hide out there.
The innumerable bumps on stingray skin that resemble tiny beads, and the diamond-shaped pattern on the back of each hide help make these skins incredibly distinct, even among exotic leather hides.
However, not as many fashion designers work with this hide, as its durability can make it tough to work with. To remedy this, we wanted to share a few exotic leather project ideas that are great for stingray skin:
Stingray skin is available in a variety of sizes up to 16” wide and 30+” long. Dependably, you can get a square panel of up to 12” x 12” out of a single hide, more than enough for a small-to-medium-size handbag or a large clutch.
Given the rigidity of tanned stingray skin, and its resistance to puncturing, tearing, scratching, and water damage, these hides are perfect for hard-use handbags that have a hard case style.
Hard-case handbags made out of stingray skin are perfect for people with an active lifestyle that want a fashionable accessory that can take a beating.
Tables, Shelves, and Other Furniture
The top layer of a stingray skin contains thousands of hard, calcium-rich beads. These beads are incredibly resistant to abrasion and puncturing. Combine this with the water-resistant nature of this aquatic hide, and you have a perfect material for practical applications such as covering the top of a table.
Although larger tables would require multiple hides to cover them, the resilience and unique aesthetic of stingray hide would be well worth the effort of the paneling.
A table topped with stingray hide would be able to take the punishment of dropped silverware and spilled wine even better than most natural wood finishes. Why? Because wood absorbs water, allowing it to stain, while stingray leather repels moisture, helping to prevent stains.
Decorative and Practical Tool Handles
Did you know that in feudal Japan, stingray hide was commonly used for handles on tools?
The water-resistant nature of stingray skin, combined with its textured surface made it an ideal material for tool handles. Stingray-covered grips are more slip-resistant than smooth cowhide, and the water resistance of the skin keeps it from getting as grimy from use as sweat and oil from a person’s hands transfer to the handle.
This helps make stingray hide a very practical choice for tool handles.
However, as practical as the hide is, it is still an attractive option for its aesthetic appearance. Stingray hide is a great choice for covering handles on display pieces, such as Japanese-style swords (katana, wakizashi, etc.) because of the pearly skin patterns that draw the eye.
Some designers have even applied these characteristics to the manufacture of seats and saddle bags for motorcycles. With stingray leather, these motorcycle seats and saddlebags have excellent resistance to scuffing and scarring from contact with the asphalt during a steep turn. In addition, stingray has some natural fire-retardant qualities which can be crucial in the case of engine trouble or accidents.
Overall, stingray leather is an enormously attractive option for fashion projects that require both beauty and toughness. See how you can get started with an exotic stingray leather order today!