For the last few weeks, we’ve talked about the different kinds of exotic leathers that are used for making garments. From the humble eel skin, to the exotic python skin, to the luxurious-feeling ostrich skin, all of the leathers discussed so far make for excellent garments.
However, there’s one type of exotic leather that surpasses all the rest to take the top spot as the most luxurious hide on the market for garments: the American alligator skin.
What makes alligator skin the undisputed king of luxury exotic skin garments?
Garment-sized alligator skins can easily fill large garment panels—often with some room to spare. On average, a garment-size alligator skin yields a center belly square cut of 45 cm (17 inches), ideal for a portion of the main body panels on a garment. The tails of garment-size alligator skin average 40 cm (16 inches) wide at the top and approximately 120 cm (48 inches) long, typically great for sleeve or side panels.
What helps alligator skin stand out from other crocodile skin is their exceptional softness and flexibility. The lack of calcium in the skin leave the tanned hide incredibly soft, with a butter-like suppleness. This allows alligator skin to bend easily without creasing—a must for garments. This softness directly contributes to the feel of the finished garment, helping to make a product that’s as comfortable to wear as it is beautiful.
While there may be other skins that match alligator skin for look, feel, or size, few exotic leathers can rival the American alligator in all three categories.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Using American Alligator Skin for Garments?
As a material for garments, alligator skin is nearly perfect. The only major drawbacks that exist are:
- The Cost. Alligator skin is the most exclusive of all the materials for garments we’ve discussed so far—and it has a high cost to match.
- Difficulty in Finding it. Even with the high price tag for alligator skin, they’re in extremely high demand for garments, handbags, and many other high-fashion projects. As such, finding the kind of large, better grade hides needed for filling garment panels is difficult.
Despite the cost and difficulty of acquiring large, good grade alligator hides, it’s well worth the effort. If you get a chance to work with this ultra-luxurious material on a garment project, you should take it.
Learn more about how you can get started with an alligator skin order today!