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Definitive Exotic Hide Identification Thread: Post your Hippo, Turtle, Gator, Phoque (you!), etc. he

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by rach2jlc, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. rach2jlc

    rach2jlc Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Post your interesting exotic hides here (with identification)

    Walrus Skin (tricheco) but you can see the follicles, so unlike the back area I think it must be the front and up near the whiskers:
    [​IMG]
    NOTE: other areas from the walrus have a more grained/"rougher" hide.
    For example, see here (has a very different appearance, grain, etc.)
    [​IMG]

    Hippopotamus:
    Thick lines, similar to course adult bull hide, but thicker/gnarlier. I've seen it both as a regular leather, and "sueded":
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Elephant:
    Also thick lines, but depends on the area of the animal from which it comes. Tends to have tiny pockmarks all over the surface, instead of smoother skin beneath the wrinkles.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Elephant and sharkskin wallets (my own pics):
    [​IMG]

    Sea Turtle:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Looks at first like a "cross" between alligator and snake. But, in person, the scales tend to be smaller than alligator. I've seen wallets and shoes in this hide in Japan; they're quite lovely but look rather delicate (the wallets I've seen tend not to age well, IMHO.)

    Emu:
    Like ostrich, only the quill is over the whole body, and the follicles are smaller. The hide is slightly rougher looking than ostrich.
    [​IMG]

    Shark:
    I tend to mistake this one a lot for hippo, walrus, seal, etc. A very thick, sturdy, gnarly sort of hide. Very tough. They used to cover the handles of samurai swords in this stuff. Very unique in person, but not particularly "elegant" for smaller leather goods.
    [​IMG]

    Lizard:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    What others? Feel free to post individual items in various hides.

    Others I've seen, that others can add if they wish: Fish leather (salmon, etc.), Chicken, slink (fetal calf), stingray, water buffalo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
    5 people like this.
  2. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Excellent, excellent thread! This is a really good resource. Isshy should come through with some other great examples to add.

    Just one correction - this is actually ring lizard, a variant of "plain" lizard due to the natural circles in the pattern :
    [​IMG]
     
  3. dsmolken

    dsmolken Senior member

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    Does shark hide come mostly from a particular species, or from many different ones? It seems like there's a good deal of variation in the shark I've seen, but I'm not sure if they're really different species or just different areas of the shark or different tanning methods.
     
  4. HRoi

    HRoi Senior member

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    this thread made me think of a creative way to swear in thread titles :happy:

    anyway, not sure if this qualifies as exotic but here's a deerskin leather jacket. don't think it can be ID'ed differently from cowskin from a photo, but it has a distinctive feel to it when you touch it. kind of more slippery

    [ATTACHMENT=50]IMG_8168.JPG (5,215k. JPG file)[/ATTACHMENT]

    [ATTACHMENT=51]IMG_8164.JPG (4,044k. JPG file)[/ATTACHMENT]
     
  5. garymyman

    garymyman Senior member

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    Well this is boring compared to yours, but here's Louisiana alligator:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. stinsonbass

    stinsonbass Senior member

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    Not necessarily. I actually think it looks cool. :D It looks very very robust (for some reason don't ask me why) My small contribution below is an alligator leather strap from my recently purchased Longines watch. I'll look up what kind of alligator it actually is.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. hossoso

    hossoso Senior member

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    This used to be a beautiful Coho but it pissed me off so I had it killed and turned into a wallet at a tannery near Sitka a couple of weeks ago. Fish are assholes.

    No good light in Seattle today...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    edit: after posting these I realized they aren't quite big enough to see much detail. I'll take better/detailed pics if anyone cares to see them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  8. hossoso

    hossoso Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    I'm glad you made this thread, I hadn't really taken the time to look at this leather. It looks like sinewy chainmail, I like it. Story behind it, little boutique 22 passy charter out of Seattle - so we could go anywhere, few well-to-do fishermen on board. I was trying to feed some ducks bread (still vegetarian-17 years now denying the human condition!), fish was being aggressive with baby ducks. Now that fish is my wallet. Skin came from in front of the dorsal(?), between the fin on the back and the head. They said that if I didn't want to eat it that was all I could do with it, kept a bit and the rest went to rats.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  9. rach2jlc

    rach2jlc Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks, Spoo, for the added info! Would love to see some of your exotic pieces. Surely you must have that secret, hidden Versace piece in unicorn hide? You know the one... from S/S 2003. ;)


    Though I'm NO expert at all and am just posting from my experience (mostly since coming to Japan, where exotic hides are very popular and very few laws prohibit even rare animals from being harvested), I've found this with most hides, and would say it is probably a combination of various species, location of hide taken from the animal, and also just the variances in the individual animals themselves. For example, with the walrus posted above, I'd never seen one with the pronounced follicle like that. Older walrus luggage/doctors bags can be seen on google image search easily, and they're very thick/wrinkled. This one has no wrinkles. In fact, the original seller of the bag thought it was ostrich. My only guess is that perhaps the hide was taken from different places (perhaps back vs. belly, chin/chest area vs. sides, etc.)

    This variation in species, location, etc. was one reason I decided to make the thread. Hopefully over time we can get a comprehensive list of examples of different types and variations even within the same hide.

    That fish wallet is really neat. You are right... it's sort of like a chain mail. I've not seen many fish skin pieces in person, but they are becoming quite popular. I think Dior under Galliano did a series of bags in it a few years back. I like the smallness of the scales... less in your face than ostrich leg, snake, etc., but also very different from lizard. Thanks for posting!

    More hides (from things I've had):

    Horsehair (Valentino wallet):
    [​IMG]

    Cinghiale (wild boar... the red trim, rest of the bag is canvas))
    It's like pigskin, except with a slightly different grain and a more pronounced follicle...almost like a graining pattern)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Comparison with "regular" pigskin... notice different texture/grain:
    [​IMG]

    Kangaroo (LV Soana):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Crocodile (vintage Asprey):
    [​IMG]

    Buffalo:
    [​IMG]

    Moose/Elk ("Alce"): very similar to deerskin, though slightly thicker/less "soft" (Jil sander)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  10. Louis XIV

    Louis XIV Senior member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  11. hossoso

    hossoso Senior member

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    I am looking at an amazing vintage harbor seal hide shawl to cover a small ottoman for my mother at an antique store down the street. It's huge but $450, so... don't know if it is that big of a deal. I haven't handled such thick fur before in my life, quite dear though even in such a perfect condition. Again, if anyone is really that interested, I can go take pictures for the curious but it is a fur not a leather hide. I think I'll post some northern plains buffalo in a bit.
     
  12. rach2jlc

    rach2jlc Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It is, I believe, though I've never owned anything in it. IIRC, it looks a lot like hippo and elephant... a gnarled, thick hide with pronounced graining.
     
  13. rach2jlc

    rach2jlc Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Stingray wallet, from an exotic-hide bag and wallet company in Japan called MUTA. I'm really liking this brand; they do nice work and the prices are reasonable (this wallet is around 50,000 yen/$500-600, and bags and such are around 150,000/ $1500-1600) given the leathers used.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  14. Louis XIV

    Louis XIV Senior member

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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  15. rach2jlc

    rach2jlc Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    FAIK, they are all farmed, or grown for purposes of harvesting. For elephants and such, my guess is that there are harvesting restrictions in place, though I don't know what they are. It's not really "poaching," though, r just people out shooting happy elephants on the savannah... as all of these bags are made by very reputable, large brands and not sold out of the back of a station wagon after dark. (haha)
     
  16. hossoso

    hossoso Senior member

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    You should probably have this turned into a legacy post. It is only going to get limited activity and participation but contains info that a lot of people (non-members, casual viewers) will benefit from.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  17. dsmolken

    dsmolken Senior member

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    Requesting giraffe pics out of curiosity... I've seen some boots for sale, but no detailed shots of the skin.
     
  18. rach2jlc

    rach2jlc Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    A bit of an odd rarity... a vintage Hermes elephant-hide shoulder bag.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  19. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    I used to own a bomber jacket made of elephant. The entire jacket was multi-coloured elephant hide patches and it weighed a ton. It was literally like wearing armor. You could do up the buttons and sit the jacket on a table and it would support itself as its own mannequin. The leather was that thick and strong. I purchased it second...make that third hand and it hung in my closet virtually unworn for years until I donated it to a Goodwill store. Though I have not one photo of me in the ugly thing I have no doubt that it still lives on somewhere.
     
  20. dsmolken

    dsmolken Senior member

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    I've only had elephant boots, but based on what the skin on those is like a jacket does sound impractical. How easy was it to, say, bend your arms at the elbows?
     

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