Finishing the hides consists of waxing and applying different kinds of finish depending on what is needed for a given product. Finishes can vary from Matte to Gloss, with different levels in between. The result is always beautiful alligator skin ready to be made into a beautiful product for our consumers!
Everyone has their preferences as far as finishes for products, but certain products are better with different finishes:
Classic/ Glazed, Millennium, Desert/ Matte, Garment, Nubuck/Suede, Bombay
A Classic/ Glazed finish is a very bright, shiny finish that is beautifully rendered after high compression of the leather under what is usually used: a piece of Agate stone attached to a compression machine. This coating is beautiful, but delicate and does not bend well, since any bending can cause wrinkles in the glaze that can be impossible to fix. This finish is often used for leather goods that do not go through much wear and tear.
A Millenium finish is similar to the Classic/ Glazed finish but is a little less shiny and a bit more durable. We use it for a lot of our products such as handbags, purses, duffel bags, and golf bags.
A Desert/ Matte finish is very popular, it is less shiny than the other finishes, but retains the pattern of the skin very nicely, and is able to be bent and stretched without as much damage being done to the hide. This finish is used for more frequently worn products that go through wear and tear, and are less likely to get terribly damaged. It is a soft finish that holds the character of the skin very well, while also being able to be used in everyday products. Any scratches on this finish can be easier to repair than on a classic finish.
A Garment finish is good for what it is named for: garments. This finish is used for items of clothing such as jackets, shirts, slacks, and skirts, made to easily be kept up for ongoing fashion statements.
Nubuck/ Suede finish is the softest finish, and is made to keep the original look of the scale and plate patterns of the hide while providing a nice soft feel.
Bombay is the most difficult finish to accomplish since the process involves heating the skin gently, causing the plates to puff up in the centers, creating a bubbly, puffy look on the skin. This finish is very difficult to achieve, but the result is a beautiful, unique look to any product it is used for.
Embossed Leather VS. Genuine American Alligator Products.
Embossed leather is leather that has been stamped using heat and high pressure to create a pattern or design in the hide. The variety is tremendous ranging from alligator, crocodile, ostrich, flowers, geometric and Indian designs, to name just a few. Websites that talk about alligator products and the leather but describe their products as “GENUINE Alligator LEATHER”. These are embossed cow leather in alligator patterns.
Don’t buy the fake stuff. Other companies sell “Embossed leather” which is an “alligator” pattern stamped into cow leather and cut into shapes for products, but our products are responsibly harvested, Genuine Alligator skin!
There are two basic cuts of skin from the alligator that are used for products: the belly skin and the Hornback: