Crocodile leather

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Crocodile leather

Crocodiles are reptiles with a firm skin which acts as a form of armour. There are about 25 species found in Central America, Africa and from India to Australia. Crocodiles live in fresh and salt water (Australia and Southeast Asia).

Alligators are subspecies of crocodiles. Among the subspecies of alligators are the caimans. Alligators exist in America and China. There are caimans in South America] up to Central America.

Crocodile leather (also called "croco leather"), as well as caiman leather and alligator leather is used for bags, shoes or belts.


Caiman from the Pantanal in Brazil.


Crocodile skins which are processed into leather come from breeding farms. These are located in the countries where crocodiles also occur naturally, for example, Australia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central and South America in the Amazon Basin region. The parks earn their money as a tourist attraction, with the tasty meat of the crocodiles and the skin. The Darwin Crocodile Farm in Australia has more than 70,000 crocodiles and the leather is sent to the luxury companies, such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes.

Only the belly side and skins of younger animals are usually used for crocodile leather. The back skin is too hard because of the armour, especially on the older animals. This is also a reason for the high price of such leather. That and the fact that they are kept only for their skin. In other words, the leather of these animals must bear the cost of breeding.


Belly side of a caiman.



Back side, seen in the DLM - German Leather Museum in Offenbach.


Nowadays only leather of breeding animals is processed according to strict regulations (CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora). Nevertheless, this use is considered as inhumane by organisations such as PETA.

Crocodile leather is calculated according to length (inches). 1 inch = 2.54 cm. Usually hides are offered between 28 and 35 cm width.

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Crocodile leather back.



A duller version of crocodile leather.


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Folder of crocodile leather back of 1958 - inside - outside - close-up.


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Leather handbag made of crocodile back. The armour is very distinctive.


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Leather bag made of crocodile back, probably from 1890.


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Old leather luggage with crocodile back.


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Leather luggage and leather handbag made of crocodile leather from Sams & Son in Germany.



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Leather handbag with polished armour (also known from stingray leather).


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The gloss of glazed crocodile leather is achieved by surface compressing and pressing.





Leather furniture made of crocodile leather. Sale price of the sofa 30 thousand € April 2011 and 40 thousand euro April 2013.


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leather shoes and boots made of crocodile leather. - Shoe from caiman leather of Himer bespoke shoes in Germany.


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Leather belt and Leather wallet made in France by Pierre Guijarro, 78500 Sartrouville,



Motorcycle saddle made of crocodile leather.



Stuffed young crocodile.



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An unusual crocodile leather handbag. - The whole animal was processed.


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Handbag with crocodile head on the front.


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Crocodile head on a handbag, seen in the DLM - German Leather Museum in Offenbach. - Alligator head on a handbag from the 50s.


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Fanny pack made of a crocodile paw (Goldpfeil 1954). - Handbag handles from crocodile feet seen in the DLM - German Leather Museum in Offenbach.


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In this crocodile bag, the head does not appear to be from the actual head of the crocodile. It is probably genuine crocodile, but from a different part of the animal.


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Crocodile leather as a carpet. - Close-up.



Crocodile meat is light, tender and tastes similar to chicken.


Embossed cow leather

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Cow leather with croco embossing. - Embossing of the back.


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Cowhide croco embossed in a classic car.


Seams with croco optics

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Generating a crocodile-back look by sewing.


Imitation leather


Croco embossed imitation leather.


Similar leather of other animal species

Leather from ostrich legs, chicken legs and beaver tail look like croco-leather. In times when beavers were still allowed to be hunted, beaver tail was an inexpensive substitute for crocodile leather.

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ostrich legs, chicken legs and beaver tails can be confused with crocodile leather.


Video about leather of different animal species

Leather of different animal species - Exotic leather

Additional information

Other exotic leather