Elephant leather

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In many African countries, belts, bags and other accessories made of elephant leather are offered for sale. The WWF advises tourists not to buy these products.

In Namibia and South Africa trade in elephant leather and hair products has been allowed since 2004. Whilst these items can be imported into Europe, there are strict rules and regulations that need to be followed. It is prudent to research and obtain all necessary documents required to clear customs. For example, CITES documents are required to export any such items from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Tourists must therefore research and speak to the relevant authorities to ensure the appropriate documentation is obtained upon purchase.

Elephant leather is occasionally found in Europe due to the various activities of big game hunters. The elephants are poached in Africa where their skin is tanned. The skins are then transported to Europe to be processed.

Occasionally, furniture or shoes are marketed as "elephant leather". However, it is very rarely real Elephant Leather. In most cases, it's normal cow skin leather with a particularly strong grain or embossing which resembles genuine elephant leather.

Especially with online stores it is not explicitly stated that it is not real elephant leather. It is always better to ask and make sure what it really is. Normally, leather dealers don`t offer elephant leather.




Elephant leather has a strong grain patter.

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From another time: A convertible top from Bentley made of elephant leather.



Bag made of elephant leather seen in the DLM - German Leather Museum at Offenbach.


Bespoke shoes made of elephant leather from Jacob, F. Shoes.



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Leather watch strap made of elephant leather of an old handbag from the 20s. The leather is shrunken skin of elephant ears and made of elephant leather from the body of the elephant.

Embossed leather with elephants look

Occasionally cowhide is provided with an embossing in elephant leather look.



Cowhide with elephant embossing.

Video about leather of different animal species

Leather of different animal species - Exotic leather

More exotic leather