Leather produced from the skin of any large fresh water reptile from the Crocodilia order. Alligators are native to Florida and crocodiles are found in South America and Africa. The reptile skin is composed of large overlapping scale made of keratin. Alligator skin produces a durable and expensive leather. Usually only the smoother skin from the soft belly area is used. The surface of the alligator leather has a natural enamel that is often enhanced to a high glaze. The light but tough leather is prized for luggage, purses, and shoes. Many laws prevent the current exploitation of these animals. Alligator-grained leathers are produced from calf or sheep skins that are embossed to resemble the grain of true alligator hides.
Synonyms and Related Terms
crocodile leather (Europe); piel de cocodrilo (Esp.); cuir de crocodile (Fr.); pele de crocodilo (Port.); Krokodillen leer (Ned.); alligator-grained leather;
Resources and Citations
- B.Willis, "A Review of the Conservation Treatment of a Romano-Egyptian Cuirass and Helmet made from Crocodile Skin The Conservator, no. 24, 2000, p.80-88.
- G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 28
- Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
- Howard L. Needles, Handbook of Textile Fibers, Dyes & Finishes, Garland Publishing Co., New York, 1981
- American Leather Chemists Association Glossary at www.leatherchemists.org