How to Make Cow Hide Look Like Alligator Leather
If you are looking to upgrade your old cowhide shoes, you can look into purchasing alligator or crocodile leather instead. These skins are more receptive to different treatments and are cheaper than alligator leather. The process to produce alligator leather involves certain steps to ensure the quality of the finished product. There are also considerations when selecting the type of skin you want to use. For example, you may prefer Buffalo leather, which is more malleable than cowhide.
Caiman leather is cheaper than alligator leather
In contrast to alligator leather, caiman leather is considerably cheaper. Both types of leather look identical, but caiman is not as soft as an alligator. Its leather is also more prone to cracking, tearing, and discoloration. Consequently, it is often cheaper. In addition, it can become an essential part of your wardrobe. But the question still remains: should you buy caiman leather?
Buffalo leather is more receptive to different treatments
Buffalo leather is one of the most common types of animal leather. Similar to cow leather, it retains grain quality and patterning. It is cheaper than rarer leather types, but it is far less resistant to different treatments and moisture. The best way to maintain buffalo leather is to use quality leather cream. Annual conditioning is recommended. You can treat the leather with a specialized cream that is designed for buffalo leather.
Curing alligator hides removes moisture from the hides
Curing alligator skins will reduce the shrinking and improve the quality of the leather. It also prevents bacterial growth on the hides. The process is performed in a plastic drum using a mixture of salt, borax, and bleach. It takes around 48 hours. The salting process should be repeated twice or thrice for optimal results. This process removes non-tannable proteins, bacteria, and elements.
It’s no secret that real alligator leather is much more expensive than printed cowhide. While there are ethical and management issues associated with using real reptile skins, they’re also the most expensive and are difficult to source. In addition, you need CITES certificates to buy them. Not to mention the fact that printed leather has fewer defects. So, if you’re interested in getting an alligator bag, you can go ahead and print a cowhide piece to resemble alligator leather.
Curing hippo leather
Hippo leather has a distinctly rounded, suede-like surface with a softer feel than cowhide. Because hippos are often in the water, the leather has an extremely natural guard that repels water. Because hippos are so large, their skin is naturally more even than elephants. Because they spend most of their lives in the sea, their leather is usually more uniform than elephants’ and less speckled. Natural hippo leather is smooth and voluptuous, with an overall tan that is thicker than cowhide.