Besides being a delicious source of food, fish can also be a surprisingly great and rare source of leather.
Usually, the fishermen would throw away the skin after making the catch. But thanks to its unique qualities, fish is being used for leather a lot more often.
Another great thing about the fish skin is the diversity we get, thanks to many different fish species.
Fish leather types
According to the leather surface, fish can be divided into following types:
Scale structure – Fish with scale structured skin is most of the time used for luxurious items and accessories due to its unusually great look. The items like handbags, wallets, belts or boots made of these types of fish are very popular.
Central scar – Skin extracted from these type of fish has a recognizable scar through the middle which is often used to accentuate items. The most common fish with this pattern are the eel, pacu, plaice, and salmon.
Relatively smooth leather – Some fish like the catfish and the Atlantic stingray have a very smooth skin. Their skin is also being used for various accessories, especially belts.
Hard pearl studs – There are also some fish that have very strong skin with hard pearl studs, which make it very durable. Kitefin shark and stingray skin were therefore used for sword handles and even armor. But lately, this skin is being used for accessories too.
Skin with visible pores – This type of leather is a real rarity and extremely desired as an accessory material. The most common fish species used for this are sea wolf and moray eel, providing leather for handbags and belts and straps.
Driftwood-like surface – Sturgeon is a special type of fish that has almost wood-like properties. It provides leather for some amazingly looking wallets, belts, and straps and it can even be sanded down to create a unique design.
Fish leather is a sustainable alternative to other exotic skins that threaten endangered species such as crocodile and snake. It’s important that the fish leather comes from fish caught for food, where the skin would be discarded otherwise