The Difference Between Alligator and Caiman Exotic Leathers

The Difference Between Alligator and Caiman Exotic Leathers

April 30, 2021

Leather is a luxurious material that can be made into beautiful clothing and accessories. Alligator leather is one of the most popular choices for exotic leather due to its skin pattern and soft feel. But when considering exotic leathers in Baton Rouge, LA, there’s more than just alligator to keep in mind.

One alternative to alligator is caiman leather. This is a cousin of the alligator, but its leather has some key differences. Leather from caiman, also known as caiman crocodiles, is only taken from animals raised in a farm. But what else is there to know about this reptile? Read on for some key information to help you as you get started with your search.

What is a caiman?

A caiman is a large, carnivorous reptile that lives in freshwater near the banks of rivers. Caiman are in the same family as crocodiles and alligators and are native to South and Central America. They have been brought to North America and can be found these days in the southern United States as well.

The main difference between a caiman and alligator is size. Most species of caiman are generally smaller than alligators (except the black caiman, which can grow to a full size or nearly 20 feet!), though they can sometimes be mistaken for a small alligator. Caiman have pointed, dagger-like teeth, whereas alligators have more rounded teeth.

Differences between alligator and caiman leathers

Though they are related species, the leather from alligator and caiman are quite different. Here’s a closer look at some of the main differences between alligator and caiman leather:

  • Feel: Alligator leather is one of the softest leathers available on the market today. It has a supple feel that leads it to be used in many high-end luxury products like clothing, belts, handbags and more. The softness of alligator leather also makes it a desirable fabric because it’s easy to work with. Caiman leather is stiffer than alligator due to the fact that each of its scales has a bone in it (alligator skin is boneless).
  • Texture: Caiman leather has a distinctive pattern that can remain even beyond the dying process. The hardness that comes from its boney scales is desirable in many applications to highlight the natural texture of the skin.
  • Size: Caiman raised in farms aren’t grown to more than about 4 feet in length, while alligator hides can often be more than 10 feet long. This gives alligator leather more versatility than caiman leather in its usages.
  • Price: As you may have guessed, alligator leather is generally considered more desirable than caiman leather, and therefore commands a much higher price. While caiman leather is used in luxury products, the ultra-luxury brands tend to stick with alligator.

When you’re looking for exotic skins for sale in Baton Rouge, LA, visit Acadian Leather for the best selection and highest quality available. Whether you need alligator, caiman or any other exotic leathers, we are your best bet for selection and quality. We look forward to welcoming you soon and assisting with your selection!

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