What Is the Strongest Leather?

What Is the Strongest Leather?

January 3, 2022

If you hear the term “exotic leather,” you probably think of crocodile, ostrich or snakeskin, but there are many other types out there. From alligator to lizard and shark, the exotic leather market is small but growing.

So, you might wonder: What is the strongest type of leather? After all, if you’re investing in a luxury piece, you want it to last for years to come.

Let’s take a look at some of the leading types of leather and their durability so you’ll have a better sense of what to look for.


Compared to all other forms of exotic leather, ostrich wins in terms of durability. It also has a thick and luxurious texture. The leather’s natural oils keep it soft and supple. Ostrich leather won’t crack even in extreme heat. It has water-resistant qualities but will darken over time.


This is another very tough exotic leather that’s very unlikely to scuff, scratch or puncture. The fibers in the leather are not consistent, making them resistant to tearing. Stingray doesn’t stain and is resistant to water. This is a very rigid skin that can be difficult to sew and may break needles. The limited size of stingray leather panels means it takes much longer to manufacture.


This form of exotic leather is thin, delicate and flexible. Snakeskin includes scales that protect it from the elements as it sheds off dead skin. The size of the scales is dependent on how old the snake is and the part of the snake the skin was cut from. Snakeskin is mostly used to create footwear and bags.


Alligator skin offers a soft and delicate feel. Despite this, alligator leather does not stretch out. This is because of the skin’s hard scales that may have a bony structure. That said, the skin is more pliable than other reptiles’. This makes alligator leather easy to stitch, cut and fold.


This is a very expensive form of exotic leather. Crocodile is a somewhat durable but still quite delicate material. Crocodile leather is available in shiny and matte versions. For shiny leather, the skin is buffed to create a glossy effect. Both crocodile and alligator leather aren’t waterproof and need to be protected from excess moisture.


Typically, monitor lizards are used in this form of exotic leather. Lizard is a very delicate skin type that may dry out if not well maintained. It requires special attention and needs to be kept at specific temperatures to avoid drying and peeling.


Exotic leather uses two main types of tanning: vegetable tanning and chrome tanning. Vegetable tanning is a natural, eco-friendly process, but leather products that undergo this process may discolor when in contact with water. Chrome tanning allows for a wider range of colors and doesn’t run the risk of discoloration.

Whenever you’re looking for the best quality exotic leather products, turn to the pros at Acadian Leather. We offer custom leather boots, purses, shoes, accessories and more. Contact us today to find out more about our products.

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