Different types of cowhide, crocodile and alligator skins have been used to manufacture leather products since the 1950s. Today, however, manufacturers have been moving away from using exotic skins to make their products. In 2018, Chanel announced that they were no longer creating products made from reptile skin, such as snake, crocodile, or lizard, and many other manufacturers have followed suit. The look of these types of leather are still sought after, and the sales of crocodile embossed or ‘mock-croc’ accessories and bags has skyrocketed.

 

What is crocodile embossed leather?

Crocodile embossed leather hide is normally of bovine or synthetic origin, that is printed and finished with the aim of obtaining a look that is similar to genuine reptile skin. Embossed leather is leather with artificial patterns printed on the natural grain of the material using heat and pressure.

 Crocodile embossed leather is much cheaper than authentic, real reptile skin, comes without the ethical implications, and is less delicate than the real thing.


Crocodile embossed mock-croc leather detail

 

How is crocodile embossed leather made?

Crocodile embossed leather is created with a machine that combines heat and a stamp to press into leather until there is an impression left behind. This creates the look and feel of real crocodile skin. The stamping of the leather creates a texture that recreates the depth and richness of real reptile skin onto synthetic, man-made leather instead.

Typically, the space between the scales on crocodile embossed leather is not very deep, and the pattern is often repetitive – authentic crocodile skin would have a much more unpredictable pattern on the scales.
 

As the technology surrounding the heat and stamp machine develops, it’s getting harder to identify the big differences between real crocodile leather and ‘mock-croc’ leather; brands are using molds from real crocodile or alligator skins to create an even bigger feel of authenticity to their mock products.


Crocodile embossed leathers in our British leather factory

 

What are the differences between crocodile embossed leather and real crocodile leather?

Exotic or natural leather is softer and more luxurious to touch than embossed leather, however, this comes at the cost of being more delicate than embossed leather. Authentic crocodile leather can be either shiny in appearance or have more of a matte finish to it. Any leather skin that is very bright and has an artificial shine to it is usually embossed leather – authentic reptile leather will often have a glossier look to it.


Green croc embossed accessories from the ROMA by RL collection.

 

Another key difference between crocodile embossed leather and real crocodile leather is that the shape of scales on real crocodile leather are always different, and the thickness of genuine crocodile skin is not uniform at all, whereas crocodile embossed leather has a uniformed thickness across its entire area.

Crocodile embossed leather products are often significantly cheaper than authentic crocodile leather products, as genuine reptile leather comes with the ethical cost of farming these animals.

 

Our limited-edition range of crocodile embossed leather combines our traditional full-grain vegetable tanned leather with an embossed print replicating that of a crocodile skin. In a vibrant green, this collection is the perfect addition to your spring wardrobe, shop now.


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