Fish Skin Leather!
Pardon my surprise; you see I’m a big salmon fish eater and the fish skins on most of the fish in the waters of The Bahamas are generally soft and edible. So how could a succulent, tender skin become a leather-like product? And an in demand skin, my favorite fish, salmon, no less.
As you can tell, I found the concept rather intriguing but still I could not wrap my mind around it. As an island girl who has grown up on fish and intimately involved in the cleaning, preparation and cooking of them, I could hardly fathom how such a delicate skin could be used as leather. With the exception of course of a beautiful turbot fish whose skin is as tough as they come.
My Slop Bucket, Your Treasure?
You know the slogan one man’s junk is another man’s treasure; well so it seems with the fish skin. Although it is not a big an industry as cow, goat or gator hide, fish skins have made their way into the high end markets being used for footwear, handbags and just about any high end designer item you would use a quality skin on.
Is Fish Skin Leather Durable?
Now that I think about it, there is the shark skin that some would say is on par with the cow’s hide when compared in strength so with that being said, there are obviously a number of heavy duty skins in the ocean. However, for the most part the skins used in this process are the smaller fish with the lighter weight skins.
While some people use a manual method of cleaning and tanning their skins, there is also the well thought out high-tech machinery that is used to create massive amounts of professionally cured and tanned fish leather for top fashion designers around the world. Of course, the commercial method of how it’s done is pretty much a well-kept secret and quite laborious in its undertaking.
High End Designer Fabric
But what does that mean to you as a designer? It means that your world of creativity and design has just opened up another level. If you are a handbag designer looking for another amazing surface to showcase on your designer handbag you just may want to consider the fish leather. You’ll be in good company with the likes of Prada, Nike, Ferragamo, Puma and Dior who purchase it for their top notch designer creations.
Incidentally, this leather is treated as most animal skins in that it will be softened for easy application although becoming incredibly sturdy. It is also dyed and treated with a various levels of sheens depending on the final look desired. Quite like other pricey leathers, good fish skin leather can go through rigorous quality testing for durability.
Pattern & Design
One of the most amazing features of the fish skin leather is how it maintains its exterior design. After the scales have been removed, the most fascinating pattern is revealed on the skin which in itself is quite mesmerizing.
Now when I eat my fish I will have a new respect for its skin. I really have to think; do I want it pan fried and crispy with a hearty dose of lime and scotch bonnet pepper or do I want to savor its beauty by preserving it as a designer covering for one of my custom made designer handbags.
So, in addition to the wonderful meal and the beautiful leather, this barely touched, yet ancient industry could be just the fabric your custom purses were hoping for.