Production and manufacture of fish leather bow ties
The history of fish leather
Leather from fish skins is by no means a new product. The Nanai ethnic group, native to Eastern Siberia and the People’s Republic of China, traditionally lived exclusively from fishing and hunting years ago. For example, their clothing and tents were made of fish skins, which is why the Chinese called them “fish skin tartars”. In Europe, too, insoles and drive belts were already made of fish skin during the Second World War. Thus the processing of fish skin was known from time immemorial, but never had a major breakthrough as a processing material, as the skin areas are usually very small and the effort for large areas to be processed is costly.
Properties of the fish leather
The fibre structure of the leather in fish is laid crosswise on top of each other, which is parallel to other types of leather such as cowhide. This is why this type of leather is considered to be particularly tear-resistant when comparing leather of the same thickness. Leather raw hides of fish guarantee excellent product characteristics such as high long-lasting wearing comfort with low abrasion, they are slightly tear-resistant, thin and yet robust. The fish skins can be processed as single skins or sewn together for large areas.
The pigmented and characteristic image of the fish skin is retained after tanning, so that each leather skin is individual, resembles no other and is therefore inimitable. Fish leather is odourless and has no scales after processing. However, the characteristic structure depending on the type of fish is retained, making the fish products unique.
Fish leather today
The demand for fish leather products is growing every year. Today, however, fish are not killed just for the leather, but the skin is a by-product of the food industry. The fish skins are tanned with innovative tanning methods and then dyed. In this way, leather hides of different colours are produced, whereby each hide is unique. Today, accessories such as leather bow ties, watch straps, belts and bags, but also entire pieces of clothing or shoes are made of fish leather.
Production of fish-leather, a contribution to the protection of species?
Fish skin has an exotic “look and feel”, so it can certainly replace the skin of endangered reptiles. Fish skins are a by-product of the food and fishing industry, where they are considered a waste product. The animals come from aquacultures with species-appropriate husbandry from e.g. salmon farms and they can therefore contribute to the protection of reptile species such as exotic leathery species like snake, ostrich and alligator. Despite the high fish consumption of our society, fish leather is a niche product. There are still not many products and articles made of this material.
Depending on the size of the salmon, the salmon skin is usually about 60cm long and between 10-20cm wide. The skins of salmon nowadays mostly come from breeding farms or aquacultures. The characteristics of salmon leather speak for themselves: light, flexible, thin and yet it has a higher strength than cow or calf leather. It is therefore very easy to process and is produced in many colours. The main area of application is in the fashion industry for luxury and lifestyle products. Salmon leather is used in lifestyle products such as leather bow ties, belts, watch straps, handbags and small items of clothing or footwear.
Depending on the size of the wolffish, this skin is usually about 50cm long and between 15-20cm wide. The wolffish is a species that is caught in the fishing regions around Iceland for the food industry. Wolffish skin is light, flexible, thin and the only fish skin without scales. The characteristic structure of wolffish leather has a black dotted pigmentation on the skin, which makes this leather very unique and interesting. It can be processed very well and is produced in many colours, whereby the black-dotted pattern is always preserved. The main field of application is in the fashion industry for luxury and lifestyle products. Wolffish leather is used in lifestyle products such as leather bow ties, belts, watch straps, purses and handbags.
Depending on the size of the perch, the perch skin can be on average 15-40cm wide, under ideal conditions this fish can even reach over 50cm in width. The perch skin is medium thick and is therefore not as easy to process as the salmon or catfish skin. The scale structure of the perch is larger and has a rough texture. The pigmentation and characteristic wild structure of perch skin is due to the large scales. The leather is produced in many colours and can be intensified with a metallic finish. The main field of application is in the fashion industry for luxury and lifestyle products. Perch leather is used in lifestyle products such as leather bow ties, belts and watch straps.