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Alligator & Crocodile: Leather Differences

January 9, 2020

Greetings bag lovers, we have another informative article for you this week! If you missed out the differences between calfskin and lambskin leather, it is not too late to check it out!


While the appearance of alligators and crocodiles may seem uncanny, the truth is that these two reptiles are unrelated (apart from being reptiles)! Just like their mistaken identity, their leathers are often mistaken as well. Leather enthusiasts would already know what distinguishes a crocodile leather from an alligator's! In this article, we will uncover the differences between the two leathers so that you are more attuned the next time you go hunting for one of their handbags or wallets.


Understanding The Hierarchy

If you think that crocodile leathers are more expensive, think again! Alligator leathers are considered a prime choice in the world of luxury. Despite the almost similar appearances, alligator are easily deemed as a tier above crocodile leather.

Beware when you're looking to purchase an alligator product though! Unethical sellers occasionally pass off crocodile leathers as alligator leathers due to the public's perception of the quality and value of alligator leathers over its counterpart.


Umbilical Scar

These reptiles both have umbilical scars - in different patterns. For an alligator leather, the umbilical scar is the lengthy webbed pattern between the prominent rectangular tiles of the leather. The umbilical scar on crocodile leather is less obvious and no where near as elaborate as compared to an alligator's.




At one glance, both alligator and crocodile leathers are easily recognizable by their tile patterns! However, did you know that there are actually slight differences that separates the two?

The tiles of a crocodile leather are more uniform! The pattern and arrangement on one side of the belly are almost symmetrical to the other. Also if you take a closer look, each tile will bear an often visible small dot which was where the hair follicle once was. This is one of the most distinguishing characteristic of a crocodile leather.


Back Bumps

We all know that reptilian leathers are made up of the their back and belly. The back of these reptiles consists of 'horns' and bumps. Someone with an eye for detail will be able to identify whether it is a alligator leather or crocodile leather based on the fixed pattern exclusive to the animal. For an alligator, it is 2 rows of 2 horns each; for a crocodile, it is two rows with 4 and 2 horns each.

We hope that you guys learnt a thing or two for reading this! If you're still unsure which leather your hand bag or wallet is made from, you may contact us here! Inquiries regarding repair and restoration are welcome too! 

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