One of the most popular and recognized exotic skins is Ostrich leather. Originating in South Africa in the 1850s, it was discovered as a unique byproduct from the Ostriches farmed for their feathers & meat. Its distinctive nubs lend it a striking, unique look. Interestingly, its newfound popularity is not, strictly speaking, a new phenomenon; the Ancient Romans were also thrilled by this leather's singular pattern and soft, supple feel.
Ostrich leather is characterized by its raised points in the hide that creates little bumps, which are centered in the middle of the skin. This area is called the ‘Crown’ and is where the animal’s neck meets its body and is about one-third of the entire skin. Ostrich leather is relatively rare, making it desirable and thus expensive. It’s generally used for luxury leather items, such as the iconic Hermés Birkin handbag.
There are many cheaper imitations of Ostrich leather available and used by the high street on low-end fashion items such as handbags. Called ‘Ostrich Print Leather’ manufacturers create a similar bumpy texture by embossing the indentations into the leather (or PU), by using a heavy rolling plate during the tanning process. Ostrich Print differs from Ostrich Leather because the man-made quill bumps are uniform. Therefore they’re not unique like the bumps on actual Ostrich Leather, so this helps to distinguish between the real deal and imitations.
Characteristics of Ostrich Leather
- Ostrich Leather is coveted for its unique look and texture, but it does have benefits which are more than just aesthetically based. It’s known for being for tough, pliable, durable and yet supple. Ostrich leather contains natural oils, which means it resists cracking and stiffness.
- The entire cut of skin taken from a single ostrich measures 1.3 to 1.5 square meters; however, only the portion taken from the back is used to produce leather. This is the only part of the hide featuring the distinctive nubbly texture for which ostrich leather is known.
How to Care for Ostrich Leather
The experts at The Handbag Spa have years of experience working with Ostrich leather and furthermore have worked with the world’s finest leather chemists to create a range of care products. This water-based range has been designed for use on delicate handbag leather (including Ostrich). If you scroll down, you’ll discover which products we recommend for protecting and cleaning Ostrich leather.
Dermo Protect is a water-based handbag protector spray, which protects finished and un-finished leathers from day to day staining, liquids, dye transfer, ink, oil, sunlight damage and more!
Unlike its competitors, Dermo Protect protects the leather, whilst hydrating it at the same time and therefore allowing it to breathe. This in turns ensure the leather is kept soft, supple and feeling the way it should
CAN BE USED ON: Finished & Unfinished Leather, Full Grain, Aniline Leather, Lambskin, Calfskin, Exotic, Ostrich, Saffiano, Epi and Vachetta Leather.
For finished & unfinished leathers, there’s Sensitive Cleanse, a cleaning product specifically designed for this type of leather. Sensitive Cleanse is a thick solution that sits on the surface for longer than other products. This allows you to clean off the day-to-day buildup of dirt. Use every couple of months & remember to protect your leather after cleaning with Dermo Protect.
CAN BE USED ON: Finished & Unfinished Leather, Full Grain, Aniline, Lambskin, Caviar, Calfskin, Exotic, Ostrich, Saffiano, Epi and Vachetta Leather.
Pure Hydrate is a deep hydration créme for finished and unfinished leather bags. It restores natural softness by replenishing the natural oils to the leather. This gives an intense hydration treatment for your exotic leathers, to use when needed.
CAN BE USED ON: Finished & Unfinished Leather, Full Grain, Aniline Leather, Lambskin, Caviar, Calfskin, Exotic, Ostrich, Saffiano, Epi and Vachetta Leather.
As you might know, there's a lot of famous brands that have been using this leather for their most luxurious accessories, the most famous would probably be the Hermés Birkin Handbag, which is the most expensive bag in the market. Would you try it? what do you think about the Ostrich leather? please let us know in the comments.