Ostrich leather processing has advanced tremendously since ostrich skins were first processed and manufacturers produce the very best exotic leather. Today Ostrich leather is the choice of the most discerning buyers from around the world.
On average an ostrich skin is 130-140 sq m or 14-15 sq ft – each skin has the size clearly marked in square decimetres and square feet on the label on the reverse of the skin.
There are two different types of finish. The more popular is the saddle finish. This is first drum-dyed to achieve the colour, then a transparent topcoat is applied to give it a sheen which contrasts the quills from the valleys. The classic finish is pigmented leather which gives a more even colour across the skin and appears more matte. Any item that can be made of leather can be made using ostrich leather.
Ostrich leather is exotic leather like crocodile or alligator. Using ostrich leather in an article automatically increases the value of that item in terms of luxury and status.
The quality rating system for the leather is determined by visually inspecting the primary crown. The area is divided into 4 quarters – should the skin be without blemish or have blemishes in one quarter it is a First Grade, in two quarters a Second Grade, in three a Third and four a Fourth. The overall appearance of the skin or its “aesthetic appeal” is also taken into consideration.