When exploring the world of crocodile leather, understanding the different finishes is crucial. Here, we'll delve into the main types, divided into glossy and matte categories, shedding light on their characteristics and variations.
So, there are only 4 main types of crocodile leather finishes: 2 glossy and 2 matte, and all the others are variations or improved analogs of them.
1. Mirrored (Glazed)
Mirrored finish, also known as "glazed," involves a meticulous process of polishing the leather with an agate stone on a special machine, resulting in a mirror-like shine. However, this glossy surface is sensitive to moisture, and contact with wet hands or materials can diminish its luster. The finish requires careful handling and can only be restored to its former shine using the specialized polishing machine.
Millennium, a coated soft gloss finish, undergoes a process where hides pass through a large roller combining heating and pressing. Varieties such as Millennium Lux, Bay, and Gel-finish offer options to experiment with shine levels and the amount of applied chemistry. Despite its glossy appearance, Millennium leather remains soft and supple, boasting water-repellent properties.
Classic, often referred to as "semi-mat" or "semi-gloss," resembles regular natural leather with a subtle natural sheen. It is known as "desert." Classic has variations like Ultramatte (smooth leather without shine) and Semi-aniline finish, which features a protective coating suitable for products subjected to greater wear, such as motorcycle covers and seats.
Nubuck, a finish akin to suede, requires meticulous production due to its susceptibility to flaws. Only first-class top skins are used to achieve the desired softness and pleasant texture. Keep in mind that the price of Nubuck-finished crocodile leather is typically higher compared to other finishes.
Important Note: There is no such thing as a "LAC" finish in crocodile leather. The term "lacquer" is often misapplied to the mirror finish due to its dried-out appearance.
Choosing Your Ideal Finish
If you desire soft, haberdashery leather with a natural luster, the classic finish is your optimal choice. Understanding your preferences will guide you to the perfect crocodile leather finish for your needs.