Frequently Asked Questions
We are now offering sample skins in packages of 5.
Genuine Fish Leather Skins
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We will include a selection of over 40 glazed and suede swatches with a first time $100 skins order.
If you are an interested organization or tannery, we would like to discuss transferring our technology.
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Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions
General

1. Where do you get the skins from?
2. Does it smell like fish?
3. Is the skin as strong as normal leather?
4. Can you keep the natural color of the fish?
5. What is tanning?
6. How long does the tanning process take?
7. What is glazing?
8. How many people make fish leather?
9. How many species of fish do you use?
10. What can the leather be used for?
11. What other benefits are there for using fish to create leather?

Our Offerings

12. I would like to purchase 2 suede fishskins in magenta, 2 in black and 1 in demerara. Can you accommodate this?
13. I really like the metallic colors. Why are you not offering them on your website?
14. I am interested in a larger quantity than what I see on your website. Your stocklots are up to 400 skins, but I am interested in 1,000 or more. Can you fill this?
15. Do you publish a catalog?
16. Do you ever participate at trade shows like Lineapelle or APLF?
17. I am a fashion student in my senior year. I am making a collection of womens wear and am really interested in using fish leather. Would you sponsor my collection?

Technology

18. We are wondering if you would share a basic method for tanning fish leather. No trade secrets wanted here. Just a basic method that would work for a few items like salmon and especially rough fish that just get tossed away here.
19. We would like to be your exclusive distributor in Europe. Can we discuss it?


1. Where do you get the skins from?
From canning fisheries worldwide. The skins are collected as a cast off waste product from fish processing.

2. Does it smell like fish?
No. The products are odorless like any other leather.

3. Is the skin as strong as normal leather?
Fish leather is generally around the same strength as sheep skin. However shark leather is anywhere up to 6 times the strength of a standard land-based leather.

4. Can you keep the natural colour of the fish?
Unfortunately 70 - 80% of fish colour is contained within the scales, which are removed in the tanning process. The result is a neutral coloured skin that is suitable for dying any colour.

5. What is tanning?
Tanning is a process that changes the fibres of any skin, through use of a "tannin", into leather fibres. The skin changes occur both internally and externally.

6. How long does the tanning process take?
Our tanning procedure takes us 6 weeks. This process includes fleshing, descaling, preserving, tanning, dying, drying, softening and refinishing.

7. What is glazing?
Glazing is a specialised leather process to add a protectant to the outside surface of the leather to protect it from dirt, grease, grime, and excessive wear. It is a polymer resin that is sprayed onto the surface of the leather, allowed to dry, then plated down with heat and pressure to make the leather water-resistant, drycleanable scotch-guardable and washable.

8. How many people make fish leather?
Many others have tried to make fish skins into leather, and few have succeeded. We have been able to take out fish oils, and substitute chemical oil, leaving no odor.

9. How many species of fish do you use?
We have made leather products with 21 different species of fish, carp being the most popular, because it makes the largest patterns.

10. What can the leather be used for?
Anything that a normal land based leather can be used for. Our leather has been used to make shoes, handbags, belts, hats, wallets and other apparel and accessory items. It has also been used for jewellery and book binding.

11. What other benefits are there for using fish to create leather?
The benefits are both ecological and economical. By reusing these skins, we are recycling what would otherwise be thrown out. Fishkins are less of a pollutant than other leathers because only the scales need to be taken off.

12. I would like to purchase 2 suede fishskins in magenta, 2 in black and 1 in demerara. Can you accommodate this?
Sure. The 5 skin samplers, 10 skin samplers and larger stocklot suede carp packages can be divided into color combinations of your choice. Add comments to your online order specifying this.

13. I really like the metallic colors. Why are you not offering them on your website?
When the metallic colors were introduced on the website, they sold relatively fast, and we will not be producing those colors further at this time. The metallics were just a color variation of the silk finish.

14. I am interested in a larger quantity than what I see on your website. Your stocklots are up to 400 skins, but I am interested in 1,000 or more. Can you fill this?
Yes. It is best to check in advance with your color preferences.

15. Do you publish a catalog?
Not other than for what is shown on the website. The website includes a sampling of different quantities, types of fish, types of finish and color combinations. WIth many thousands of skins in stock, many other combinations can be put together. There is a catalog summary page of the website offerings.

16. Do you ever participate at trade shows like Lineapelle or APLF?
No. Sea Leather Wear does not want to incur the manpower overhead associated with setting up and manning booths. For customers outside of Calgary, the closest we can get to being face to face is usually with Skype.

17. I am a fashion student in my senior year. I am making a collection of womens wear and am really interested in using fish leather. Would you sponsor my collection?
Thanks for the offer, but we maintain distributing swatches with our sampler packets, which include a whole skin and a purchase credit. It may be unfortunate news for Giorgio Armani, but if he decides to purchase our leather, he will be paying the same price as you.

18. We are wondering if you would share a basic method for tanning fish leather. No trade secrets wanted here. Just a basic method that would work for a few items like salmon and especially rough fish that just get tossed away here.
Sorry. But let us know if you can find out Colonel Sanders KFC 11 secret Herbs and Spices. Not because we will strike up a deal, but we just love their chicken.

19. We would like to be your exclusive distributor in Europe. Can we discuss it?
We do not operate with commissioned or territorial sales representatives. Purchasers can re-sell the skins if they choose to do so. The most exclusive representation can be acquired by purchasing the technology.

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