Frequently Asked Questions

General

1. Where did 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 a larger quantity. Can you fill this?
15. Do you publish a catalog?
16. Do you ever participate at trade shows like Lineapelle or APLF?
17. We would like to be your exclusive distributor in Europe. Can we discuss it?


1. Where did you get the skins from?


    Some fish were easy to catch and some not so much ;). The skins came from canning fisheries worldwide. They were 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. Our friends, Meeka and Milo, agree.

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 was taking 6 weeks. This process includes fleshing, descaling, preserving, tanning, dying, drying, softening and refinishing.

7. What is glazing?

    Glazing is a specialized 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 and scotch-gardable.

8. How many people make fish leather?

    Many others have tried to make fish skins into leather, and few have succeeded. We were able to take out fish oils, and substitute chemical oil, leaving no odor.

9. How many species of fish do you use?

    We had made leather products with 21 different species of fish, carp being the most popular, because it makes the largest patterns. Current offerings are carp, perch, salmon and sea bass.

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 and 10 skin samplers can be divided into color combinations of your choice. Add comments to your online order specifying this. Larger quantities may also be divided into a color mix.

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 a larger quantity. 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 has a representation 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.

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, a Zoom call can be arranged by specifying your interests in advance.

17. 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.