Stingray leather has been known in the West for more than 200 years. Still, many shoppers ignore this extremely attractive and durable material for leather goods preferring well-known python, crocodile, ostrich, and other exotic leathers. If you haven’t yet discovered this fantastic material for yourself, you have been missing out on a great opportunity to flaunt accessories that mix exceptional beauty with mind-blowing sturdiness. Despite the seemingly stiff appearance, modern manufacturing technologies allow making stingray leather soft like suede while preserving its durability.
You can easily recognize wallets and belts made of the skin of a giant fish – they boast a spectacular pebble-like appearance as well as exquisite shine that appears as a result of careful polishing. The “quality mark” of any top-notch stingray accessory is an elongated silvery oval with pointed narrow sides (it is known as stingray eye) – it is a dorsal fin remnant. Designers try to put it in the most prominent place such as a wallet’s front panel. However, if you didn’t notice any distinction marks, you shouldn’t worry – stingray skin is huge and it is impossible to divide the eye among all the products crafted from it.
Designs and Colors
The color you see in this oval mark is the natural color of stingray skin. Although this skin can easily be dyed in any color, this particular part often remains tintless. In such a way, designers emphasize and show off its unique appearance.
Although stingray wallets are mostly known as products for females, there is a large number of unisex models. Those are produced in natural colors, printed in black and white waves that resemble a stingray movement in the water, or adorned with black, white and beige Burberry checkered patterns.
More often than not, stingray leather wallets feature inserts of smooth leather (normally, cowhide) around the perimeter that reinforces the edges. The same material is intended for constructing internal compartments. Sometimes, the interior may feature heavy-duty silky lining instead of leather. As for a fastener, stingray wallets feature clasp buttons or reinforced bag zipper. Internal compartments for change have their own snaps while cash pockets usually come with a zipper.
Stingray Wallets Decor
Because stingray leather is original on its own, it doesn’t require any hacks and gimmicks to attract attention. Still, there are a few clever ways to step up the appearance of a stingray leather wallet even further. Those include calf leather edging, printing, and appliqués of smooth skin on a wallet’s front panel. Vice versa, appliqués of stingray skin are often used to embellish cowhide leather wallets. They become a nice way to add a luxury touch to a product while keeping an affordable price.
You may often find other types of embellishment in high-end stingray wallets. For example, a silver snap button adorned with engraving, embossing, or precious gems can spruce up the look of any billfold. You can frequently see such decoration in so-called biker wallets – they simply cannot be simple and uninspiring even if being made of fabulous leather.
How to Tell Genuine Stingray Leather from Fakes?
Wallets made of stingray skin are fairly expensive. Together with an eye-catching appearance, these become a reason for counterfeits flooding the market. If you don’t want to pay a pretty penny for a knock-off, you need to know signs of real stingray leather.
So, normally stingray skin is pretty stiff. It features beads of different sizes and shapes. In the white eye area, those beads are noticeably larger. If you brush your palm against this leather, it is going to be smooth in one direction and rough in the opposite way. Stingray skin is difficult to pierce or puncture. If you try to twist or fold it, it makes distinctive crunch sounds as there are bone fragments inside.
If you have bought a stingray wallet and you have doubts regarding its authenticity, there is one surefire way to check whether it is real leather or not. So, take a lighter and bring it close to your product. If nothing happened then you have a 100% leather wallet. If material starts catching fire or it melts, you got a fake.
Stingray Leather Maintenance
Despite its delicate appearance, stingray leather is super durable and low-maintenance. You do not need to worry that moisture can damage your stingray wallet. Remember, stingrays are marine creatures so their skin is used to being in the water all the time. Nevertheless, if you leave your wallet in salty water for a long time, it might corrode the upper protective layer. So, if your leather product comes in contact with seawater, immediately rinse it and wipe it off with soft fabric. If you need deeper clean you can use soap but make sure to remove the residues and then dry the skin at room temperature.
It is not recommended to use industrial cleaning and polishing products as they affect the natural sheen of stingray skin. Once in a while, you may use conditioners with delicate formulas. Polishing wax is more likely to make stingray skin less shiny than it was before polishing.