This one word with two syllables can evoke an imagery of sand-filled deserts like no other. Where sand dunes abound, water is scarce, vegetation still scarcer, and life is tough.
Camels, as you must already know, are built for this life. Over centuries of evolution, this animal has honed its body into the perfect desert machine - its feet, its eyes and ears, the hump on its back - every part of the animal’s body is adapted to withstand extremely harsh climatic conditions.
The skin of camel is also uniquely adapted to withstand tough conditions. A tough hide may be a desirable quality for many - it is a reality for the Camel!
And this is what makes camel leather so special!
When compared to cow hide, camel leather has 10 times the number of fibers every square centimeter. This makes camel leather remarkably tough and very durable. This strong leather does not, fortunately, come at the cost of beauty - camel leather is still quite supple and soft - and has a unique grain pattern that makes it instantly recognizable.
Colors - Not Only Camel
Camel lends its name to a color - and that is perhaps the “original” color of its leather. Yet, refinements in modern tanning techniques mean that you can find camel leather in almost every conceivable color that you can associate with leather. And also some colors that you would not usually associate with leather - including silver and golden!
Camel Leather Items
Camel leather is quite versatile in terms of items that can be fashioned out of it. Leather jackets, handbags, wallets, shoes, iPhone covers, utility items, car upholstery - you name it, and camel leather can be used for it. Furnishing is perhaps the only usage that camel leather can find a bit difficult to adapt to - given the nature of camel hides (they are smaller than cow hides, on an average).
Challenges Ahead - and Opportunities
Obviously, camel leather has properties that would make it perfect for several uses. Yet, it has remained well under the radar of most fashion houses - I have yet to come across any camel leather product from stables of the leading luminaries of this field.
While most leather lovers would call camel leather exotic, probably no one would associate it with luxury and prestige the way alligator leather or even stingray leather is. This conception can only be removed by a careful and sustained marketing campaign.