Why Do You Think Alligator Leather is Most Sought After in The Motorcycle Industry!
There are many reasons why American alligator leather is ideal for custom-made motorcycle seats. Here are some of them:
#1: Generous working area
Alligators can grow to several meters when they reach maturity. Therefore, they provide large skins which can easily complete a small project such as a bike seat cover with minimal cutting and sewing. The belly square cut of an average alligator used for seats is about 25″ x 25″. The tail can be as long as 60 inches and 20 inches wide.
Furthermore, having different textures and patterns on the alligator skin allows you to experiment with designs, enabling you to come up with a unique seat cover.
#2: Why people go for the looks
The large wild alligator looks rough and tough. This appearance makes the alligator skin a perfect high-fashion material for motorbike seats for bikers with an attitude to match. The riding community is the embodiment of edge and masculinity, and the gator’s skin is the perfect mascot.
#3: The body, skin texture is predefined
With motorcycles, appearance is a crucial element of the lifestyle. Top of the agenda for bikers is the reputation and the look of strength and toughness. These are qualities that alligator skin possesses in the extreme.
#4: Global style
Because alligators are native to America, customizing your bike seat cover with an alligator skin makes the motorbike to appear more American. It promotes the pride of owning an American motorcycle improved with an exclusive American exotic skin; making you the All-American rider.
#5: Regularity and Slick
You would like to be on the open road as long as possible, while still being comfortable. Unsurprisingly, the bike seat plays a crucial role in determining whether you will have a comfortable trip. The seat cover material should serve two purposes; make sure you are as comfortable as possible and provide just enough traction just in case the ride gets a little bumpy.
The alligator’s skin grants you all the comfort you need since it is smooth, soft and flexible. If your seat is properly cushioned, you can ride for hours on end in comfort and not have to change seat covers.
That aside, working with alligator leather is straightforward. The softness allows you to cut it perfectly and to sew without breaking or bending your needles. The flexibility plays a significant role in shaping the seat cover and ensuring that it remains in the desired form. You will appreciate the softness of the cover for, if nothing else, ease of cleaning.
With proper care, an alligator skin lasts for many years without getting damaged. Alligator skin is incredibly supple and durable. Not only does it maintain its look, but it fares rather well against the elements.
You can consult your dealer to recommend a suitable conditioner for your motorcycle seat to increase its longevity. If you have to apply any products, it is advisable to experiment them on leftover leather pieces and evaluate the results to avoid ruining your seat cover.
#7: Dye Absorption
The skin of an alligator readily absorbs dyes. Like other exotic leathers, the alligator skin’s ability to absorb dye makes it a top find for the biker with an eye for more color. You can experiment different shades and hues on the leather and come up with an intricate finish which you are less likely to find with other leathers.
Alligator skin motorcycle seats are unique and prestigious. These properties make your bike irresistible to riders. Due to the skin’s ability to balance elegance, comfort, and durability, the leather outdoes many of the other materials designers have ever used to make motorbike seats.
How Do You Tan American Crocodile Leather?
To achieve the high-quality American crocodile skin (also known as acutus crocodile) needed for high-fashion, the skins must go through a process called tanning. Tanning an exotic skin is the crucial process in the transition of raw skin into leather. Without this, the skins are susceptible to bacterial growth and decomposition.
The steps in tanning are extensive but highly necessary. The process in our Bogota tannery involves:
- Dry salting the hide as a preservative measure
- Beam-house operations
- Soaking skin (to clean)
- Liming for descaling
- De-liming to raise acidity
- Pickling (to soften)
- Chrome tanning to convert organic material into inorganic material
- Shaving to thin and degrease leather
- Bleaching to remove the natural markings and achieve one uniform color throughout the crocodile skin
- Re-tanning to re-soften the leather for manufacturing of finished products
- Drying (hang-dry or toggle dry)
- Dry cleaning to further de-grease
- Shaving to prepare the leather for the product (garments require thinner skins that handbags or footwear)
Finishing to seal and apply final look and feel
#1. Beginning Steps
The crocodile skin is delivered from the suppliers having been already salted to remove the moisture and preserve the skin until we start our process. At this time, the hides are highly susceptible to the elements. The first step in the tanning process is soaking, which is where we rinse the salt and dirt off the skins, so they go into the drums nice and clean.
#2. The Tanning Process
Once rinsed, a liming process to remove the scales, nails, mucins and natural greases/fats found on the skin. This process also helps to split the fibers to make the collagen in the skin workable. Then de-lime the hide to raise the acidity that is lowered from the liming step.
The exotic hide is then “pickled” in an acidic bath to break down any bone and calcium in the skin to allow the material to be more pliable. Since the acutus has no bone, pickling is a very short process to soften the skin. After this is a chrome bath that makes the hide durable and no longer susceptible to the elements.
At this point, shaving the skins down so that the chrome seeps in deeply and evenly, plus it removes the weight from the skin so the subsequent processes consume fewer chemicals. The crocodile skins are then bleached to remove the natural markings, so they are all one uniform base color prior to dyeing.
Now, the skins can be stored on the shelf until we receive orders for specific colors.
#3. Final Touches
The acutus crocodile skin is re-tanned with vegetable-based products so that the toughened skin from the initial tanning process is made supple again. Skins were used for garments needs to be re-tanned and shaved softer and thinner than skins that are used for other products. The crocodile skin is then either hang-dried or toggled by a special oven that evaporates the remaining water and removes moisture.
The leather is then dyed, shaved to the specific thickness needed for the application, and finished off with protective coatings to have the leather look (glazed, matte, suede, metallic, etc.) and feel (oily, silky, waxy, sturdy) a certain way, and be further protected from the elements. Once these steps are completed, the crocodile skins are ready to be manufactured into finished products, like handbags, garments, shoes, etc.
The tanning process is the place where the magic happens to provide you with the crocodile skin needed for all your leather projects. There are many challenges in making an exotic leather garment for high-fashion clientele. First, you usually want to minimize paneling, so you need a large skin. Second, the leather needs to be soft and flexible so it’s comfortable to wear. Flexibility also helps to minimize the appearance of crease or stretch marks in the skin where it bends and folds around the body. Finally, the look of the skin needs to be distinctive enough to make it stand out from garments made from common bovine products.