Choosing Safari or Polished Safari or Classic Finish

Alligator hides are dyed in almost every color. These colors are produced in two basic finishes or types of leather, Classic and Safari.

Classic finish is the smooth shiny patent leather look that, in the past, was considered to be the finest fashion quality alligator leather. This high gloss natural protein finish is usually burnished onto the surface of the skin with a glazing jack. One common source of the protein that is spread onto the surface is albumen or raw egg white. The glazing jack utilizes a hard-smooth object, usually an agate that is pulled over the protein covered surface at several pounds per square inch of pressure. The idea is to compress and smooth the surface in order to reflect as much light as possible thus producing a high gloss shine. The end result is a thin, smooth, high-gloss, hard, stiff piece of leather with a fragile surface coating that is difficult to bend without leaving small crinkles on the surface. These crinkles are not cracks but are small wrinkles that protrude and are caused when the stiff surface is stretched around a sharp bend. Since there is very little flexibility, the shiny surface cannot return to its original shape and the crinkles are the end result. The natural protein finish starts to dull from the first time it encounters abrasion or gets wet. This damage is usually irreversible. This finish is suitable for objects that do not get wet or are subjected to excessive stretching or abrasion. If weight is a factor, the thinner classic weighs less than one-half as much as the same square surface area of safari.

Our high-quality safari finish has a satin sheen. The soft leather and gloss on the surface is the result of a combination of oils, waxes and light, low speed, low pressure buffing. Since safari has not been compressed stretched and subjected to excessive pressure, the leather remains soft and supple and the surface retains most of the grain and irregularities that are found in other types of high quality leather. The safari leather can be bent at sharp angles and stretched somewhat, repeatedly with little or no signs of wear. The resilient surface absorbs some of the abrasion that would destroy classic leather. Since the color on the surface of safari is deeper and the surface is irregular, scratches cause less damage and are easier to repair. If safari gets wet, slow drying and the application of a quality leather conditioner and hand buffing will ordinarily restore its former softness and luster. Safari is suitable for any application that may call for high quality exotic leather. Safari is a relatively new finish and the informed casual dresser, as well as the young professional, has been progressing toward it for the past several years.

The latest addition to our alligator leather is the polished safari finish. Polished safari has all of the advantages of our regular safari but the shine is more intense and nearly as glossy as the classic finish. All colors with the exception of black are variegated and most of our customers that have seen this finish prefer it. I believe the polished safari will be the dominant finish of the future.  

On our Top Coat finishes, pigment is applied to the valleys of our Polished Safari Finish colors to add a little character. The most popular Top Coat is white applied to the valleys of our polished black safari which produces our distressed black.  Other colors and combinations are available when you call Brian @ (863) 858-6971 or view our Ultimate Custom or Build Your Own Alligator Belt page.

Why are we pointing out these qualities, weaknesses and differences?

We believe that an educated consumer has the ability to make better decisions for themselves and we try to supply the facts. We currently stock three finishes of alligator leather from three tanneries that produce high quality alligator for the fashion and western market. Hopefully, we will have products  that will accommodate your needs.