About

At Alligator Florida we are passionate about quality, education, and conservation. The alligator used in our products is locally harvested by licensed trappers in strict accordance to the rules laid out by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). Florida Alligators, unlike Crocodiles, Caimans, and various other members of the crocodilian species often found in luxury goods, are not on the endangered species list, and Florida leads the world as a model for comprehensive conservation initiatives.

 

So, what’s in it for you…

All of our products are handmade, one at a time, exclusively for you, by Floridians. Your purchase will be unique throughout the world as no two can ever be exactly the same. Every skin used in our products can be traced, through its entire journey from harvest to you. Your alligator never leaves Florida until you choose to take it out. All of our skins are trapped locally, tanned in Sebring at one of the oldest and most respected tanneries in America (there are only 4 in the US and only 15 worldwide) then cut and fabricated by local artisans, one at a time by hand to exacting specifications.

We stand behind our products 100%. If something doesn’t exceed your expectations we will do whatever it takes to make it so. We don’t want you to be satisfied, we want you to be THRILLED!

We don’t use leather from endangered species, ever. If you’d like to learn more about why we use alligator skins exclusively,  understand why alligator is the best choice for exotic leather accessories, and how you can tell the difference between the different types of skins that look so very similar to the untrained eye, read on. 

Alligator leather is the highest quality luxury option in leather. Crocodile leather is another exotic leather option, though it is considered lower in the level of luxury and finesse when compared to alligator leather except for saltwater crocodile from the Pacific rim, which is considered equal to, but not better than, Florida alligator.
 
This difference is reflected in the pricing of the two varieties – alligator leather products command a significant premium over similar crocodile leather products. This fact, plus the higher quality of the alligator leather has encouraged certain unscrupulous sellers to pass off crocodile as alligator leather.
Alligator and crocodile are two different animals – even though they belong to the same reptilian order (this order also includes caimans, gharials and saltwater crocodiles). Here is a hierarchy of different leather types in this order, graded from the best downwards –
  • American Alligator
  • Saltwater crocodile
  • Freshwater crocodile
  • Caiman
It’s important for you the buyer to understand the difference between alligator leather and crocodile leather. It is only reasonable that when you pay for a genuine luxury product, you should get the real thing.
Identifying genuine alligator leather vs crocodile leather depends on the exclusive physical characteristics of each animal. These characteristics will help a buyer to distinguish between these two types with certainty.
 
TILE PATTERNS

Both alligator and crocodile leathers have immediately recognizable tile patterns – but closer examination will reveal the slight differences that can distinguish the two types. In alligator leather, the tiles are less uniform, with more natural scars. Even if the alligator leather is highly buffed, certain small, uneven lines will be visible at the base of the rectangles. The change from Tiles to flank is very abrupt for alligator Crocodile Skin Pore In crocodile leather, the tiles are more uniform – the pattern on one side of the belly is almost symmetrical to the other side. Also, each tile will have a small dot that will be often visible – a remnant of the hair follicle that was present there (This is an exclusive distinguishing characteristic of a crocodile). The change from Tiles to flank for crocodile is more transitional with large tiles giving way to smaller tiles before meeting the flanks.

BACK HORNS

The neck of all the crocodilian reptiles has a number of small ‘horns’ or bumps – a trained eye can decipher that they are arranged in a fixed pattern of rows which is exclusive to each animal – alligator, crocodile, and caiman. For an alligator, it is 2 rows of 2 horns each; for a crocodile, it is two rows with 4 and 2 horns each. This pattern will become discernible only in the ‘hornback cut’ – where the hide is cut to keep the neck pattern intact (as opposed to the belly cut).

UMBILICAL SCAR

Alligators and crocodiles both have umbilical scars – in different patterns. In alligator, the umbilical scar is an elongated webbed pattern nestled between the immediately recognizable rectangular tiles of the leather. Crocodile umbilical scar is more modest – not anywhere as elaborate as that of the alligator. Since this pattern is exclusive to alligators, its presence can conclusively establish the genuineness of a leather sample.

CAIMAN

The Caiman species is the least desirable of the leathers for several reasons. First, the skins are much smaller, making it more difficult to design without spicing hides together. They are also significantly more brittle than alligator, so if you were to bend the leather along the seam between the tiles you would immediately notice small cracks start to appear. Over time, those cracks will become tears and render the piece unusable. Finally,

Because alligator skins are softer and more flexible compared to caiman leather, this results in a more homogeneous and even distribution of dye in the coloring process. Dye on caiman skin shows up the natural wrinkles characterizing this leather and the color appears more blotchy and irregular when applied.


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