What is Ostrich Leather?
Ostrich Leather Skin
Ostriches are large flightless birds, that can run up to 45mph !! and the eggs are around 20 times the weight of a chicken egg, that’s very impressive.
The ostrich originally came from Africa, but the world has some very large birds like the Emu and the Rheas. The world’s largest flying bird is the Andean Condor its body is 4 feet and wingspan is 10.5 feet wide, it’s a rather impressive bird.
As well as the feet and legs the body of the ostrich is turned to leather, it’s one of the most distinctive leathers around with huge feather areas called quill follicles.
Ostrich Leg Leather
Commercial farming began in around 1850, but after WW1 this all collapsed as the demand fell for feathers for hats and military uniforms.
With diplomatic sanctions placed on South Africa exports for ostriches fell sharply, the ostrich leather was very popular in the 70’s and 80‘s practically in the USA for cowboy boots.
It wasn’t until the end of the apartheid in 1993 when the South African government started to export ostriches to allow people to have their own ranches for ostriches.
Klein Karoo are the largest producer of ostrich in the world today and have dominated the market ever since the company began. Klein karoo not only sell the eggs, the meat, but the leather, feathers and other ostrich leather goods. Klein Karoo leather can be purchased directly from Klein Karoo in South Africa.
The Klein Karoo tannery at Oudtshoorn, in South Africa is the largest producer of ostrich skin in the world, the range of skins from them is vast of over 400 different colours.
As well as ostrich leather Klein Karoo also supply crocodile leather.
Brands famous for using ostrich leather are Gucci, Hermes, Prada, Louis Vouitton, Loewe
Ostrich skin isn’t just a fashion item, its used in the automotive industry for car leather as well as the furniture industry.