Snakeskin: not just a question of luxury

Snake skin handbagsMany people tend to associate the word “snake” with the idea of risk and danger – the danger we’d experience if attacked by the venomous bite of the animal – but, at the same time it is also linked to the concept of elegance and wisdom.

The capture of reptiles is one of the oldest activities undertaken by the inhabitants of South-East Asia, given that in these areas, there are an enormous number of different species of reptiles. Since ancient times, local tanners worked on leathers from different kinds of snakes, creating an unusually beautiful product. Python leather has come to conquer an entirely relevant place in the workmanship of these items.

Thanks to the impressive dimensions of this “crawling giant” (which can even reach 11 meters in length), snakeskin production from this species was considered most efficient.

On the other hand, currently more and more leather from smaller snakes, such as cobra, elapid and acrochordus, is used.  But still today, as in the past, handbags and accessories made of python skin are always the most beautiful and practical.

In fact, python leather has an unbelievable elasticity, combined with a really unique design and consistency. In Nature, there are no two identical designs of snake leather. That means that, there cannot be two identical products. Very often designers creating models of bags from this leather, consider the addition of any further decoration superfluous, because the skin itself is a decoration. But, even combined with other materials or enriched by rhinestones and pearls, buckles and zippers, the handbag is no less attractive.

Python handbag - Luxury red clutch by Gleni

Nobody wonders that many fashion designers use python leather, as shown at the latest International fashion weeks. Designers, such as Valentino, Chloe, Bulgari, Fendi, presenting their latest collections, underline how bags made of genuine python skin are considered a Must for the 2011-2012 fashion season.

Only a couple of decades ago, a handbag made of real python leather was a luxury and inaccessible accessory, which many women could only admire in the shop windows of boutiques and salons. And the lucky owner of such an expensive handbag certainly preferred using it only as an evening accessory.

Nowadays, these items, even though still extremely luxurious, have become more accessible in price and a perfect complement for the day look.

A boom in the “snake print” trend is expected but fashion experts advise not to go over the top with it. A genuine python leather bag shouldn’t be used as an accessory to finish off a head-to-toe python look. it should rather be the final touch to  a strictly solid colour outfit.

Speaking of practicality, python leather, despite its softness and the elasticity, is also more resilient and structured than calf or pigskin.

We can say that the best tanning is attributed to Italian masters. In Italy, and, more properly in Florence, there is a concentration of many tanneries, where the production of snake leather has reached a high level of excellence. For centuries the Italians have been famous for their skill and gifts in many different crafts. The production of handbags and other snakeskin accessories is no exception.  An important factor is that every handbag is hand-made and has a unique look. Particular importance is given to the colour of the snakeskin. Italian masters have preserved their secrets over the centuries and pass them on only to their successors.

There are a number of animal activists who quite rightly criticise the brutal extermination of such animals in the wild. However, you have to consider that conscientious producers only sell leather products according to the laws established in 1973 at the Washington International Congress regulating the trade in rare animals. In particular, the python used by such producers is not caught in the wild, but farmed by specialized firms.

A few years ago, it was almost impossible for a women from outside Europe to buy a truely  Italian bag in real python leather. Lucky for us, it is now possible to buy such products on the Internet, which are then delivered accompanied by all the Cites documents necessary for customs clearance, in order to avoid any relevant risk. The only thing you have to do is to pick out your favourite item from all those available in the many catalogues and order it. Our mothers and grandmothers couldn’t even imagine that!Classic python handbag

 According to eastern teachings, the snake is the symbol of life, wisdom and deep knowledge of the surrounding environment, as well as a symbol of the feminine beauty.

So, let your python leather bag become a real talisman for a happy and quiet life!


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