Leather is one of the oldest crafting materials in the world; we’ve been making leather for countless centuries, and it remains as the world’s most favourite material for jackets, shoes, and other items. Not all leather, however, is born equal, and the grade of a piece of leather can mean a big difference when it comes to quality, durability, and price.
Higher end leathers are a bit more difficult to get a hold of, and would set the average consumer back quite a lot. But for those that want the very best leather in the world, there is none better than Shell Cordovan.
What Is Shell Cordovan?
Shell Cordovan is a grade of leather that’s considered the very best in the world, and is almost always used for making top quality shoes, and it’s officially the most expensive leather that money can buy.
One of the reasons for its high expense is due to the fact that the leather is procured from horses. Horse leather farms are extremely rare, and the process of making the leather itself from the hide is complicated, and takes decades of experience and skill to get right. In fact, the process of producing Shell Cordovan leather can take a total of six months to complete, many months longer than most other forms of leather.
What Makes It So Expensive
The extreme price of Shell Cordovan is due to the relatively low supply of the horse hide needed to make it, while the demand for it is very high. The breeding of horses for both leather and food is not done in most countries around the world, and almost all leather across the globe comes from cow hide.
Raising horses for food fell under controversy in the 1990s due to the meat not being treated properly and being unsafe for consumption, along with horses being viewed more as pets rather than food. For this reason, it’s quite rare to find a farm that raises and kills horses for their meat, and it’s what makes Shell Cordovan such a prized commodity for the rich and famous, and they’re the perfect shoes for the many ways to have a good time.
Along with this, viable horse hide tends to be quite small when taken from the animal, as it almost always needs to be taken from the rump. This means that even when a horse hide is being processed into leather, there is not a lot of material to work with, further lowering the overall supply.
There are a few reasons that Shell Cordovan leather tends to be more durable than many others. One of the main reasons is that the leather is made up of a membrane rather than the fibres found in lower grade leathers. This makes the leather much stronger over, reduces the wrinkles, and provides better moisture resistance. A pair of shoes that are made from Shell Cordovan leather can be expected to easily last an entire lifetime if properly maintained.