The Skin

Crocodylus porosus Skin

Crocodile skins are composed of a network of interconnected scales and osteoderms of various types and sizes. Not to be confused with alligator skin, Australian Crocodylus porosus skin commands a premium price above all other reptilian species because of a unique combination of two inherent features:

  • the natural beauty of the graduation in size and shape of the scale pattern
  • the flexibility of the tanned skins, which are immensely strong even when used in thicknesses of 1mm in thickness and matte tanned to the softest possible feel.

Although the supply of Crocodylus porosus skins has grown since the farming programme was first introduced, the numbers are still small in terms of total crocodilian skins available globally. The rarity of the natural resource determines that crocodile products will never be mass market, but di CROCO designs for everyday use so that clients can enjoy the maximum use of a stylish yet practical and durable material.

Hornback or Belly Skin?

As a material for use in the making of accessories, crocodile skin is near-perfect, providing a constant source of wonder – soft, yet incredibly tough and each with its own unique scale pattern.

The “belly skin” is the term given to that part of the skin which includes the entire underside of the crocodile’s belly, tail and chin. Smooth and flat, this is the most valuable piece of skin and is used for handbags, purses, wallets, dress belts and other accessories.

The “backstrap” is the piece of crocodile skin running down the spine of the animal from immediately behind the head to its tail, and includes four rows of raised osteoderms giving a very different look and feel. The di CROCO hornback belt range is made from this skin, as well as an outstandingly innovative range of handbags, wallets, pouches and jewellery.


Crocodile skin is very durable and should be used frequently. Hornback skin is more durable than belly skin due to the nature of the “scutes” or raised parts of the skin. However, all di CROCO accessories are luxury items and need to be treated with care. Keeping your accessory clean and free from dust, grime and perspiration will enhance its longevity. In most cases, buffing your accessory with a soft, clean, white cotton cloth or gloves will remove the grime. For sterling silver accessories, we recommend polishing with the cotton cloth or gloves without any silver polish, in order to avoid any damage of the skin by the silver polish.

We recommend that if your di CROCO matte finish item appears to be dry over time, you simply apply a neutral shoe leather cream (silicon free) to nourish the skin. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, applying small amounts and then buff off with a soft cloth, making sure to remove any excess. If the skin happens to become wet/in the case of moisture such as rain, wipe off the excess moisture with a soft cloth, allow it to dry naturally and then apply the neutral shoe cream and buff off as above.

Please contact us for any further information regarding glazed finish.


We tan the belly skin in either a matte (soft) or glazed (shiny) finish. Other finishes such as metallic finishes are additional processes after tanning. The skin quality is the same regardless of finish. During the tanning process, the skin’s natural pigmentation is bleached out, allowing the tanner to dye the skin any colour. Advancements in tanning techniques now allow us to offer matte finished skins that are extraordinarily soft and versatile, enabling them to be draped for use in garments and upholstery.

Within these finishes, belly skin accessories come in a range of colours. All colours have been developed with longevity in mind and with a subtlety that enduring fashion demands: the choice of matte versus glazed versus metallic finish is entirely one of personal preference. However, product designs have been modified to suit the appeal and characteristics of the various finishes. Handbags in the matte finish skin generally have a “softer” look, and while some models are only made in glazed finish, others are only in matte.

Backstraps have to be tanned separately to belly skin due to the nature of the “bone” in the skin. We have now developed a wide selection of colours in hornback including the very special “Sunrise White” pearlised finish.