A leather named “skiver”

What lies behind this rather unflattering and misleading name? A leather of course, and one with a number of very interesting qualities.

Better known for their wool, the sheep of New Zealand nevertheless leave behind their skin when they die, and it would be a shame not to use it. Large and thick, it is split to a 1mm thickness before undergoing either chrome, vegetable or mixed tanning. And while the flesh split becomes the famous chamois leather, the grain is transformed into skiver.

Skiver offers a number of interesting features, notably the fact that it is large and lightweight,” explains a representative of one of the world’s specialists in the material, the Italian tannery Conceria Conti. And even though it is less resistant than the leather of its competitors, such as goat leather, its price plays in its favour. ”We can overcome its relative fragility by bonding it to a textile,” notes our interviewee. Initially destined for book binding, it is now used to line shoes, suitcases and handbags. Rarely produced as suede, it is available in a nappa version and with all sorts of finishes. Redefining the term skiver, in fact!


2 skiver
3 skiver