Pirarucu leather, hand-dyed crocodile, and organic conce: the latest eco-sustainable innovations from the prized



Among the latest innovations is the Pirarucu skin, a real opportunity for the world of Fashion.


"The Pirarucu is the largest freshwater fish in the world," explains Enrico Chiesa, general manager of Italhide. It is typical of the Amazon River and has a skin formed by 3-4 cm scales that give it a three-dimensional appearance. It is very resistant, but at the same time soft. As a result of regulations by Brazilian authorities, only local tribes in Amazon reserves can catch Pirarucu to feed themselves and sell it. This, in addition to providing a source of income for the tribes, has generated a virtuous system of protection for the species led to an increase in the amount of fish present by 427 percent, with an annual increase of 25 percent. The skins of caught fish, instead of being abandoned on the sides of lakes and near villages, becoming an unhealthy waste, are processed with a tanning process that is completely organic and free of harmful chemicals, nanoparticles, synthetic dyes and artificial fragrances."

Among Italhide's offerings is an innovative vegan and 100 percent deforestation-free product with characteristics similar to animal skin. "We are commercializing a biodegradable material composed of large tropical leaves, tanned in a totally organic way, which has a very distinctive aesthetic performance. We are currently proposing it for interior decoration and furniture, but we are studying a finish that equals the strength and durability performance of leather."


A lot of experimentation also goes into special conce and treatments to create out-of-the-ordinary leathers.
"With a Japanese company we process crocodile leather through a traditional natural Indigo leaf dyeing technique called Aizome, traditionally used to paint Samurai kimonos, which results in the characteristic denim blue color. Each piece is dyed by hand and the color is obtained by oxidation. Usually this technique is used with textiles, but we have been able to replicate it on fine leather with excellent results." The search for alternative tanning processes also continues in Italy, thanks to the partnership with White Line of San Miniato.


"Style, innovation and eco-sustainability are at the heart of the product research we are carrying out with White Line: we are experimenting with natural and vegetable tanning and dyeing systems. In addition, thanks to the new purification plant, we will recover 70 percent of the water from leather washing. As for fine leather, we have developed a special processing that allows us to shave crocodile leather to 0.4 mm, making it ideal for ultra-light clothing."

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