How Are Snakeskin Bags Made?

How Are Snakeskin Bags Made?

Ever wondered what makes a genuine snakeskin bag so expensive? And why has snakeskin fashion become so popular? Besides the price, are the snakeskin accessories cruelty free? Where does the snakeskin come from? Moreover, how are authentic snakeskin bags made?

My name is James Adams. I am an experienced fashion designer and also a correspondent of the Snake Store® Research Team. In addition to the current popularity, snakes have always been one of my favorite patterns and a motif in many of my designs. Modern fashion designers are facing an ethical battle between animal rights and beauty aesthetics. And which one do I choose? I will take you through a journey behind the backstage of snakeskin bag production and let you answer the question yourself.

The production of snakeskin bags starts with the snake farms and skinning stations. The skin is peeled and then treated with sun drying and tanning processes. Later the leather is hand rolled for import to fashion brand workshops, or stored and used to craft exotic leather bags in the in-house facilities.

This article provides a detailed insight on:

  • A look at snake skin fashion as a 2020s motif
  • Behind the scenes of snakeskin production
  • Crafting genuine snake leather into exotic snakeskin bags
  • Discussing alternatives to snake leather

Are you ready to learn how exactly a snake bag is manufactured? Let’s dive in;

Woman with snake bag

1- SnakeSkin; A Resurfacing Fashion Icon

Having a glimpse at the luxury stores, you can see that snakeskin is making a comeback into fashionable accessories. While some brands are not taking a part of cruelty anymore and use faux alternatives, others remain traditional and source out their material from genuine leather distributors. Wondering who is making the snakeskin fashion popular again?

a) Celebrity Choices Translated into Mainstream Fashion

Several fashion designers are looking back for inspiration. Retro designs are reappearing in all areas of styling, whether it is vintage cut dresses, 60s inspired beachwear, or snakeskin accessories; runaway shows are beaming with thrown-back fashion. 

At the same time, several celebrities are photographed with old school snakeskin bags or boots on and off their performances. These influences have found their way to TV and screen of cinema as well as fashion magazines, which all joined to popularize the snakeskin fashion once again in the 2020s.

Snake bag fashion

b) The Timeless Aesthetics of the Snakeskin Patterns

Another reason for the ever trendy look of snakeskin bags and accessories is rooted in the aesthetics of its patterns. From a stylistic point of view, a snakeskin is one of nature’s masterworks; it includes both geometry, fluidity, and color harmony. Any design with these characteristics is considered an archetypal, which means that it never goes out of style.

Snake Crossbody Bag  Despite being genuine snakeskin or not, what could ever compete with the beauty of a cobra print, as shown in this Wild Cobra Hobo Bag?


Snakeskin has become a fashion motif and is likely to hold its place among the hot trends throughout the 2020s. Fashion designers, media highlights and its classic style, keep the snakeskin handbags in the spotlight of la moda. But hold on! Before buying one of these glamours, let’s have a look at the manufacturing process of snakeskin bags. 

2- Snakeskin’s Journey From the Wild to Luxurious Handbags

    The iconic beauty of the snakeskin must have caught your attention while checking out the new trends in magazines or perhaps worn by your favorite celebrity, or you may have come across it in a high-end boutique window. In case you are wondering if this fashion is for you or not, learn about the behind the scenes of making a snakeskin bag before making a final decision. 

    a) Sourcing out the Snakehide

    With the exotic look of snakeskin bags, people often forget to question how these accessories are made! 

    Snakes shed their skin during the seasonal molting process, what is left behind is too thin and fragile to create any accessories other than framed or resin-molded jewelries. To make a bag, genuine snakeskin is used which requires skinning the snakes

    While some of these reptiles are raised in ethical farms, most of them are poached from wild jungles in order to make up for the high demand in the snakeskin market. Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and other Asian countries are the most suppliers of curated snakeskin or already made accessories. One of the most popular bag prints belongs to the reticulated python, a native species to South Asian countries- and surprisingly a popular ingredient in Thai cuisine

    Green boa

    b) Processing and Tanning of Snake Leather

    Whether from farms or the wilderness, snakes are caught and then transferred to processing chambers. Most of the time they are killed before the process starts. The reptile’s flesh is sodden with surplus amounts of water using hose insertions through the mouth. So the body gets inflated and the skinning process becomes easy. 

    The peeled skin then is sun dried on racks and then tanned using chemical or natural substances. After the curating, the leather sheets are either cut on spot for in-house manufacturing processes, or sent to foreign countries. Most of the buyers are from fashion designers and branded outlets.

    Blue snakeskin

    c) Crafting a Snakeskin Bag

    After curing the leather, the hand rolled pieces are then turned to handbags and other accessories. The process requires much diligence and care and is often performed by skillful craft masters. Unlike the cow or goat leather, snakeskin is highly fragile and a moment of distraction can end up in a rapture. 

    Damaged and torn leather pieces are either discarded or used to create tinier accessories; the smaller snakeskin, the lower the profit. This is especially true for the first line producers in native countries. European made and branded goods are sold at much higher prices, when compared to Asia-based manufacturers. 

    Reticulated python

    Understanding the process of making a snakeskin bag is a shocking one, in contrast with other leather goods. Besides the cruelty involved in killing and skinning processes, considerable sums of this leather are obtained from protected species, causing much concern for the wildlife conservation establishments.

    Although the human mind and its ceaseless efforts has discovered alternative ways to enjoy serpentine beauty without having to kill snakes! Read on to learn more about snakeskin and its valid replacements. 

    Black Snakeskin

    3- Snakeskin and Cruelty-Free Alternatives Sources 

      From the tropical heart of Asian countries, a snakeskin bag usually has traveled a long way before reaching into your hands. Although these leather bags are exceptionally beautiful, the unpleasantness to the snakeskin production should not be the reason for their elimination out of fashion. 

      a) Assisting the Conservation of Snakes

      Much of the snake leather available in the market in the U.S. and EU is sourced from illegal importers. It means they have been derived from poached snakes, endangered species and unsupervised establishments that could use inhumane methods to peel the snakes. 

      Occasionally snakes are alive during the process; an act that has raised many apprehensions of the animal rights activists. In some countries, snakeskin production is legal although the law requires these manufactures to follow humane methods. However, due to several black market resources and lack of supervision, these exotic creatures are often subjected to inhumane conditions or endangerment. 

      Faux leather snake bag

      b) Alternative Manufacture of Genuine Snakeskin Bags

      While environmental concerns are constantly on an increase, the forward-thinking establishments are seeking alternative ways to reduce their product’s environmental footprints.  

      When it comes to snakeskin, fashion brands have adapted two approaches; start their own ethical snake farms as Gucci has done, or substitute genuine snakeskin with vegan leather or cow and calf alternatives such as the Snake Store®

      With today’s significant advancement in technology, the snake patterned faux leather presents nearly identical features to the original snakeskin- and in most cases, only a leather expert can tell the difference!

      They include a textured pattern for a three-dimensional illustration of the scales and portray the same shimmer of a snake. Not only a cruelty-free source, the faux alternatives are on the affordable side of the market. They have other advantages as well such as durability compared to a genuine snakeskin bag and lower maintenance. While a genuine snakeskin bag is expensive, requires constant waxing and even if it is maintained at the best condition, the scales begin to point outwards and lose the initial glamour by aging.

      Beautiful reticulated python

      Choosing between traditional snakeskin sources or its cruelty-free alternative is more than a personal choice. It is an indirect contribution to the animal’s welfare, while you can still enjoy the wild look of a snakeskin handbag like our Bright Spirit clutch bag, which is both elegant and environmentally conscious. 

      4- The Line Between Fashion and Ethics

      If you are also a part of the trend follower clan, then snakeskin must be on your list of favorites. By comprehending the truth behind production of snakeskin- from live snakes, to skinning and curing the leather, you are aware of how exactly a snakeskin bag is made.

      Although you can look fashionable and yet cruelty free by choosing from snake bag fashion alternatives, such as free range cows’ hide or even vegan and synthetic leather imitation.

      Are you looking for an elegant snake bag without compromising your ethics? Snake Bags Collection offers must-have editions, including from retro silhouettes to modern carryalls all with a hint of snake motifs. We do not encourage genuine snakeskin and instead promote their much durable and exquisitely crafted alternatives. 

      Snake Bags

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