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  1. #1
    \(^.^)/ Jennifer's Avatar
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    Default Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag


    Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag
    So you want to know what you are getting for your hard earned cash?? Published in The Atlanta Journal a couple days ago, it’s the transformation process at the popular Griffin tannery of raw alligator skin before it's shipped off to dress up a designer handbag.


    1. Raw, salt-cured skins arrive at the Griffin tannery on a refrigerated truck.


    2. Skins are measured by length and width then graded. Grade 1 skins are the highest in value, Grade 5 the lowest. Defects are noted, and the skins are separated into similar size groups for processing.


    3. Graded skins are placed in a tank filled with water and chemicals. Then they undergo another process to remove the scaly epidermal layer, followed by a "pickling bath" to adjust the pH level. These steps take seven to 10 days.


    4. The skins go into a large stainless steel drum filled with a mineral tanning substance called "chrome." Over a three- to four-day period, they are converted into leather that has a blue-gray color, known in the tanning industry as "wet blue." To ensure softness and durability, skins remain wet blue for two to four weeks.


    5. After the skins are removed from the tanning drum, they are "shaved" to a uniform thickness — specific to each skin's size — by a machinist operating a high-speed rotating blade. Each skin is checked after this step to ensure the company's quality standards.


    6. Skins undergo a retanning process. Over a period of three days, natural markings are removed, and vital oils and tanning extracts are added to further enhance the final product. Once the skins are removed from the tanning drum, they are hung to dry. It takes one to three months for the skins to become "crusted" stock. Then they are regraded, measured and moved to the stockroom until a designer or manufacturer buys the skins.


    7. Stored skin is dyed and finished according to the customer's size, grade and color preferences. Skins return to the tanning drum in a mix of dyes and oils. After they've been dyed, skins get reshaved to a final thickness. While the skins are still wet, workers stretch and tack them into shape on wooden tables.


    8. Once dry, the skin surface is hand-sprayed with a finishing chemical. The type of chemical determines if the skin will have a satin finish or a patent sheen, which most designers prefer for their alligator and crocodile bags. Skins are "glazed" or polished to a high shine with an agate stone. It's a process that can take 30 minutes to one hour, depending on the skin's size.


    9. Skins are transported into a large humidity- and temperature-controlled cabinet for about 30 minutes. The heat gives them a "bombee" or plumped effect.


    10. Finally, skins are moved to a stockroom, where they are graded and measured one more time before they are shipped to clients or stored.


    In the case above... the raw alligator skin went to Oscar de la Renta, where it dressed up one of their fall handbags - which carried a retail of $15,500.

  2. #2
    Rising Bag Star
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    That was a really interesting read. I'm totally grossed out by the "pickling bath" though, I may never be able to eat another pickle =P

  3. #3
    ♥'s RM Jess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    Wow, no wonder it is so expensive!

  4. #4
    *The TBF Elite* Maeveyblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    As much as I don't like alligators, I feel bad thinking how many of those guys it takes for one bag.
    Thinking of...
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  5. #5
    Vintage Lover lilstrlett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    Poor babies!!
    Mrs. Lawson
    7-16-11

  6. #6
    Moderator/Blogger VivaLaJuicy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    Hmm... poor gators...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    Yeah, poor gators. I'm don't like it when animals are killed just for their skin--vs. animals slaughtered for the meat whose skins are then used to make leather goods. For example, the ostrich, which I read is bred and killed for the skin to make handbags. Leather is a tough issue for me because I've been a vegetarian for 18 years and, on top of that, I'm absolutely crazy about animals , so I can't stand animal cruetly of any kind. I don't own anything made of gators, snakes, ostriches (and I'm not judging anyone who does, btw), just leather from cattle. But how do I know under what conditions the cattle were killed? This bothers me sometimes.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
    Vintage Lover lilstrlett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    Gizmo that sounds exactly like me! I'm with you on that one!
    Mrs. Lawson
    7-16-11

  9. #9
    Official Bagista Jiezell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    I feel bad for those alligators, now I know why those bags are so expensive, thanks to this article.

  10. #10
    Rising Bag Star
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    Great article!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    Wow, but I am not fond of Alligator bags.

  12. #12
    ♥ Moderator ♥ Zombiegirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    That is a very interesting article. I never realized how much went into that whole process.
    I would love to have an exotic bag like croc or ostrich!!
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  13. #13
    Rising Bag Star xxrachxx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    Yeh me too, I acually really like the look of croc and ostrich bags. I do agree that it is not necessarily the p.c thing to carry, but on the other hand it is the same principle as leather from cows, and some people do still eat croc and ostrich.

  14. #14
    Ilovebags violaceous's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    .. but aren't alligators endangered?

  15. #15
    Fashionista lrc123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformation: Raw Alligator to Oscar de la Renta Designer Bag

    *Whistles* No wonder those bags are so expensive. Amazing all the work, time and effort that goes into the process. Now when i look at a bag made with an exotic skin, i will have a new appreciation for it. ^The American Alligator isn't, but the Chinese Alligator is listed as threatened.
    Us girls we are so magical, soft skin, red lips, so kissable.

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