Fish Skin and Exotic Leathers

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J. Alla
G. Ramanathan
N. Nishad Fathima
T. Uma
J. Raghava Rao


Exotic leathers are favoured due to their appearance, uniquenatural pattern and strength properties. The use of exoticleathers from different animal sources has increased the demandin the leather market for various applications. Processing ofthese skins require a non-conventional approach in order topreserve the natural characteristics of the skin after convertinginto leather. The present work exploits a new raw material sourcefor its utilization as exotic leather. An exceptional variety of starpuffer fish was keyed out from Indian Ocean coast. Leathermade out of this skin was unique from most of the exoticleathers. Unlike other fishes, skin surface morphology of thisspecies is covered with calcified spines. These spines are alignedon dorsal and ventral sides. When they are converted intoleather, spines get firmly anchored onto collagen matrix likecaltrops. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) served as a toolto relate structural morphology of the leather and spinecomposition was analyzed using Energy-Dispersive X-rayspectroscopy (EDX). The developed exotic leather exhibitedbetter mechanical properties and finds application in makinghigh grip articles, therapeutic footwear and other niche products.

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