Eel leather. Moose leather. Ostrich leather. Shark, snake, sheep…toad. If it once moved (whether on four legs or through the water) you can make some kind of tablet case out of it.
If you are looking for a case that is truly unique and that says ‘luxury ’ as soon as you feel it in your hands, then you might want to look into the growing field of exotic leather tablet cases.
Many upscale leather cases out there are handmade—in fact, nearly all of them are. While these cases may be quite a bit more expensive than your average under-$100 tablet case price range, they are worth it for the quality. Handmade leather cases often have reinforced stitching on the edges, giving most cases a nice detailed finish. In the end, it is not only a gorgeous product (if you are not a PETA supporter) but but also strong and long lasting.
One such case for the new iPad is the Padova Nuova made by Orbino, who are known for being a classy name in handmade, personalized leather products.
If you are not looking for something so expensive but like the leather look, there are also plenty genuine cow leather tablet cases .
While many of these handmade leather cases are truly one of a kind, make sure that you do not get caught out with a faux leather case when you’ve paid for genuine leather. In order to spot the crooks, look for natural imperfections on the leather pattern or take a close up look to see if you can see any pores in the material. Also, if the edges on your case are too clean cut then you might have a fake. Often handmade leather cases have a bit rougher edges from being cut.
Not all handmade leather cases have to be for designer fashion shows. Some case-makers out there, like Colsen Keane, have taken the rugged, lonely writer look with their “No. 510”.
This case looks ready for the Marlboro Man or like something you’d find on Hemingway in La Bodeguita.
Now, onto the real exotic stuff. Stingray leather is a common material in the exotic leather trade, having been used for centuries as decorative leather. In the past few years enjoyed a nice resurgence in popularity. Durable like cowhide or pig leather, they’ll usually last many years due to the natural properties of stingray leather.
Another highly durable and wonderfully patterned leather is snakeskin. Often tanned and crafted by artisans, these cases are flashy.
Want something even more exotic than plain old, run-of-the-mill snake? How about a case made from python:
Eel is another skin that pops up in luxury fashion items. I’ll expose my non-upper class roots here and just say that I was never aware of the fact that eel was a leather commodity. Smooth, beautiful, pinstriped and thicker than cowhide, this is certainly a talking point at parties.
Some Rules for Exotic Leather Care
If you are throwing in a bit of change for an exotic leather case, it is a good idea to follow these four simple ‘upkeep’ steps to make that case last for as long as possible.
- If you get the case wet, wipe it off and let it dry—so no funny business by putting your case into the dryer.
- Only use special leather-cleaning products to clean up your case. If you get some dirt on it, then a simple damp cloth can be used to wipe off the case.
- Do not leave leather case in direct sunlight or under direct heat for long periods of time.
- Top tip: pencil erasers can remove annoying scuff marks (at least make them a little less eye-catching).
Whatever your reason for getting an exotic leather case, it is good to know that it is not just about the flash and luxury. These cases also give you great textures, unique designs and long lasting materials. Truly one-of-a-kind.
Tablet Insight is a weekly column by Thomas Andersen that focuses on the innovative tablet uses and considers what is the most compatible and necessary tablet case.