Eel skins are a bi-product of the fishing industry (sushi) and they have a fabric-like quality and are sold in sheets commonly referred to as panels. More than 70 small skins perfectly sewn together will create a true first grade eel panel. Eel has recently become very popular in European high fashion, which has lead to a steady increase in demand overseas and, to a lesser extent, domestically.
Eel Skin Uses
As the material is soft and stretchable, this flexibility makes it ideal for applications such as furniture upholstery, car upholstery, clothing & footwear. Eel skin panels are commercially produced in panels which are 2 feet by 5 feet or 10 square foot. They come in both matte and glossy finishes in many colors. Eel skin has a natural and luxurious appearance and feel. Current innovation has produced full aniline dyed, metallic finishes, pure white, as well as multi-colored panels.
Eel leather is 150 times stronger than typical cowhide leathers of the same thickness. Still, some designers and manufactures are worried that the thin nature of the skins and panels will produce weak or easily-tearable products. A common practice is to adhere or back their eel panels to cloth and or cow or pig skin. Some designers and manufactures complain of spots or bumbles when using adhesive. The best solution is to sparsely spray aerosol adhesive versus clumping large amounts of regular adhesive when backing or adhering to their indented surfaces.
Eels are fish. Many people mistakenly think eels are snakes because eels, like snakes, are legless. About the only thing eels have in common with snakes is that they are cold-blooded and of similar shape. Their bodies are slick and slimy to the touch and they live in the ocean and in some fresh water sources globally. Marine (saltwater) eels like the Moray Eel and the Conger Eel reach formidable sizes. These species are fierce by nature and are found in coral reefs.
Most other types of eels spend much of the lives in fresh water in Europe and Eastern America. The majority of them reach an adult length of three feet, although larger ones may reach five to six feet in length. Both European and American Eels leave their fresh water homes at spawning time in the autumn when they are ready to lay their eggs. Young eels appear sometime in the spring. They are so transparent, you could read this print through their bodies. During their second spring, when they are around a year old and three inches long, young eels return to fresh water.