About Eel Skin - FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Does Eel Skin Demagnetize Credit Cards?
- Are The Eels Killed Solely For Their Skins?
- How Do You Keep Your Prices So Low?
- What Makes Eel Skin So Special?
- How Do I Take Care Of My Eel Skin?
- Can I Get An Identically Matched Set Of Eel Skin Products?
Does Eel Skin Demagnetize Credit Cards?
Absolutely not! This is a myth that cropped up many years ago because of a feature of some of the best-selling eel skin wallets. Certain large manufacturers were using strong magnetic closures on their wallets and this did cause cards to be demagnetized. However, manufacturers no longer put strong magnetic closures on their products and scientific studies have proven that eel skin is completely inert and cannot affect credit cards in any way.
p.s. We do offer a magnetic money clip that has a very strong magnet and we therefore caution our customers to remember that the clip is for currency or paper (bills, notes, etc.) only and NOT credit cards.
Are The Eels Killed Solely For Their Skins?
No. The conger eels are raised on farms in South Korea where eels are a popular food and the skins are sold to Korean manufacturers. It’s a system that’s very similar to farming cows and pigs in the U.S. – we eat the meat and, instead of just throwing them away, we use the hides to make shoes, belts, etc. We at Big Island Kine are very sensitive to issues regarding the harvesting of animals used to make our products and buy directly from reputable manufacturers who obtain their material from farms.↑ back to top
How Do You Keep Your Prices So Low?
We buy directly from manufacturers in South Korea that this store has been doing business with for over 20 years. Because we buy directly from the factories and have the products shipped to our store in Hawaii, we don’t have to use a middle-man. And, because we buy in very large amounts, we can get a better price which we then pass on to our customers.↑ back to top
What Makes Eel Skin So Special?
Eel skin is such an attractive alternative to cowhide leather for so many reasons:
- It’s lightweight and very supple yet incredibly strong. Eel skin is 2-3 times stronger than regular leather of the same thickness and becomes even more supple with continued use.
- It’s beautiful. Eel skin wallets and purses have a wonderfully soft feel and a luster you just can’t get from cowhide. Typically, people who have tried an eel skin product never look at regular leather the same way and prefer to buy their wallets and purses in eel skin if at all possible.
- It’s unique. The look of eel skin is quite different from other leathers and instantly recognizable as an item of exceptional quality and beauty. Since all eels are slightly unique, each eel skin product will be as well. Wrinkles, tiny scars, bite marks, etc. are very subtle but serve to make your wallet, purse or accessory less “cookie-cutter” and a bit unique. No two eel skin items will be identical.
How Do I Take Care Of My Eel Skin?
Eel skin is fairly maintenance-free. However, to get the most from your eel skin item, it’s best to condition it from time to time with a colorless shoe wax. This restores a bit of the skin’s natural oils which makes the item both last longer and look even more lustrous than ever. However, this practice is not recommended for light-colored eel skin items (oyster, camel, pale pink) because the added oils tend to darken the pigment of the eel skin.
Here are a few tips if you get something on your eel skin item:
- Oil (grease, suntan oil, hand lotion, etc.): Apply rubber cement (available at any store that sells craft or school supplies) sparingly to the stain, let dry and then peel off. You may need to apply the rubber cement several times if the stain has set in. The sooner you apply the rubber cement treatments to the stain, the easier it is to remove. Very stubborn stains can take up to 15 applications, but should still come out – don’t give up!
- Liquids: If you get water on your eel skin, don’t worry. It will darken the wallet or purse but will return to normal as it dries. Never rub eel skin when it’s wet, just allow it to dry naturally. If you get soda or some other type of liquid on your eel skin, splash clean water on the stain to thoroughly rinse it out of the leather. You can soak up the excess water by blotting with a paper towel or soft clean cloth, but don’t rub or stretch the eel skin. Let dry naturally (usually overnight is best) and your item should be good as new.
- Ink: For ball point pen ink, try gently rubbing the mark off with a clean finger. If that doesn’t work, try a pencil eraser and gently erase the mark from your eel skin. It’s best to try to erase the ball point pen ink marks as soon as possible. There’s not much to be done for permanent ink (gel ink, Sharpies, etc.), so be very careful when using these around your eel skin.
Can I Get An Identically Matched Set Of Eel Skin Products?
Well, not “identical”. Because the eels themselves are never identical, neither will be the eel skin products. Differences in dye-uptake, separate dye batches, individual hand-stitching and unique markings on the eel skin itself will ensure that the natural beauty of the eel skin leather comes through and no two items will be identical. However, we at Big Island Kine take great care in matching up our items, so that if a customer orders multiple items in the same color (e.g. a #119 Hobo Bag and a #3 Large French Wallet, both in wine), we carefully screen our stock to find the best matching sets so that our eel skin products look beautiful together as well as on their own.↑ back to top