Shagreen has been a favorite material of mine for quite some time. The texture is so smooth (yet bumpy) and lovely to touch. It’s not something that I get to have or spec often, as it is pretty expensive. However many companies are making faux-shagreen now to meet the trending demand.

Shagreen is a type of rawhide consisting of rough untanned skin, formerly made from a horse’s back or that of an onager (wild ass). Shagreen is now commonly made of the skins of sharks and rays.

The word derives from the French chagrin and is related to Italian zigrino and Venetian sagrin, derived from the Turkish sāğrī / çāğrī ‘rump of a horse’ or the prepared skin of this part. The roughness of its texture led to the French meaning of anxiety, vexation, embarrassment, or annoyance.” –  (more historical info here, and here)

A tad morbid, but here’s where it comes from:

Variations like this wallet pattern can also come from the Pearled Stingray (as seen below)

Here are some beautiful products made from real and faux shagreen: