The “Hornback Cut” of the skin features the bony back of the animal. Although bony inclusions are generally undesirable in alligator and crocodile skins, the bones of the back have a dramatic appearance and are featured in this cut, which demands proper tanning procedure: just enough decalcification to render the skin pliable, but not too much – or the bones will become flattened, and less appealing.
The upper part of the skin is taken from the back of the neck and torso and is featured in products ranging from lady’s handbags to footwear. Boot vamps are frequently cut so that the large scales that sit atop the neck, known as nuchal scales, are featured on the toe of the boot. The tail portion of a Hornback skin is also characterized by a dramatic arrangement of bony scutes. This part of the skin is also frequently used in footwear.