Why are ostriches so special?
What is Karoo Classics all about?
We stock the largest selection of Ostrich and Mohair products in the world
Yes, you read that correctly - we have the most extensive offering of ostrich leather products, not only in South Africa - but globally! We are in love with the charm and characteristics of exotic leather and we take great pride in offering quality service in line with superior craftmanship. For almost 20 years, we have been selling high quality, proudly South African products to our customers. Now, in 2021, we are blessed and fortunate to have survived the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic and although it’s not over yet, we believe that we have the resilience to continue doing what we do best – making and selling gorgeous ostrich leather handbags!
Ostriches are proudly African
The common ostrich (Scientific name: Struthio Camelus) is remarkably known for its many unique character traits. A very long time ago, the common ostrich could only be spotted out in the wild African bushveld. Ostriches are famously known as Africa’s largest flightless birds. Ostriches (related to emus and kiwis) lay the largest eggs of any living land animal. These fluffy feathered birds have the ability to run at an astonishing speed of 70km/h, awarding them another record being the fastest birds to live on land. Ostriches are indeed quite a remarkable species, aren’t they?
Ostrich farming originated in South Africa in the 1860s, sparking the Australian ostrich farming economy in the 1870s and later becoming a global trend in the mid- to late 1900s. The initial ostrich boom was largely owing to the high demand for the feathers. Historically, they were used as decoration in homes and largely for ladies fashion. Statement hats, feather boas and lavish fashionable attire were all the rage. Nowadays, ostrich feathers are still used in fashion on handbags, runway dresses and boas but they are also utilised for bright and fabulous festivals across the world (think Mardi Gras). These super weightless and fluffy feathers are not only sold for aesthetic purposes but functional too- used in almost every household as feather dusters (available in-store).
In modern times, ostriches are now farmed worldwide. No longer solely for their feathers however, but rather largely for their skin. Ostrich skin is used for the manufacture of ostrich leather products, ranging from handbags to belts, wallets and purses. We deem this to be the core component of our business- quality, handcrafted, fashionable and durable ostrich leather products. Ostrich leather as a rule is the second strongest leather on the market (Kangaroo leather being the toughest). It is thin but soft to the touch and will last for many years without wearing through. The leather is unique looking with the quill visible on the leather, as this is where the feather once was, giving the leather a polka dot effect. It does not stop there though. The ostrich shin leather has become increasingly popular in fashion. Many people initially think that it might be python, but are pleasantly surprised when they are informed that it is the shin of the ostrich. This is often used to give a beautifully vibrant and glossy finish (alternatively matte) that turns heads on any product. Ostrich shin is equally as unique as the traditional ostrich leather we have all come to love.
Ostrich eggshells are used as decoration and have also become a popular to make jewellery from. The meat of the ostrich is incredibly popular as it is exceptionally lean and healthy, not to mention full of flavour. It is therefore safe to say that the ostrich is an incredibly versatile animal.
In South Africa, our Ostrich farms are specifically located in the dry Karoo areas between the Eastern and Western Cape. There are a large number of farms concentrated in and around a town called Oudtshoorn in the ‘Klein Karoo’. Oudtshoorn is popularly known as the ostrich capital of the world. When the travel bans are finally lifted, why not take a trip out to Oudtshoorn after stopping in at our store, to see how the birds thrive in the dry Karoo climate.
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