The classical "Belly Skin Cut" excludes the back and features the underside of the animal.It can be divided into three general areas: The throat, belly, and tail. Each section has a distinctive scale pattern and, depending on size, is useful for specific products. The "belly" is the largest piece of leather derived from and alligator or crocodile skin, this, along with its scale pattern, contributes to this portion of the skin being thought of as the "premium cut" of alligator and crocodile leather. The center of the belly has larger, generally rectangular scales. The sides of the belly, featuring smaller rounded scales, are referred to as the "flanks". The throat or head of the alligator skin provides
a beautiful piece of leather frequently used to
make wallets, small leathergoods and boot vamps. The tail portion of the "belly cut skin" is characterized by relatively uniform rectangular scales. Belts made from this portion of the skin are very popular, but leather from the tail can be used in a wide variety of products
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 nape, know 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.