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What Are the Different Uses for Rattlesnake Skin?

Christina Edwards
Christina Edwards

Rattlesnake skin is sometimes used for clothing and accessories. Boots, hats, and purses are sometimes made from the skins of these reptiles, for instance. The end of this snake's tail, known as the rattle, is also used by some jewelry makers and musicians. Rattlesnakes are typically farmed for their skins and meat, especially in certain parts of North and South America. After the skin is removed, it is typically cleaned and tanned before being used.

Boots, particularly cowboy boots, are sometimes made from rattlesnake skin. They are considered both exotic and beautiful. A hefty price tag will usually accompany genuine snake skin boots, though.

A Northern Pacific rattlesnake.
A Northern Pacific rattlesnake.

Rattlesnake skins may also be used to create hats. Some cowboy hats may be created completely from rattlesnake skin. Others may just have a hat band made from a strip of rattlesnake skin. This snake skin can be used to adorn other types of hats as well, such as fedoras or baseball hats.

Fashionable accessories may also be made from rattlesnake skin. Belts, for instance, may be made from this animal's skin. One large rattlesnake will usually have enough skin for a single wide belt. If the snake is large enough, it may be used to produce two skinnier belts.

Some jewelry makers use rattlesnake skin.
Some jewelry makers use rattlesnake skin.

Purses and wallets may also be made from rattlesnake skin. One snake may be used to create a couple wallets, but a few snakes are usually needed to make a rattlesnake skin purse. A snake skin briefcase or suitcase also usually requires several rattlesnake skins.

Rattlesnake rattles, which are made from keratin, are also used for some things. Rattles are sometimes used to make jewelry, for instance, such as earrings. Some informal country musicians also use the rattles as musical instruments.

These venomous snakes are indigenous to many parts of the Americas, including Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Most of the rattlesnake skins used for creating the items listed above are obtained from rattlesnake farms. These farms also collect meat and venom, which is used to make rattlesnake anti-venom. Rattlesnake collection is usually safest during the cold winter months, but it is also done during the summer, during mating season.

Before skinning a rattlesnake, many individuals choose to remove the head and rattle. The belly of the snake is then slit from the anal opening to where the head was detached. Skin around the tail of the snake is then loosened with a sharp knife. The loose skin is grasped firmly, and it can be pulled off the rest of the body.

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    • A Northern Pacific rattlesnake.
      By: fivespots
      A Northern Pacific rattlesnake.
    • Some jewelry makers use rattlesnake skin.
      By: Monkey Business
      Some jewelry makers use rattlesnake skin.