Shagreen is stingray or shark skin, and has been used as a material for products and goods for centuries. Japanese Samurai crafted their sword handles with shagreen, because of its strength and it was also used as armor in King Louis XV’s time. A controversial and rare material, it is most commonly associated with accessories and furniture from the Art Deco period, when designers like Jean-Michael Frank and Clement Rousseau used it in their most extravagant pieces.
But controversy aside, who said there was anything wrong with faking it?
Faux shagreen has become extremely popular over the past few years, with its distinct finish creating a luxurious and opulent texture. It is used on tables, chairs and accessories and even wallpaper! It may be the total finish on a piece or just a trim or accent. The faux stuff now considered better (and more ethically and environmentally friendly) than the real stuff, with Skatemoderne even referring to it as “Couture Shagreen”.
So whether you add just a faux shagreen tray, or wallpaper a whole room in it, faux shagreen instantly adds a bit of luxury to your space, even if it isn’t the real thing.