(pronounced sha-GREEN or sheh-GREEN)
Originating from the Turkish word “saghri” meaning the hindquarters of a beast, shagreen was originally made in Persia from hides of camels, horses and donkeys. It is thought that small seeds were crushed into the untanned hide when it was damp and then removed when dried so as to leave the grainy indentations. Finally, the hide was stained. Since the 16th century, shagreen has been made from the rough skin of various sharks and rays, all of which have a semi-rough texture made up of small, pearl-like granules. The material is used on furniture, decorative objects, and walls. Many manufacturers now offer faux-shagreen textiles so that actual hides are not used and consistent sizing, coloring and patterning are possible.