Created from polished Stringray skins, Shagreen is one of the most sophisticated and beautiful surfaces in the world.
Shagreen was a decorative and durable surface used for Japanese armour. Its unusually rough and granular surface made it an ideal material for use on the hilts and scabbards of swords and daggers, where slipperiness was a disadvantage. In Asia, the Japanese Tachi, Katana and Wakizashi swords had their hilts almost always covered in undyed, untreated Shagreen, while in China, Shagreen was traditionally used on Qing dynasty composite bows.
In the 1970s Shagreen became fashionable again, partly due to the renewed interest in the Art-deco period. Today, shagreen is used as a luxurious material for a variety of high-end, bespoke furniture applications.