Advantages and Disadvantages of Tanzanian Zebra Skin Rugs
Despite the fact that zebras are found in many countries in the southern and eastern part of Africa, only two countries have controlled government culls of these animals. These two countries are Tanzania and South Africa and the hides from the culling are sold to better the local economies.
Even though the zebra species culled in both countries is Burchell's, the rugs that come from Tanzania have some advantages and disadvantages. The big advantage is the lower cost and the disadvantages are anywhere from quality to shorter period of laying flat.
The price one would expect to pay for a skin from Tanzania is lower than that of a skin from South Africa. This is partly because of the slight difference in the grading criteria based on the quality. Another reason is the tanning process in Tanzania costs a lot less so the savings are passed on to the consumers.
Unfortunately, there are a little more disadvantages than advantages. The following are the disadvantages you might want to know about.
The overall quality of the rugs from Tanzania tends to be a little lower than those from South Africa. The manner in which the zebras in Tanzania are pelted is sometimes not done with the highest of standards.
The tanning procedure is another thing. It isn't clear why this is so, but the South African tanning is way better than that of Tanzania. The hides tanned in Tanzania have a rougher finish, which can be good if you are using the skin in a high traffic area.
When someone buys a rug; they want the rug to completely lie flat for as long as possible. Unfortunately the Tanzanian zebra rugs have been known to stay flat for a shorter period of time. But this can be fixed to a point by using a felt backing.
Despite these disadvantages, don't completely discount these rugs. You can still get a wonderful skin from there. You will just have to let your vendor know that you want a good quality rug.