Could you make a kind of clothing out of human skin?

I know this delves into some more wierd taboos (silence of the lambs?) but is it possible to take human skin and make it into some kind of clothing? We wear the skin of many other kinds of animals; how suitable would a human hide be for clothing?

What about human scalps? Like a fur coat made out of human scalps? Would it be as warm as a fur coat that came from some other animal? Or is there too much of a differentation between ‘fur’ of animals and ‘hair’ of people (people don’t seem very furry- just hairy :frowning: )

I would think no. Human skin seems remarkably fragile. Even calloused skin would have a tendency to crack. When my cat playfully claws at me, his claws catch and tug at my skin so easily it was as though my body was wrapped in this super delicate fabric that tears fairly easily. Or maybe I just have ‘think skin’ :slight_smile:

It’s been done.

Human skin isn’t significantly different from that of any other mammal aside from having much sparser hair than most, so yes, one could make a perfectly acceptable leather out of it. It wouldn’t be very thick or tough leather, of course, but it wouldn’t crack if it had been correctly tanned. Human hair doesn’t have the same features as most furs that are used for clothing - it’s much coarser, and doesn’t provide anywhere near the insulation value.

Have you seen “The Silence of the Lambs”?

Incubus, maybe what you think of as “skin” is just the epidermis. Diagram

I think if you got all of the layers, dermis and epidermis, and tanned it (like Gorsnak said), it would be just like thin leather.

But please don’t. It’s gross.

If you can’t get gophers, I hear chauffers make excellent loafers.

Didn’t the Nazis take the tatooed skin of prisoners and use it to make lampshades? I heard that somewhere…

It’s suggested that a handful of concentration camp administrators, like Mengele did, but it wasn’t as widespread as thought.

And yeah, Ed Gein’s skin suit became the basis for Leatherface and Buffalo Bill.

That reminds me, does anyone know of any good internet (or even literary) sources on how to make leather?

The HalfBakery: Ideas: Self Leather

Yes, but it is frowned upon.

Critters tend to have two kinds of hairs, an inner (shorter) layer and an outer (longer) layer. If I am remembering right, the shorter ones serve to provide warmth while the longer ones keep the shorter ones from getting matted and useless and also serve to provide colouration suitable for the econiche.

This is how my cat is able to shed white hairs on black furniture and black hairs on white furniture, despite being, to the eye, completely black.

Humans, having long ago decided that fire, woven materials, and the skins of creatures that weren’t smart enough to sign up for the “opposable thumb” option was a better deal, don’t have hair that’s of much protective use in any climate, whatever other functions it may serve.

Human scalps might be fine for decoration, but you’re better off with our four footed friends if you want to stay warm.

Can I interest you in a cat?

You can check this out.

As disgusting as it sounds, the “natural” way of tanning hides is to use the brains of the animal.

No, I haven’t personally tried it. Yet.