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Cactus Leather Products: Made in Mexico

Nopal leather Made in Mexico

The use of the nopal (cactus) in Mexico is broad. The nopal is used in aesthetics, art, construction, food, livestock, and science.

close up photo of three green cactus plants

The nopal is used in aesthetics, art, construction, food, livestock, and science.

In that manner, two talented Mexicans, named Adrián López Velarde and Marte Zázares, had the idea of creating leather out of the nopal. They recognized the extensive presence of the nopal plant in Mexico and its relevance in Mexican cultural. After years of research and tests, mainly carried out in the Mexican states of Aguascalientes and Jalisco, the inventors produced a sustainable nopal textile product, an alternative to leather and synthetic leather. In 2019, they announced their creation of a nopal leather material made from processed nopal (cactus).

The nopal that is used to produce the nopal leather is the Prickly Pear cactus, with the scientific species name Opuntia Ficus Indica. In Mexico it is known as the nopal de castilla.

This nopal is native of the north-central region of Mexico, which includes the states of Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosí, and Zacatecas. The nopal leather material is made by harvesting the mature leaves, then extracting proteins and fibers, to create an organic bio resin coating.  

The characteristics of the vegan cactus leather are very similar to leather. Cactus nopal leather is a material that is flexible, resistant, malleable, very breathable, nontoxic, and partially biodegradable. One version is highly biodegradable. It is cruelty-free, organic, and free of phthalates, toxic chemicals, and PVC. Nopal leather, is also available in thickness options depending on whether it is to be used for accessories, shoes, or clothing. It also comes in colors.

Depending on the purpose, its characteristics present many opportunities to create and manufacture products with various uses. Thanks to these talented Mexicans, several designers and manufacturers now celebrate nopal leather material and its characteristics.

Cactus Leather Accessories

Purses, handbags, clutches, and wallets are designed and launched by various brands.

CIHUAH is a Mexican brand that carries a line of handbags with a conscious fashion initiative.   CIHUAH by women for women – TRANSPARENT AND REAL WOMEN BRAND


Nopal leather is a very durable material. Such that the seats, steering wheels, and other automobile interiors made from nopal leather are being considered in the automotive industry.  

Clothing made from Cactus leather

Nopal leather

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More designers are starting to offer fashionable cactus leather garments, such as nopal leather jackets, made to last.

portrait of blond hair woman in leather jacket holding flowers

Ohja is a firm that offers nopal leather accessories, materials made in Mexico, entirely vegan. Ohja

Näm  focuses on vegan materials.        Home – Näm Atelier (


Shoes made from cactus leather

Mexican concepts of cactus leather shoe collections.

Cañamiel      Cañamiel // Concepto Latino (

Carmona Collection stands out for its use of a thicker version of the nopal material, for cactus leather footwear.  Carmona Collection 


Nopal leather material is also available for sportswear, equipment and sports material.

The Salvador Nuñez Shop offers a lined of cactus leather tennis shoes.   Tenis Nopal – SALVADORNUNEZSHOP.COM


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