Which type of leather is best for bags?
Leather handbags are undoubtedly high quality, prestigious and timeless accessories for all who want that finished look. However, a genuine leather handbag is an investment, so it’s a good idea to understand the different types of leather used and what to look for when you buy that dream handbag.
What do I need to know about different Leathers?
There is a relatively large range of leather, and each is created to be used for specific purposes. For example, you wouldn’t use the same leather for a horse riding saddle as you would for handbags they are of different quality and are simply not the right leather. The leather used for bags comes from the splits of the hide, most often from just below the ear of the animal. The leather most frequently used for creating handbags are calf, cowhide, goat, sheep, lambskin, pigs and even buffalo. Exotic leathers come from ostrich skin and even snake or alligator.
Each leather has its unique characteristics and bonded leather will give a different look than aniline leather! When looking at your leather bag, you will often notice a ‘Leather Stamp’ that will advise the type of leather, such as Top grain leather, Nubuck, or suede. Full-grain leather is a mark of a high standard and would be an excellent choice for a quality handbag. Top grain leather, the second most commonly used leather for quality leather bags, could be followed. These are not very thick leathers, making them ideal for moulding shapes and comfort. They have lovely surface finishes with a smooth feel and look. These handbags should give you a decent ten-year service, even when neglected!
Handbags made from full-grain cowhide leather are also long-lasting, around 15 years of use, making them an excellent choice for frequent use.
An additional bonus with this choice is that they are odourless, so if you aren’t too fond of that “leather smell”, which is very distinctive – this would be an excellent handbag for you. Plus, you do not have to be overly careful with them as they don’t scratch easily, a definite bonus.
If you are like me and reasonably reckless with your handbags, I drop mine; bump them; spill things on them and generally mistreat them whilst using them frequently, then a premium full grain leather bag is the way to go!
This leather is super strong, slightly sturdier and water-resistant! Handbags made with this leather tend to have a more rugged look but a fantastic finish. If you give them the occasional leather treatment, these handbags will be with you for thirty years or more.
Moroccan Leather ( also known as goat’s leather ) is an entirely different version of leather handbags. Moroccan leather is super soft and lightweight, often having a vintage look. It has a tight texture, and similar to premium grain leather bags, it is also water-resistant. Handbags made from Moroccan leather are surprisingly easy to clean and maintain. A wipe down with a soft, damp cloth will remove most dirt, and drying naturally in the sun is all it needs, with the occasional leather food applied.
Lambskin leather handbags are very similar to Moroccan high-quality leather. This leather is often described as lightweight, soft and buttery to touch. You would, however, be advised to buy a specialised water-based cleaner for your handbag.
Italian leather is world-renowned for its high quality and workmanship. It is considered premium leather. The Italians have followed the same rituals and tanning process on their leather since the 8th century BC!
A genuine Italian leather handbag will always be beautifully crafted, with perfect finishes and feel luxurious and soft to the touch. They are durable, but they may also be slightly more challenging to clean, but don’t let this put you off. There are handbag cleaning services available, and the pleasure you derive from owning one of these beauties might make it worth the effort.
Finally, no thoughts on leather for handbags could be complete without mentioning Saffiano Leather. This is the finest calf leather used for making high-end designer handbags synonymous with luxury and elegance. This leather has a cross-hatch print etched onto the leather’s surface. This makes the leather very durable. It is also water and scratch resistant plus super easy to clean. If that’s not enough, this leather feels so sumptuous that luxurious is not even a good word for it! This leather is so unique that when Mario Prada first used it in 1913, he immediately patented it. Once the patent expired, most other famous design houses rushed to use it. This leather is still loved and used by Prada, Michael Kors, Coach and Kate Spade, to name a few.
NOTE: Faux leather bags are very common due to specific morals or preferences! But you should know that these are fake and are low-quality leather bags!
You Can Have a Beautiful Leather Handbag or Gift the Perfect Gift!
Now that you have an idea of what type of leather product would fit you and your lifestyle, you can find beautiful handbags in many High Street shops and remember to keep an eye out for seasonal sales at the design houses. Suppose you dream of owning that one (or more) unique designer split leather handbag. In that case, you can start a particular happiness savings account and create reasons to deposit small amounts regularly, such as ‘Happy Friday’ or ‘It’s my BFF’s birthday, I’ll treat myself as well ‘your happiness stash will soon grow big enough to buy you that dream grain leathers handbag – perfect just for you!
Genuine leather bags are not hard to come by, however, the best leather bags will give you a lifetime of the highest quality!