Know the leather you wear: your brief guide to leather

Of all the materials from which luxury bags are made, nothing is more classic and common than leather. It’s sturdy, lasts through the years, and has a premium feel. But with designer brands, you are given access to such a plethora of leather that you can sometimes be confused about what to choose. Although animal advocates would immediately burn you at the stake for considering leather, luxury brands continue to use this staple but controversial material. So if you want more technical information about what actually goes into your bags, here are the main types of leather that you usually see in your bags.

Calfskin

Perhaps the most widely used material in the world, as the name suggests, comes from cows. But calfskin has many more types in this category. One of the most mentioned is Saffiano leather, which means that it is leather treated with a pressed texture in a machine. It gives the leather a remarkably opulent finish and usually has a distinctive diagonal pattern. The leather is also finished with a wax treatment. As a result, the leather is scratch resistant, durable and easy to clean. Prada first ventured in, but many designer brands now incorporate the leather treatment.

lambskin

One of the most luxurious leathers in existence and is generally used in the production of Flap bags. It’s buttery smooth, much softer but it bruises easily and is more prone to scratches. It is famous for this distinctive quality and has a very rich color. It also tends to age faster, but for some enthusiasts, this is part of the allure of lambskin bags.

Goatskin

It is soft, durable, flexible and can practically take a beating and can survive wear and tear yet is much thinner and lighter than calfskin, making it a top choice among designer bag collectors. The nice thing about goatskin is that it gets softer with use and it’s also water resistant, but we don’t recommend it as a beach bag. It can be easily cleaned with mild pumice-based soap and water. Air drying is recommended for this type of leather bag.

crocodile leather

This is one of the most sought after exotic skins a handbag could obtain so far without controversy. Sturdy yet exquisite, delicate yet sturdy regardless of any color when it’s in crocodile skin, the colors just look vibrant. Also, the texture gives that luxurious feel to crocodile bags. However, crocodile bags should be treated with intensive care, such as not letting them sit outside in extreme heat, as it accelerates aging. Crocodile leather is one of the best leathers out there and will not show marks or bruises over the years.

Python Leather

With its patterns and texture completely in its own league, Python leather is one of the most exquisite leathers out there. Like alligator skin, the color pops beautifully against python skin. With its scales on display, python elevates any line of designer handbags into a world-class work of art. It is very easy to care for and will not be easily damaged. It is also lightweight, which increases its flexibility. Just keep it away from water and it will last through the years.

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