Leather handbags are seen as top quality bags simply for the fact that they are made out of leather. It is a common misconception that all leather products are automatically made of high quality materials just because they contain leather though. There are many types of leather used in handbags and some are lower quality than others. It is important that you know the difference in types of leather before you buy a handbag so you can make an informed decision and get the highest quality product for your money.
This article will go through the most common types of leather that are used to make handbags and give you an idea on the quality of each. You may want to do a bit more research on the materials used to make handbags to get a greater understanding on the quality difference between each. Either way, make sure that you check the type of leather a handbag is made out of before you purchase it as it could be a deal breaker or maker in some cases.
Cowhide leather is a type of leather which originates from cow skin (hide). There are many different products that include cowhide leather, such as furniture, car seats, and luxury fashion items. Cowhide leather is considered to be the highest quality type of leather and it is the best choice of leather when buying a purse or handbag. This type of leather is very durable and gives off a very luxurious appeal. The texture of the leather should be noticeable and you should be able to feel the roughness of it pretty easily. Luxury fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci all use top quality cowhide leather for their products.
Faux leather is not really a type of leather but many items that are marked as leather are actually made out of faux leather. This is artificial leather which can often provide a luxurious appeal that makes it seem to be just as high quality as cowhide leather. If you are experienced with leather goods then you can easily tell the difference. If the leather has no deformities of any kind and does not have any creases then it is a good indicator that the item is made of faux leather. There are benefits to faux leather products as well though, some are very durable, can look better than the cowhide leather alternative, and they are more affordable. Also, if you are against animal use for goods then you do not have to worry about the animal’s skin being used for leather.
Lambskin leather is a type of leather which originates from sheep. This particular type of leather is appealing due to the soft texture that it features. The major downfall with this type of leather is that it is not very durable and it can easily be torn or deformed. Lambskin leather is definitely not a good choice of material to be used for handbags; cowhide leather is a much better alternative.
Patch leather may be composed of cowhide or lambskin leather. This type of leather is created with multiple smaller pieces of leather. It is much more affordable than other types of leather. This type of leather can also be as high in quality as any other type of cowhide leather. This is not a very common choice of material to use for handbags though.
Which Type of Leather is the Best for Handbags?
Cowhide leather is definitely the best choice of material to use for handbags. If you are shopping for a new leather handbag then you should only look at bags that are made with this type of leather. If durability is not an issue, but rather you prefer the soft texture, then lambskin handbags may be worth considering. There are other types of leather items which would be better made with lambskin or faux leather though, such as cell phone, camera, and cigarette cases. The preference for wallets will depend on the importance of durability but being that it is a smaller item it is not as risky to choose a wallet made with lambskin.
The Different Types of Leather Grains
This article has covered the types of leather based on their origin but there is much more to know about the leather than that. This section will give you a better idea on the types of leather based on their grain types. Full grain and top grain leather are the two highest quality choices of leather grains. Corrected grain, buckskin, patent, and split leather are some other options that are relatively common but they are not as high quality.
Full Grain Leather
Full grain leather is a type of leather which features no separation of the top grain and split layers. Full grain leather comes from hides that have not been buffed, sanded, or modified to eliminate imperfections or deformities. This type of leather grain is very durable and breathable. This type of leather grain is often used in the highest quality of leather furniture and footwear.
Top Grain Leather
Top grain leather is not the highest quality of leather grain but it is second best. This type of leather grain features separation of the split layer. This causes the leather to be thinner in comparison to full grain leather. The hide surface was buffed or sanded for this type of leather and a coating layer was applied. Top grain leather is made to be durable and stain resistant but it is not very breathable. This type of leather grain is not made for the most expensive choices of leather goods due to the fact that it is thinner and has been sanded and coated.
The ultimate type of leather that should be used for a high quality handbag is full grain cowhide leather. Any luxury handbag brand will likely use this type of leather or something close to it. You will have to do more research if you want to fully understand the types of leather and their effects when manufactured in a handbag. You will not have to put a tremendous emphasis on this unless you are planning to manufacture handbags though as you should have a good idea on material quality if the brand name is already established and has reviews from their customers.