For the LEATHERFLO woman, quality is important. In the fashion industry, Italian leather is well known for being extremely high quality, making it the very best material. The high level of craftsmanship and care that goes into the italian leather making process does not compare with other leather products around the world. Italian leather isn’t mass produced and takes substantially longer to manufacture than other alternatives as well, meaning that the price is worth the investment when you are looking for a product that is truly the best.
If you are in the market for high quality leather goods, read on to learn more about what makes Italian leather so special and what you should look for when purchasing it.
Where Italian Leather Comes From
Historically, Italians produced italian leather using a very old process known as vegetable tanning. The knowledge and passion of how to tan leather in this way was passed down for centuries, and the care used to produce the material is what has given italian leather its elegant reputation. In modern times, italian leather does not necessarily have to be produced in Italy. Rather, it’s the vegetable tanning process that gives Italian leather its name. A word of caution--ANY type of leather manufactured in Italy is also called “Italian Leather,” so it’s important to understand exactly what you are looking for before shopping.
Top 5 Reasons Why Italian Leather is the Best
- High quality material. As mentioned, Italian leather is well-made and very durable, making it an elegant addition to any wardrobe.
- It will last a lifetime. If you compare Italian leather to other types of leather, you will find that the former is more capable of withstanding everyday wear and tear and is also more resistant to scratches and other types of damage.
- There is truly nothing else like it. Italian leather production uses a natural tanning process with only vegetable-based ingredients. This gives it its more resistant, elastic, and smooth texture while contributing to its uniqueness.
- It’s timeless. Italian leather has been around for decades. Even when styles change, this material continues to be one of the most popular across the entire fashion industry.
- It’s easy to maintain. Unlike other types of leather, Italian leather is easier to clean, plus the natural aging process and development of a beautiful patina adds to its beauty, instead of detracting from it. To clean, simply wipe a damp cloth across it and let it dry completely before using.
Full Grain vs. Top Grain Leather
Full grain is generally the most durable and resistant leather around. The “full-grain” name comes from the manufacturing process, where the top layer of hide is used and is never sanded or buffed. This leaves the final product looking especially unique, with the original imperfections of the hide apparent. Overall, a full grain finish looks more natural.
Top grain, on the other hand, is made from a thinner layer of the hide, and the hide is sanded and usually combined with a finishing coat. It is softer and more flexible than full grain, but does not look as natural.
All LEATHERFLO leather is full grain, but we add a stain and scratch resistant coating to make sure our leathers are incredibly durable.
What to Consider Before Purchasing
Finding true Italian leather using a label or tag alone can be tricky given that low quality or even faux leather that is simply manufactured in Italy can be called “Italian Leather.” In general, you should always check for a certificate on the product to verify, but we’ve compiled a list of other smart tips to help you be a well-educated shopper when looking for Italian leather products.
If you are in the market for real Italian leather, then you shouldn’t settle for cheaper knockoffs because you will not get the same quality of leather. You don’t necessarily always have to stick to a brand name, but you should do you research. When it comes to leather, the better the quality, the higher the price, so if you spot a price tag that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
High quality leather goods usually come with a 2-year warranty. These warranties are seldom needed and are rather a signal from the manufacturer that the product is high quality. Before buying your leather handbag, ask the sales representative about the warranty. Remember, a good leather product should last you a lifetime. If your product does not come with any time of guarantee, do not buy it. LEATHERFLO offers a lifetime warranty on all of our handbags.
Loose strings and misaligned stitching are signs of poor craftsmanship and indicate lower quality leather. Be sure to examine the piece closely, checking out pockets, zippers, and buckles, too. Remember, varied grain or other unique patterns are not necessarily representative of low quality - this is simply the natural look of the hide. In fact, if a leather item appears too perfect, it’s very likely not genuine.
Feel and Smell
Quality leather has a very specific and recognizable smell along with a smooth and silky touch. If you take a sniff of your leather and it smells more like plastic or chemicals, then you are holding faux leather or leather that has been treated with chemicals. Real leather is also very smooth to the touch, with a feel that is closer to silk. However, note that leathers that have been treated for stain resistance and durability will feel smooth but not silky. If it feels sticky or looks shiny, this is likely faux leather.
Caring for Italian Leather
When it comes to Italian leather, you really do get what you pay for. As mentioned above, the higher the cost, the better the quality. And while this type of leather is already quite durable on its own, it does require some maintenance to keep it in perfect condition.
When cleaning your Italian leather, try to use the driest method available. Due to the natural finish and porousness of Italian leather, moisture can easily penetrate it, leaving it at risk to swell or susceptible to mold. Because of this, avoid soaking your cloth and instead keep it lightly damp. When storing a leather handbag, do not set the bag on the floor or keep in an area that has a high percentage of humidity. If you are unsure about the humidity of the storage location, purchase a hygrometer to test the humidity levels, first.
On the other hand, if you live in a dryer area, you may need to condition and moisturizer the leather more often using a leather conditioner. Test on a small area first, and make sure the conditioner does not contain added chemicals such as silicone, alcohol, or wax, as this can cause your leather to become more dried out and less breathable over time.
When storing your leather product, we strongly recommend using a dust cover or other protective material. As the name suggestions, this will help ensure your leather does not collect dust, dirt, or bacteria when not in use. You’ll be surprised how much this will make a difference over time, and will mean that each time you pull out your handbag, it will look as fresh and new as the day you bought it.
Finally, regardless of the leather product you own, you should ALWAYS keep it away from direct sunlight and heat as this will permanently damage the leather. This means that you should avoid leaving your handbag in the car on a hot day or keep it out of the sunlight if you set it on the table during an afternoon patio lunch. Italian leather is quite durable, but it still requires some specific love and attention to keep it impeccable.
There is no question when it comes to whether or not Italian leather is the best. The old world techniques used to manufacture the product contribute not only to its elegance, but also to its durability and overall high quality. If you are in the market for a new leather good, consider buying Italian leather, which will not only last forever, but is timeless enough to keep up with ever-changing designs and styles.
LEATHERFLO uses only 100% genuine, full-grain Italian leather for all of our leather handbags. Each bag is expertly crafted, giving it the smooth, luxurious feel that only real Italian leather has.