Everyone wants to buy products made of good leather, but not everyone knows how to correctly recognize quality leather. In this article, we'll talk about the main signs of good skin and how you can quickly identify poor quality skin. We hope these tips will help you both when choosing bags and accessories and when shopping for shoes.
How to tell good skin
Skin surface analysis
The surface of good leather is never completely uniform, absolutely smooth and highly shiny. The texture of the skin is one of the important parameters by which one can judge its quality. High quality leather has a beautiful texture, is clearly visible and practically flawless, that is, there are no serious defects.
Good skin has no blemishes
Lower quality leather may not be as beautiful and flawless as possible, but its texture is clearly visible. The most mediocre leather samples, however, are visually very poor and contain many visible defects. Such leather must be treated in a special way - naturally, with the use of chemicals. The result of processing is a completely smooth, shiny, uniform surface without any texture. Such leather - in English it is often called corrected-grain, sometimes polished - has a noticeable plastic sheen. In addition, it is harsh, easily scratched and does not breathe well (which is especially important in the case of shoes).
You can also distinguish good skin from bad skin by tactile sensations: good skin is pleasant to the touch: it is not too hard, moderately soft, elastic, flexible. Glossy polished (corrected-grain) leather with a smooth surface feels worse, it is not so pleasant, it is tough and sometimes even seems to be artificial. However, skin that is too soft, thin and delicate is also not the best option: it can turn out to be short-lived and overly delicate.
Origin of the skin
The younger the animal, the softer, more pleasant and tender its skin. Accordingly, calf skin (calf) is usually better than cow and bovine (the latter is the hardest). Do not think that the skin of a young animal is fragile and short-lived: good calf leather is distinguished by good wear resistance and high practicality.
Vegetable tanned leather
In the descriptions of many things on the website of our store, you can find the words "vegetable tanned leather" or vegetable tanned leather. This is the name of the leather obtained from hides processed in a traditional way, without the use of chemicals (such as, for example, chromium or aluminum salts). Only vegetable tanned leather can form a patina; in addition, such skin often seems more interesting and noble in appearance.
However, chrome-tanned leather - that is, the one obtained from hides processed in a more modern, "chemical" way - is also not such a bad option. It retains its original appearance longer and can serve for many years. In general, the solution to the dilemma "which leather is better - vegetable tanned or chrome tanned?" highly dependent on personal preference.
Some manufacturers produce bags and accessories made of leather with a special protective coating, the main function of which is to protect the skin from external influences - in particular, from moisture and dirt. Both chrome leather and vegetable tanned leather can be provided with a protective coating. For example, some Tuscany Leather briefcases are made from vegetable tanned leather with a special finish. The texture of such leather is well distinguishable, but it is clear that there is another thin, slightly glossy layer above it. Not everyone likes this view, but in practice it is probably still justified.
The names of some leather manufacturers (tanned, in English - tanneries) can serve as an excellent guarantee of quality. Notable firms include Annonay, Haas, Horween, Charles F. Stead, Ilcea, Du Puy and Weinheimer Leder, Wickett & Craig. By the way, belts of the Four-in-Hand brand, presented in our store, are made precisely of Wickett & Craig leather, a large and very respected American manufacturer