Much thought has been put into the design and craftsmanship of each designer bag–from the stitching, to the pockets, to the logo and to the materials, of course. Most designer handbags, like Prada handbags, are made from real, genuine leather and each brand or designer sometimes favors one type of leather from another. Get a glimpse of the various kinds of leather used for your favorite designer handbags to know how they add to the beauty of the bag.
Buckskin. This type of leather is also called brain-tanned leather precisely because animal brains or other emulsified oils are used to tan leather from deer, moose or elk. Buckskin leather is the softest and most pliable type of leather and is used in many designer handbags. The oils used in tanning the leather creates a soft sheen to the leather, making it appear glossy and smooth.
Nubuck. This is another soft type of leather that is also popular among designers. Some Prada handbags, such as the Prada Nubuck Cow Leather New Style bag, are made out of this velvety leather. Nubuck leather is made by sanding the outer part of a cows or a lambs skin, producing suede-like finish that is powdery soft to the touch. Nubuck is a close cousin of Suede but it is tougher and more durable, making it a popular choice for furniture, shoes and bags.
Suede. Suede is also a type of sanded leather but it is the inside of the cows skin that is sanded, creating a fuzzier and more velvety texture than Nubuck. Suede is harder to clean than most leathers because of its texture. Since stains are more difficult to get rid off on Suede designer handbags, suede bags should be cleaned professionally. Despite this, though, it is still a top choice for the younger crowd and is used in many Prada handbags such as the Prada Suede Logo Box bag.
Shagreen. Shagreen was a priced type of leather in the 17th and 18th centuries. Originally made from shark skin, it is now commonly created from stingrays. It is a type of untanned and grainy or rough leather. Shagreen has been used in art deco furniture but has evolved into the leather that is now also used for handbags, purses and even wallets.
Vachetta. Vachetta leather is an untreated type of leather that was made popular by Louis Vitton when the designer incorporated this type of leather as elegant trimming in his luggage. Since Vachetta is untreated, this type of leather is susceptible to damage by sunlight or water.
Nappa. Nappa leather is made from unsplit sheepskin, deerskin or kidskin and is extremely soft and supple. Because of its texture, it has become the Rolls Royce of leather. A lot of designers prefer Nappa leather over others because of its pliability and buttery soft texture. Designer bags made with Nappa leather tend to be much more expensive than bags made from other types of leather.
Prada handbags, Chanel bags, YSL purses and other designer handbags use different types of quality leather to create their products. These various types of leather have various qualities that make them distinct–from the way they are treated to the way they are tanned. Keep this in mind when scouting for a new handbag–it will make you appreciate designer bags more.