Luxury Leather Checklist: What To Know Before You Buy
With an everchanging leather industry, manufacturers have started mass-manufacturing ready-made leather products to suit its consumers need. But, some have stayed to the core of leathercrafting, especially the artisans from the United Kingdom. We, Nosakhari believe that luxury leather products should give meaning and value to the wearer, and we take pride in crafting timeless leather accessories to the people who value them.
The term ‘luxury leather’ is not about how good your leather grains are or where it comes from, its on the hands of the creator. Creating the perfect piece like no other, with dedication and hard work, made just for an individual is what luxury means.
Before we get into more details about buying original leather, whether it be online or at your local leather shop, we need to understand the different leather grades. In simple terms, leather grades are how leather is divided from luxury to commercial.
WHAT IS LEATHER GRADES?
The highest quality grain is ‘full-grain’, which can be distinguished from other grains by its natural imperfections that include wire cuts, neck wrinkles, stretch marks and scars, all of which foster cherished authenticity.
The next quality is ‘top grain’, a slightly misleading term in that it is not from the surface of the animal and is the second-best in overall quality. However, its flexibility, refinement process and finishing coat lead it to be used often in high-end quality clothing and bags; it is still definitely a mark of excellent craftsmanship.
Lastly, there is ‘split-grain’, the most mediocre quality ‘Genuine Leather’ material. Common, varied in use, this grain is a less pure form of leather, often worked with artificial chemicals or processes to produce a more leather-like appearance.
For an in-depth explanation on this topic, take a look at Nosakhari’s ‘Guide to leather Grains.’
USING GENUINE LEATHER FOR YOUR ACCESSORY?
Always remember that ‘Genuine Leather’ is not a qualitative term but merely a collective term to categorise products which are made of real leather, regardless of the grain. It is also important to highlight that ‘Genuine Leather’ does not reveal any information about animal housing or food quality and the tanning process of the leather.
HOW TO SPOT QUALITY LEATHER?
A simple way to spot quality leather is through smell. The aroma of genuine, authentic leather is unmistakable: earthy, creamy, with a subtle sweetness. Unlike that of cheap alternatives, which are most often made from plastics. They also result in an unpleasant plastic or chemical smell.
Other ways to spot low quality leather are through the context the leather is found in. A leather handbag, even one from a reputable leather bag manufacturer, which has poor stitching or lining, is unlikely to be made from the best quality leather. If the leather itself is hard or plastic to the touch, it probably is plastic, or perhaps even ‘bonded leather’, which also parades itself as ‘Genuine Leather’. Manufacturers can do this because it is technically made up of leather, but only the scrapings and refuse from traditional leather grain.
It can be easy to make false investments in luxury leather, but it is worth taking the time to ensure that you make the right choice and get the right return. Original, high-quality leather is more than a fashion status; it is a reliable and durable material that is the result of thousands of years of human development, using a practice that has been passed down and refined throughout history. By purchasing the right leather, you are patron to art made with skill love and craftsmanship, right here in the UK.
WHERE TO BUY LEATHER?
Knowing where to buy luxury leather will make your buying journey a lot easier. The most important thing to remember is what type of leather are you looking for. Whether it be high-quality bespoke leather or mass-produced genuine leather, the best places to buy both of those are often online.
But, we recommend you get your feet out of your house and shop at your local leather shop. Local stores can be excellent if you find the right one. You can see the leather in person, and purchase the exact piece that you were looking for. It helps you get a feel of thickness, softness, and flexibility while shopping for leather at your local store.
So, when its time to shop for leather, be sure to remember these key points before making a purchase:
Invest in independent quality manufacturers to guarantee superior leather.
Question ‘Genuine Leather’. Remember that grain is what counts, not authenticity.
Scent – Does it have that real leather smell?
Blemishes – Is it unnaturally pristine?
Look at the context – Consider the overall quality of the product’s design, such as missed stitches or wonky angles.
Trust your instincts – If something doesn’t seem genuine, ask. Legitimate retailers will be more than happy to discuss how their leather is sourced and produced.