Leather has retained its appeal for many generations. In fact, it is not only endured while other alternative materials become available, it has increased its range – there are more type of leather and more styles of leather finish than ever before.
Leather handbags are not the only option, but they are amongst the most prestige and long-lasting options. Decent leather handbags can be relied upon to last for many years, often only being retired when fashions change.
Crust Leather – This type of leather is coloured with aniline dyes. These dyes will soak into and through the leather, but not actually bond with the leather fibres. Instead the dye floats freely between the fibres. This means the leather surface will temporarily change colour when we apply pressure, and that the dye may wash out when the item is exposed to water. So we need to keep our handbags and purses dry.
This leather is coarse, but in an appealing way. It retains the natural leather pattern and smell. The colour looks fairly natural, and will patina well.
The disadvantage of this, other that water, is fading in strong sunlight. But even this looks fairly natural.
Semi-Aniline Leather – This is similar to crust leather, but with an addition surface coating. This coating provides protection against fading, so the leather surface tend to retain its appearance.
This leather is shiny and smooth. The leather grain pattern is fairly faint and even, almost a uniform surface. There will be only a mild leather smell. The surface is moderately water resistant.
Pigmented Leather – This has a protective plastic coating that resists water and most scratches. The grain pattern of the leather is often gone, or greatly reduce, with pigmented treatment, but this does give the surface a neat, uniform appearance.
Eel Skin Leather – Made from a marine animal rather than a cow, this is a very smooth shiny material, more often used for purses and wallets than handbags.
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