Leather has been around for as long as men have been hunters and has long earned a reputation for its durability, versatility and strength.
Not every designer discloses what leather was used to make their products, but we're proud to state that we only use full-grain naturally tanned leather hides to make our folio bags. Full-grain leather is the strongest and most durable.
Full-grain leather means that the hide is just from below the hair and has not been sanded, buffed or snuffed (as opposed to top-grain or corrected leather) to remove imperfections or natural marks on it's surface; the hide proudly displays signs of it's previous life, allowing each bag to inherit the character of the hide it came from, making every bag unique. The grain also has breathability, resulting in less moisture from prolonged contact. Rather than wearing out, this leather will interact with it's surrounding and will improve in appearance, acquiring a natural vintage patina (especially in our London Tan finish).
We like to keep business local, so we source our leather within 10 miles of our studio from an independent British leather finishers; they've built up decades of experience in the trade and know their leather inside and out.
Have a look behind the scenes of their workshop:
Know your leather - ask before you buy, as it will be the difference between it lasting you a year or a 'lifetime'. Our leather guide lists the different types of leather used to make all kinds of goods, to give you a better understanding of this wonderful natural material.
The highest quality, these hides are from just below the hair and have not been sanded, buffed, or snuffed (as opposed to top-grain or corrected leather) to remove imperfections or natural marks on the surface of the hide. The grain remains ensuring fibre strength and durability. The grain also has breathability, resulting in less moisture from prolonged contact. Rather than wearing out, it will develop a patina over time.
The most common type used in high-end leather products, is the second-highest quality. It has had the "split" layer separated away, making it thinner and more pliable than full-grain. Its surface has been sanded and a finish coat added to the surface which results in a colder, plastic feel with less breathability; resultantly it will not develop a natural patina. It is typically less expensive and has greater resistance to stains than full-grain leather, so long as the finish remains unbroken.
Any leather that has had an artificial grain applied to its surface. The hides used to create corrected leather do not meet the standards for use in creating vegetable-tanned or aniline leather. The imperfections are corrected or sanded off, and an artificial grain impressed into the surface and dressed with stain or dyes. Most corrected-grain leather is used to make pigmented leather as the solid pigment helps hide the corrections or imperfections. Corrected grain leathers can mainly be bought as two finish types: semi-aniline and pigmented.
A leather created from the fibrous part of the hide left once the top-grain of the rawhide has been separated from the hide. During the splitting operation, the top-grain and drop split are separated. The drop split can be further split (thickness allowing) into a middle split and a flesh split. In very thick hides, the middle split can be separated into multiple layers until the thickness prevents further splitting. Split leather then has an artificial layer applied to the surface of the split and is embossed with a leather grain (bycast leather).
Splits are also used to create suede. The strongest suedes are usually made from grain splits (that have the grain completely removed) or from the flesh split that has been shaved to the correct thickness. Suede is "fuzzy" on both sides. Manufacturers use a variety of techniques to make suede from full-grain. A reversed suede is a grained leather that has been designed into the leather article with the grain facing away from the visible surface. It is not considered to be a true form of suede.