Making the perfect leather bag can be both an exciting and daunting task. The confusion comes when it is time to choose a leather as there are many types of leather available on the market, each with its unique characteristics and properties.
The key to selecting the best leather for bag making is understanding the differences between the various types of leather and how they affect the bag’s quality, appearance and durability. To help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the best leather for your leather bag-making course, here are some factors you should consider before buying.
Type of Tanning
Tanning is the process of turning animal skin into leather by stopping the decomposing process through a special solution called tannin. Leather can be tanned in a variety of ways to create different textures, finishes and qualities. The three main types of tanning are -
Vegetable Tanning - The oldest and most traditional method of tanning that uses natural tannins from tree bark and other plant sources to create strong and durable leather. This type of leather is perfect for products that require stiffness and structure.
Chrome Tanning - The most common method of tanning today that uses chromium salts to create a soft, pliable leather. Chrome-tanned leather is ideal for bags and accessories as it is water-resistant and can be dyed in a wide range of colours.
Combination Tanning - This method combines the qualities of both vegetable and chrome tanning. The leather is first vegetable-tanned for structure and then chrome-tanned for softness and suppleness. This type of leather is often used for bags and footwear, as it provides both strength and flexibility.
Animal Kind and Breed
The type of animal and breed determine the texture, grain and patterns of the leather when it comes to bag making as each animal’s skin has unique markings which can add character to the leather. Some of the most common types of animal leather that are used to make bags in your bag-making course include
Cowhide Leather - This is the most popular type of leather used in the bag-making industry as it is durable, strong, and has a good texture. It is ideal for products that require stiffness and structure, such as briefcases or backpacks. The downside is that cowhide leather can be heavy, making the bag heavy as well.
Lambskin Leather - This type of leather is soft, supple, and lightweight and is often used in luxury bags and designer purses because of its elegant appearance. However, lambskin leather is not as durable as cowhide and can easily scratch or tear.
Goatskin Leather - Goatskin leather is durable and lightweight, making it ideal for smaller bags and purses. It has a distinct grain pattern and can be dyed in a wide range of colours but is not as soft as lambskin and can be stiff and inflexible.
Calfskin Leather - Calfskin is soft, supple, and lightweight, making it a popular choice for luxury bags and purses. It is also durable and has a fine-grain texture that gives it an elegant look. However, calfskin leather can be expensive and may not be suitable for larger bags.
Snakeskin Leather - Snakeskin leather is exotic and unique in appearance, making it popular in the fashion industry. It is lightweight and flexible, but not as durable as other types of leather. Snakeskin leather can also be a challenge when it comes to maintaining and cleaning it which should only be done by professionals.
Finishing Of The Leather
The finishing of the leather refers to the treatment that the leather has undergone to achieve a particular texture, colour, or appearance and should be an important factor to consider as it can impact the look, feel, and durability of the finished bag. Some of the most common types of leather finishing include
Aniline - Aniline leather is a type of leather that is dyed using soluble dyes without any pigments or surface coatings. This results in a natural-looking leather with a soft, supple feel and a slightly translucent appearance.
Semi-Aniline - Semi-aniline leather is similar to aniline leather, but it has a thin layer of pigment or coating applied to the surface to enhance its durability and colour consistency.
Pigmented - Pigmented leather is leather that has a heavy coating of pigments applied to the surface to create a uniform colour and texture. This type of leather is highly durable and easy to clean, making it a popular choice for furniture and bags.
Suede - Suede leather is similar to nubuck leather, but it has a finer, smoother texture. Suede leather is often used for bags and clothing.
Embossed - Embossed leather is leather that has a pattern or design pressed into the surface. This type of leather can be used to create a unique, decorative look for bags and accessories.
When it comes to purchasing leather for your bag-making course in Singapore, the ultimate choice comes down to the functionality of the bag. Will it be used for aesthetic purposes or will it be used as luggage? Determining the type of bag will help you narrow down the choice of leather you should buy.
If you would like to know more about leather and how it is used to make bags, do check out our leather workshop courses that cover everything you need to know about leather. Contact us today to know more!
Hi! I'm Nicole. I am a Junior Marketing Executive in TaF.tc. Look forward to more blogs and content coming up from me! I love a good cup of tea, some light exercise and listening to music! I am always open to a thought provoking conversation, so hit me up if you've something you want to debate on!
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