We are often asked about the differences in the types of leather which we use, so we thought it would be useful to list out all of the types, terminology and sometimes the confusion surrounding fashion speak around leather.
We source all of our leathers from certified tanneries in Italy. Italy, although not the largest producer of leather, is regarded as the most famous for its innovative approach towards both chrome (the use of chemicals) and vegetable-tanned leathers, which is why a large part of the luxury goods industry sources tanned leather in Italy.
Different Qualities of Leather
There are many different qualities of tanned leather that we always suggest to educate yourself before jumping into a purchase. Just because there is a fancy brand name on the product does not factually state that the quality of the leather used is of the highest grade.
There are considered four types of leather quality:
Full Grain Leather
The best leather is which is characterised by its luxurious, smooth surface and it has few, if any, flaws.
- Top Grain Leather
- Corrective Grain Leather
- Bonded Grain Leather
There are also four general grades applied to the type of leather:
- 1st grade - is the best, most resistant and guaranteed but comes from only 13% of the hide
- 2nd grade - is good, fair value and represents 30% of the hide
- 3rd grade - is doubtful and represents 32% of the hide
- 4th grade - which is the poorest quality and used primarily for parts of a product which is not visible to the eye, it represents 25% of the hide.
All leathers used by Crafted Society
We predominantly use full-grain, 1st-grade calf leather which is recognised as the best of the best and all of our leathers are sourced from certified tanneries in Italy. Our leathers are a by-product of the meat industry and we do not use exotic skins.
The following leather is being used:
- Real Leather - Full Grain Calf Leather
- Saffiano Leather - Full Grain Calf Leather
- Nubuck Leather - Calf Leather
- Vachetta Leather - Untreated Premium Calf Leather
- Python - Effect Leather - Calf Leather
- Crocodile - Effect Leather - Calf Leather
- Stingray - Effect Leather - Calf Leather
Real Leather – Full Grain Calf Leather
Our premium full-grain comes from the certified Italian tannery, Conceria Alaska. We have chosen a Gold standard calf leather which is one of the highest grade leathers used in footwear. It is between 0.8 and 1.0mm in thickness and has its firm & smooth to the hand, with a semi-polished aniline finish. It provides extreme comfort, durability and an elegant look for our timeless sneakers.
Saffiano Leather – Full Grain Calf Leather
Originally developed by an Italian Tannery for a famous Italian luxury brand, Saffiano leather is now widely used in the fashion industry. It was originally created using the highest quality full-grain calf leather. The name Saffiano comes from the crosshatch print that was pressed into the wax that coated the leather. It is water-resistant. Today many split types of leather are commonly used, but not by us. Our premium full-grain leather comes from Gemini 77 in Abruzzo. After selection, Gemini then applies the wax coating crosshatch print, meaning that our Saffiano stays true to the original production process.
Nubuck Leather – Calf Leather
Our Nubuck is top-grain calf leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side, or outside, to give a slight nap of short protein fibres, producing a velvet-like surface. It is resistant to wear and may be white or coloured. We are stamped to provide an extra lush finish. Nubuck is similar to suede but is created from the outer side of a hide, giving it more strength and thickness and fine grain. It is generally more expensive than suede and must be coloured or dyed to cover up the sanding and stamping process. Nubuck characteristics are similar to aniline leather. It is soft to the touch, scratches easily, and water drops darken it temporarily (it dries to its original colour). Our Nubuck comes from the certified Italian Tannery Malaigia in the Marche region.
Vachetta Leather – Untreated premium calf Leather
Vachetta is a type of full-grain, vegetable-tanned cowhide. Vegetable-tanned leather absorbs the traces of our life, it matures without ruining. The natural ageing does not compromise its resistance. It reveals the signs of time and uses as the most personal expression of naturalness and truth.
When first purchased Vachetta leather is a light beige colour, but it is designed to age (a process called Patina), so it will go a dark brown shade over the years and with use. Patina is an unavoidable process as Vachetta is susceptible to water, stains and exposure to sunlight. Handles made from Vachetta leather can go very dark due to the grease and natural oils from your hands penetrating the leather (particularly if you wear a lot of hand cream!) The upside to Patina, is that each item which has Vachetta leather will develop its own unique characteristics. Furthermore, no two bags will age the same way. Our Vachetta has been treated with a fine wax coating to protect the Leather from deep staining, and to preserve its natural look over time. Our Vachetta comes from the tannery “Conceria Italpell” in Santa Croce Sull’arno, Tuscany which is a member of The Genuine Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium. The consortium brings together 22 tanneries, all operating in Tuscany, in the area between Pisa and Florence, and sharing the same standards of production. In the Tuscan Leather District, high-quality vegetable-tanned leather, the renown Vacchetta, is still produced according to ancient methods.
Python – effect Leather – Calf Leather
Our python-effect leathers come from one of Italy’s premium Tanneries for embossing life-like exotic skin stamps onto calf leather to replicate the look of python, crocodile, stingray and lizard precious leathers. Querida Srl is based in Tuscany and we are proud to provide our customers with the authentic look of precious exotic leathers without actually using any, supporting our values of using luxury for GOOD™.
Crocodile – effect Leather – Calf Leather
Our croc (American Gabon)-effect leathers come from one of Italy’s premium Tanneries for embossing life-like exotic skin stamps onto Calf Leather to replicate the look of python, crocodile, stingray and lizard precious leathers. Querida Srl is based in Tuscany and we are proud to provide our customers with the authentic look of precious exotic leathers without actually using any, supporting our values of using luxury for GOOD™.
Stingray – effect Leather – Calf Leather
Our stingray-effect leathers come from one of Italy’s premium Tanneries for embossing life-like exotic skin stamps onto Calf Leather to replicate the look of python, crocodile, stingray, ostrich and lizard precious leathers. Querida Srl is based in Tuscany and we are proud to provide our customers with the authentic look of precious exotic leathers without actually using any, supporting our values of using luxury for GOOD™.