Whether you opt for faux or the real thing, leather is considered a staple material. From shoes, jackets, handbags and pants that make us jump-up and down (will we ever be able to slide them on with ease?) establishing what to spend, can be confusing.
There are numerous factors that determine how expensive a leather product should be. Most of us might suggest the key ingredient is quality, but what makes quality leather?
I still remember the disappointment etched on my face, when I discovered that my investment piece – my handbag that I expected to withhold the carnage of my unnecessary bag items, tore apart within a matter of months. Yes, I might have squashed the compartments with my big jacket that I kept pretending could adapt to spring. And yes, I might have chucked it on the floor next to my shoes, without lovingly placing it. However, this leather looking bag was expensive, so I assumed the price tag, meant that it would last forever.
Although synthetic materials have been developing, a variety of companies still use cheap plastic components, to create faux leather. If you are after the real-thing, be sure that you are purchasing from a reputable source. Even real leather on the contrary, can have significant differences, which determine how good the product will be.
There are a variety of leathers that you can buy. Full Grain tends to be considered the highest, whilst bonded and genuine, are the lowest. Full Grain leather is the strongest type of leather as it is made from the thickest, outermost part of the animal hide – you can still see the natural grain pattern on the surface of full grain leather, so this is a key indicator into the quality of your product. Even high-end brands use lower quality leather just so they can achieve the uniform, flawless finish, but some people do see a natural, rugged piece of leather wear as much more desirable. Click here for more information about Full Grain & other types of leather.
Good leather will usually be fully dyed and be coloured with vegetable tanning – a natural method, where as less reliable leather, will usually be treated with a method called chrome tanning – a chemical method. In addition, the leather might be finished with machine spraying, as oppose to being antiqued by hand.
These distinctions are important, as they all contribute to how expensive your leather should be. It is worthwhile doing thorough research beforehand, because you could end up paying, far more than what is justified. If you are able too, investing into a high-quality leather brand, means durability, texture and overall finish, will be considerably better and of higher quality.
I myself have always tried to splurge on key pieces, instead of stocking up on a range that will only last a few seasons. If you wear or use something regularly, over-time it will end up cheaper. If you gave me £100 and told me to buy a bag, I would select an £100 one, instead of two of three, if there is the guarantee of longevity.
In conclusion with leather, I recommend expensive, provided that the shop or website, can explain the reasons behind the cost. Be sure that you use our own senses as well. Ask yourself, does this smell of chemicals? Is the surface smooth? (Suggesting it has been buffed down, compromising the grain and quality), or does it show the natural marks and blemishes? (Suggesting full grain, high quality leather). Be wary of where you look.