For many, picking a leather handbag can simply mean seeing the word leather in its description and they are satisfied they are buying a quality product. Unfortunately, leather can be dressed or underdressed in many guises, which can be beyond baffling for a consumer, who simply wants a quality, long lasting, leather handbag. Here let’s take a look at the different types of leather you are liking to encounter when thinking of investing in a new leather handbag.

Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather is considered the highest quality leather as it is left in the most natural state. All Blondie Mania bags are made using this type of leather. Full grain leather is made using the majority of the animal hide. This results in a thicker, more luxurious material, that creates extremely durable leather goods.

By preserving all of the leather in its natural form, it preserves the individual character of each piece of hide, including subtle tonal variations, scratches, freckles and scars; these markings are to be celebrated as it’s what makes the leather truly unique. Unlike any other grade of leather, full grain leather develops a beautiful patina as it wears and is the only type of leather that really gets better with age.

Top Grain Leather

Top grain leather is created by sanding or buffing away the outermost layer of the animal hide. This gives it a more uniform look and removes all the natural characteristics that are present in full grain leather. It leaves a flexible, soft finish, however this makes it less durable over time.

Corrected Grain Leather

This type of leather is often termed, “genuine leather”, which is misleading. It is a much lower grade leather. The outer layers are removed by sanding down, to remove inconsistencies before being dyed or painted. This often results in a thinner, weaker material used for cheaper leather goods.

Split Leather

Split grain leather only uses the corium section of the hide. This results in the most fragile form of real leather and therefore has a low life expectancy. An artificial layer is also often added to split leather to strengthen it.

Bonded Leather

This is not 100% leather but a blend, made from scraps of leather fibres mixed with rubber or polyurethane binding materials. It is then embossed with a leather texture to give the appearance of a certain grain. It is inferior in both durability and quality and is not a product that will stand the test of time – it sits up there in the ‘fast fashion’ category.

Whilst checking what type of leather handbag you are investing in, you should also enquire about the grain of the material. Full grain leather is always your best option when it comes to utmost quality, so always look for features of this grade that celebrates leather’s natural look and feel.

The natural characteristics of leather are:

  • Thickness
  • Water-resistance 
  • Soft and supple
  • Marks, scars and variations
  • Wrinkles and creases with use

Here at Blondie Mania we only use full grain, cow leather, preserving all of the natural beauty of the hide, to produce leather handbags that are buttery soft to the touch, but durable and hard wearing to take you through your busy day-to-day life and still be looking decadent in years to come.



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