As the general saying goes, the more you spend on a leather bag, the better its quality. Luxury leather bags are rather a luxury that only a few can afford. But is it really so? What if luxury leather bags are affordable? What if you can own the best leather travel bag without selling your car?
In this post, we will read about what luxury leather is and what would be the perfect leather travel bag for you. Not just that, we’ll also learn about the durability of leather bags and how you should care for them to last for a long, long time.
What Defines as Luxury Leather?
Luxury leather is commonly called lux or luxe leather to denote the high quality of the hide used in manufacturing the product. The leather is full-grain, soft, strong, resilient, and highly durable.
Full-grain leather has the topmost layers of the animal skin, which are not removed or sanded off during the treatment. These layers are thick and are responsible for making the leather strong and durable. Full-grain leather has as few imperfections as possible, and you will not find any lumps, dents, blemishes, or patches of discoloring.
If the full-grain leather has been through minimal treatment, you will notice a smell. But if it has been thoroughly cleaned and tanned, there will be no smell of the leather or the acids used during the tanning process.
Different Types of Leather
Leather is available in various types. It depends on the animal skin used, the layers of the hide, and the type of tanning followed by the manufacturers. From buffaloes to lambs, goats, pigs, horses, and alligators, the skin of different animals is used to manufacture different leather products.
Due to the awareness against animal cruelty and the environment, several top brands are now following eco-friendly and sustainable procedures to procure and process leather.
- Relying on local markets
- Buying animal hide from the meat industry
- Reusing high-quality leather scraps
- Recycling old leather products
- Using less harmful chemicals for tanning
- Planting trees for purchases, etc.
These are some ways the well-known brands are adopting to become more responsible towards the environment and also limit their role in animal cruelty.
The following are some of the different types of leather we find the market-
- Full-Grain Leather: It comes from the top layer of the skin and has all the grain.
- Top-Grain Leather: The top layer of skin with blemishes is split, and the surface is sanded to remove the imperfections.
- Split Grain Leather: Also known as corrected grain or genuine leather, it is made using the remaining layers of skin (after the top ones are removed).
- Bonded Leather: It is made using leftover shavings of the skin bound together using polyurethane or latex.
- Nubuck Leather: It is Aniline-dyed leather made from top-grain hide after the blemishes are buffed out.
- Suede: It is made from the underside of the hide from animals like pigs, lamb, goats, and deer. It has a napped finish.
- Patent Leather: It is leather coated with plastic (etc.) to give it a smooth glossy finish.
- Pigmented Leather: It is low-quality leather with polymer surface coating to pigment the hide.
- Oil-Tanned Leather: It is processed in natural oils after vegetable tanning to increase water resistance.
- Waxy Hand Leather: It comes with a wax/ greasy finish.
- Skirting Leather: It is made from the sides of the cattle hide and is thick and heavy. Used to make saddles, etc.
- Kidskin Leather: It is made using hide from lambs and young goats.
- Good Hand Leather: It is very soft and feels good to touch.
What Makes a Perfect Leather Travel Bag?
Who doesn’t want to own the perfect leather travel bag? But what defines the perfect leather bag for travel?
A handcrafted bag large enough for your clothes, accessories, a medium-sized laptop, with a separate shoe compartment, internal pockets, and made of water-repellent smooth buffalo tan would be the best choice. Of course, the shoulder straps would be strong and adjustable. The travel bag would have the perfect duffel shape. There would be a cotton internal lining and high-quality metal zippers.
What about a matching luggage tag? Yes, that too. Depending on your travel requirements, you can opt for the size of the leather bag. Let’s say that the largest capacity is 60L. It would be wonderful for your weekend getaways.
A laptop or a MacBook of 15” would easily slip into the slot allotted for it. Your phone, wallet, cash, and cards will be safe in the internal pockets. Pack your clothes inside, pull the zipper close, sling the bag over your shoulder and get going. You surely are going to grab more than a couple of eyeballs.
Do you know the advantage of buying a travel bag made of high-quality buffalo skin? The older it gets, the better it appears. Your travel bag can last you for a long time and still look as good as new. In fact, it might look even better.
And this takes us to the next point-
The Durability of Leather Bags
Why do you think leather bags are so famous? That’s because they can last for like forever. We aren’t kidding. A leather bag made of lux leather will last you for decades and even 100 years if you take care of it.
The leather itself is such a material that has a natural ability to be durable and sustain for years together. Leather doesn’t wear off. It ages and ages well (yeah, like wine). Old leather has a distinctive feel to it, which a lot of people appreciate.
No wonder luxe leather is expensive. It’s like making a lifetime investment. You can use the same travel leather bag for your travels throughout your life. Maybe you can even gift it to your children, and it would sustain them for another few decades.
Nevertheless, the durability of leather bags depends on quite a few factors. The first one is the type of leather used to make the bag. Full-grain is the best available quality and is the most durable compared to other types of leather. There have been various instances of a full-grain leather bag lasting longer than 100 years.
Top-grain leather is also used to make lux leather products, but it is not as durable as full-grain. Still, the bag will last for several decades. Bonded leather and genuine leather have the lowest lifespan, though you can use them for five to ten years, depending upon how conscientiously you care for the bags.
Of course, this rule applies to every single type of leather. If you want the leather to be strong, durable, smooth, and shiny, you will need to put in the efforts to take care of it. Why do you think lux leather bags come with a long list of instructions? While leather is durable, the actual lifespan of the travel bag lies in your hands. Carefully read the next section to know how to take care of your luxe leather travel bag.
How to Take Care of Your Luxury Leather Travel Bag?
The first step in caring for your leather travel bag is to store it the right way. Dumping the travel bag on a random shelf or squeezing it into a half-filled drawer is definitely not the correct method.
Stuff the bag with tissues (the acid-free ones) and place the bag in its original box/ cover. What if it’s not possible? Well, you can use your sweaters instead. Arrange the sweaters neatly inside the bag so that the shape is retained. Then place the bag in your wardrobe after covering it with a dust bag. It is recommended to put the straps inside the bag as the chain links can cause scratches on the outside surface if you are not careful.
Remember those small silica sachets? Do not throw them away. These have the magical ability to absorb moisture. When you leave a couple of these inside the bag, the silica will ensure that your travel leather bag is free of moisture. That means there won’t be any smell or mold growing inside the bag.
Dyed leather can stain its surroundings if it comes in contact with wet cloth or surface. Try your best to not let this happen. Water shouldn’t come near your dyed leather bags.
Don’t pack loose items in your luxury leather travel bag. Place your phone in the dedicated slot. Use your makeup bag to store the makeup items. Your toiletries should go into the vanity bag. Put this bag in the leather bag instead of dumping things directly inside.
Don’t leave the travel bag on random surfaces. Carry the dust bag with you and use it. You can also invest in a portable bag hanger. Let water stains dry on their own. If the staining comes with other items, it’s advisable to take the bag to a nearby leather bag care center.
Here are some of the great options of luxury leather travel bags to choose from.