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Why is leather so expensive?

Why is leather so expensive?

When it comes to making leather, it takes at least a year for a cow to mature large enough to create a skin large enough for a large panel rather than small pieces sewn together. Not only will this take time, but you will still need to feed and water the animal as well as keep it safe and healthy. This is one of the reasons why leather is so expensive. There is only so much leather that can be extracted from a single animal, and it takes a slew of chemicals to properly cure and treat the leather so that it is nice and usable. Furthermore, leather is very heavy and difficult to deal with. Making something out of leather necessitates the use of specialized equipment and experience. If any errors are made during the manufacturing process, you must restart from the beginning.

Why is leather so expensive?
The Vernon Backpack | Genuine Vintage Leather Minimalist Backpack

Types of Leather

The price of leather goods is usually dictated by the type of leather used and how the product was manufactured. Full grain leather is often regarded as the best quality leather, while bonded leather and natural leather are regarded as the lowest quality. Cheaper leather furniture, such as sofas made of bonded leather, is more likely to be found, whereas high street luxury shops usually stock real leather in order to provide more affordable prices. Designer brands, on the other hand, would usually use full grain leather, calf leather, or even exotic leathers such as ostrich. Another factor influencing price is the type of animal skin used. Cowhide is the most common type of leather, so it is more expensive than less expensive alternatives such as goat and buffalo.

Dyes and Colours

It's not surprising that fully dyed leathers are more costly than semi-dyed leathers because it's more difficult and time-consuming to find better-quality hides that can be dyed. Some leathers are finished by machine spraying, which is much less expensive than hand antiqued leathers. It also depends on the color you're making. For example, it is much less expensive to manufacture a large number of hides in a single color rather than a few hides in a variety of less common colors. The money saved by making them in bulk makes the product less expensive for the customer. Because white leather is the most difficult color leather to manufacture, you would expect a white leather jacket or bag to command a higher price.


Higher-quality leather items usually use vegetable tanning, which does not use chemicals to dye the leather and instead employs natural coloring methods such as tree bark and tannin. Because this process takes much longer than other tanning methods, it is more costly. The majority of leather is processed by chrome tanning, which uses chemicals to tan the leather, which is much faster and results in a lower-cost leather product.

Small companies vs Big companies

Large companies usually have higher overheads than smaller family-run firms, and as a result, their leather goods can be more expensive than those of smaller companies. However, because of their budget, they are able to mass-produce large amounts, and manufacturing leather in bulk is, of course, less expensive than producing smaller runs. Steel Horse Leather reduces costs by eliminating the middleman, allowing us to pass these savings on to our customers while still producing made-to-order full grain leather bags. Because we are a made-to-order business, we save money on the storage costs associated with holding stock and stockpiling large quantities of leather.

World Leather

Italian leather is also associated with luxury high-end leather bags, and it is true that the Italian leather industry has historically used only the finest quality hides, which often go through a more extensive treatment process. However, an area should not be used to determine whether the leather is of high or poor quality since there are other variables to consider in order to justify the price tag. Goat and buffalo leather, historically manufactured in India, is considered lower-cost leather because the hides do not demand the same price as cow hide. This is due to the fact that these leathers are not as high in quality as cow leather. Goat leather has a heavy odor and a thinner skin.

Genuine Leather Is Expensive
The Dagny Weekender | Large Leather Duffle Bag

Genuine Leather Is Expensive

There is a significant difference between genuine leather and imitation leather. The material used, however, is the simplest way to distinguish genuine leather. Genuine top-grain cowhide or sheep leather is costly since the process of finding the right animal hide and converting it into wearable leather is time-consuming. This is referred to as tanning.

Leather may be tanned using either a vegetable tanning process or a chrome tanning method. These tanning methods will take anywhere from a day to 40 days to tan a single piece of leather.

As a result, the final product's content plays an important role in determining how much the leather would cost. Genuine leather garments would be more expensive.

Why are genuine leather bags so expensive?

Genuine leather is one of the most adaptable bag fabrics, and well-made leather bags can last for years. If you're new to the world of leather, you may be wondering why leather bags are so pricey. And you may decide to buy a luxury handbag at high prices. So, what's the deal with authentic leather bags being so pricey?

Firstly, there are a variety of explanations for this. However, the answer can be summed up in two words: material and craftsmanship.

To begin, there are two types of leather: full grain leather and top grain leather.

Full Grain Leather is regarded as the highest quality leather type available. The second highest quality leather is top grain leather. As a result, top grain leather is a bit cheaper than full grain leather.

Full Grain Leather selects leather from captive breeding cows and castrated cows because their leather is denser, with wider sheets and fewer scars. Furthermore, Full Grain Leather is made from the top layer of the animal's leather, which is the side that grows or scales, and is the animal's strongest and most durable component. Full Grain Leather is the most robust and long-lasting type of leather.

In most cases, there are some cuts on the animal's skin, so we may remove a small portion of the upper skin. If the animal's skin is thicker, the staff will cut it into two sections, and the upper part, which has high density fibrous tissue, will be processed into Top Grain Leather, and the lower part, which has genuine leather, will be processed into Genuine Leather. Top grain leather is strong and difficult to tear.

Secondly, the craftsmanship:

You must be familiar with leather types and tanning methods. Chromium tanned and vegetable tanned Vegetable tanned leather is environmentally friendly and good for your skin, but it takes a long time to produce. As a result, vegan leather costs more than chromium-tanned leather.

The craftsman is a significant cause. Each handmade top brand leather bag is made entirely by hand by a single craftsman who trains for nearly two years before being permitted to create a bag. It takes more than ten hours to make one bag, so only a small amount are produced each year.

To summarize, there are various grades of leather, with the best grades being the most costly. Of course, everything is subjective. Cattle leather is much more abundant and less costly than leather from other species, but it is significantly more expensive than cloth fabrics and fake leather.

The Asmund Backpack | Genuine Leather Rucksack


What is Aniline Leather?

There are three main types of leather: Aniline leather, semi aniline leather, and pigmented leather. Among the three, aniline is considered as the "untouched" leather. From raw animal skin to leather, nothing is done to the stuff. There was no alteration to the skin. As a consequence, it has the most natural shape of any kind of leather. As a result, it is the finest leather available. It's also silky smooth and supple. It can, however, become very expensive.

What is Bonded Leather?

Bonded leather is made from leather scraps and leftovers, as well as a bonding agent (typically plastic). It is then pressed into sheets that can be used directly for upholstery or turned into finished leather goods.

What is suede leather?

Suede is a type of leather with a soft surface and a napped finish that is made from the underside of animal skin. It is mostly made of sheepskin, but it may also be made of goatskin, cowskin, deer skin, pigskin, and other animal skins. Suede, on the other hand, is smoother, lighter, and less robust than full-grain leather, which is used to create Crazy Horse Leather.

Why Suede Is Less Expensive Than Leather?

To begin with, is suede really more costly than leather? No, it is not. While it varies depending on the brand, suede is usually less costly than leather. Why is this so? Since low-quality hides are often processed for suede while only the best hides are chosen for leather.

Handmade Leather Bags

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