What You Need to Know about Italian Leather


A beautiful leather handbag is one of life’s greatest pleasures — the luxurious, earthy, and rich scent, the soft, supple touch, and the durable finish that gets better with age are all reasons to invest in a quality bag.

However, that doesn’t mean that every leather bag you’ll find in a store is the real deal or worth your hard-earned money. You may see “genuine leather,” a catchall term for many different types of leather; leather that is stamped as being made in Italy, which is different than Italian leather, and, of course, vegan leather.

Italian leather is probably the most popular and well-known type of leather, but what exactly does it refer to? Here’s what you need to know about Italian leather and why you should choose full-grain leather for your next handbag. (Hint, hint.)

What is full-grain leather?

Full-grain leather is made with the full cattle hide, and its top layer is strong and resistant. Full-grain leather isn’t sanded down or altered like other types of leather and tends to be softer and more supple than other types of leather, yet extremely resilient and long-lasting.

Why is Italian leather better than other types?

Italian leather is most frequently used for belts, watch bands, handbags, and shoes due to its soft yet durable nature. It is vegetable tanned, a signature method of Italian tanneries where the hides are soaked in vegetable tannins for several months. Italian leather tends to be stronger and more natural-looking because of this. The process may be lengthy and involved, but the end result is worth it.

Shouldn’t I choose vegan leather?

If you live a vegan lifestyle, you may want to choose a vegan leather bag. However, the popularity of vegan leather (also known as “pleather”) can have a negative impact on the environment. Harper’s Bazaar reports that vegan leather is made from plastic, which takes years and years to biodegrade; plastic also requires a great deal of energy and water to produce. When it comes to adding to your closet in a sustainable fashion, it’s best to buy used or secondhand, or shop with a company that shares your values.


Why do you use Italian leather for your bags?

At Baobab Roots, we’re passionate about using the highest quality leather we can find, and to us, that means full-grain Italian leather. We want you to feel good about your investment and use it daily; we chose the best leather available at a fair and accessible price point so, while your bag may feel like a splurge initially, you’ll appreciate its versatility and durability and wear it for years to come.