When most people think of leather, words like “durability” and “versatility” spring to mind. It’s a material that has a reputation for standing the test of time. However, this classic material has a soft side too. There are many types of leather known for their beautifully supple texture and longevity. Here are five of our favorites:
Ostrich Leather: We love this one. It’s soft, durable, ideal for high fashion and very breathable. It has a uniquely bumpy texture (known as quills) that look like little nubs giving products a unique and striking look. Ostrich leather is a top choice for leather products such as handbags, wallets and belts. It also tends to resist cracking because the material has natural oils, protecting it from sun exposure.
Steer Roughout Leather: Roughout leather is the underside of a hide’s grain. It’s basically leather turned inside out. Steer is the most durable of all the roughouts. For longer wear, select the roughout that has a soft and pliable feel. Roughout must be kept clean of mud and other drying ingredients or it will crack. A brass suede brush cleans it, though it can spot easily because of its absorbency. Some roughout leathers are silicone treated as part of the tanning treatment, making them water resistant.
Goat Leather: This is a highly-flexible material making it perfect for a variety of uses. It’s strong, yet soft and lightweight which makes it a good choice for boots, gloves and bags. It’s also more economical than some other leathers such as anline (discussed below). It’s water-resistant due to the vegetable tanning process which contributes to its resilience and durability.
Pig Suede: This leather is thinner when compared to cow suede. It’s a good choice for linings, lightweight accessories and small goods because it’s pliable and soft. It tends to age like a fine wine and has a velvety, silky finish. Like goat leather, it’s also good for a budget, but does not sacrifice value or appearance. It can also be kept clean by simply brushing it regularly with a soft brush.
Anline: Aniline leather is a high-quality product. The word itself actually refers to what happens once the hide is tanned. There are specific dyes used in making the final product which makes it stand out from many other. It’s typically suited for luxury accessories and since it’s generally produced from full-grain leather, it’s one of the best-quality and most natural looking of all the leathers. In addition to wallets, bags, jackets and other luxury goods it can also be found donning car seats, bicycle saddles and suitcases.
So, which soft leather do you like most? As far as we’re concerned, they’re all excellent choices for soft, beautiful clothes and accessories that can withstand the trials and tribulations of everyday life.