The advantage of Saffiano is that it is quite scratch resistant, durable, water-repellent and easy to clean. Some don’t like the synthetic feel of the finished material and say the coating masks leather’s identifying properties, which is true. They argue, that patent leather or synthetic material might as well be used instead of Saffiano leather, since even real leather will end up looking and feeling a little bit like vinyl or plastic.
While most leather used for handbags is dyed (vegetable-tanned leather or chrome tannes leather, Saffiano leather isn’t. It is “coated over” in whatever color the designer desires and cross-hatch-ed. Essentially you only get to see the original color of the material, if the top layer gets a scratch or wears off over time.
Saffiano Leather was first produced in one of Prada’s famous tanneries in Italy. It was patented and first used to make the Saffiano handbag (Prada’s first bag!) in 1913. Saffiano style bags by Prada are still popular today and adored for their beautiful strong leather, easy maintenance and durability.
As mentioned, Saffiano leather was first made by Prada in Italy. Saffiano stands out because of its cross-hatched structure, which forms the diagonal print. It was originally made from calf leather. Today the Saffiano methodology is used on many types of leather and vegan PU materials alike. What started in one of Italy’s most famous tanneries as Prada’s signature has now made it to many factories all around the globe. If a material has the typical cross-hatch pattern, the end product is often referred to as Saffiano, no matter how or where it has been produced. It is really about the look and not so much the original method or materials anymore. This is why a bag, that is marked “Saffiano” could in theory be vegan, which makes it a little more difficult to answer the question: “Is Saffiano leather vegan or not?”
If you are into designer purses, there’s a great chance you’ve heard of Saffiano Leather. Ever since Mario Prada first used it in the early 1900, for his famous Saffiano bag, the material has continously gained popularity. Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Longchamps are only some of the brands, that use Saffiano Leather. While the material is unquestionably popular, there is quite a bit of confusion and many conscious shoppers are left wondering: “What is Saffiono Leather? And is Saffiano Leather Vegan?” Today we set out to answer this questions once and for all!
What type of leather does Kate Spade use?
Kate Spade mainly uses cow-hide leather in its purses and handbags.
One of the primary leathers used is Saffiano leather. It is leather derived from calf hide. It has a traditional crossover, a transverse design that is imprinted on the leather using machines. It is a very durable, and resistant leather that is very hard to scratch or damage. Saffiano leather is waterproof as well.
Suede is also used in some Kate Spade purses and bags. Suede is a type of leather that is derived from the under the skin of animals such as sheep, goats, pigs, deer, etc. It is often mistaken to be different from leather but is actually a variant of it.
Suede uses the underside of animal skin which is soft as compared to pure leather that uses the exterior hide. Suede is more pliable and smooth; it is softer and supple as compared to traditional leather which is marked by its toughness and rigidity.
In some ways, you can say Suede is a kind of unfinished leather — it can be a little more difficult to clean because of its velvety texture.
Some Kate Spade bags and purses are also made from pebbled leather. This is also a cowhide/calfskin leather that is rolled over by a machine press that has pebble-like indentations to give the bag’s exterior a grainy, coarse effect.
Italian leather is also used to manufacture purses and bags at Kate Spade New York. Italian leather is very much like other cowhide leather, but it is treated using vegetable tanning and other natural processes which is a trademark of the Tuscan region.
Italian leather is more resistant due to the process used to treat the leather. But it also makes the leather softer and more flexible as compared to others. It also has an inimitable smell, which is characteristic of, and caused by the distinctive treatment procedure.
The bags and purses in the latest Kate Spade catalog also feature crocodile-embossed leather. Crocodile-embossed leather or mock-croc is cowhide or sheep-hide leather that is imprinted with crocodile skin patterns using a rolling metal press. This allows the leather to have the look and feel of real reptile skin.
Are all Kate Spade bags and purses leather?
Not all Kate Spade bags are made of leather. Some are made of calf hair, wicker, straw, canvas, and nylon. Those that are made of leather comprise Saffiano or cross-hatched leather, pebbled leather, or smooth Italian leather.
The company also uses wool, tweed, linen, etc. as alternatives to leather. But most bags/purses, whether they are made of leather or not, tend to have leather trims or handles on them.
But a majority of Kate Spade purses and bags use authentic leather of different kinds.
Is Saffiano leather real leather?
Many Kate Spade products are made with an exterior material called saffiano leather, which is tough to break or even get dirty as it is water-resistant and scratch-proof – a characteristic that will stand the test of time.
Are all Kate Spade bags made of leather?