A Guide to Louis Vuitton Leather Types
As a fashion house that grew to prominence with an iconic collection of luggage and handbags, Louis Vuitton has an extensive repertoire of handbag materials. Using only the very best textiles and leathers, Louis Vuitton carved a unique path within the high fashion industry.
Like the GG monogram canvas from Gucci or the quilted lambskin leather from Chanel, Louis Vuitton has developed its own distinct collection of materials, including a range of one-of-a-kind leather types.
Below we explore the Louis Vuitton leather types, each used upon a range of iconic handbags and accessories.
With its unique textured appearance, Louis Vuitton’s Epi leather is popular on block colour bags where the eye can be drawn to the unique appearance of the leather. It’s created with grained cowhide leather. A glossy variation of Epi leather known as ‘Electric Epi’ is also available.
A soft calfskin leather that is embossed with the iconic LV monogram, quatrefoil and flower symbols. The embossed areas can also be filled with a striking colour contrast print. It’s durable and also easily cleaned.
Another classic Louis Vuitton monogram style. The Monogram Vernis leather is created using soft cowhide leather which is embossed with the classic LV monogram then finished with a striking glossy coating.
Grained or Smooth Calf Leather
For a more minimalistic finish, many popular Louis Vuitton handbags and accessories are created with minimally processed leather, without patterns or embossed detailing. Without an eye-catching monogram pattern or texture, this leather allows the shape and silhouette of the bag to remain in focus.
Embossed with the classic chequered Damier pattern, the Damier Infini leather is often featured on popular bags and cases for men.
A cowhide leather that has been sanded and smoothed then embossed with a fine grain detailing. Because of the sanding process, this leather is much smoother and supple. The grain is also completely free from any natural blemishes.
A full-grain cowhide leather that is again popular on men’s bags and accessories. It is also often embossed with the classic LV monogram print.
With similarities to the Monogram Empreinte, the monogram pattern on Louis Vuitton’s Mahina leather is perforated, not embossed. This gives the pattern a more delicate appearance.
Monogram Mat Leather
This leather also has similarities to the Monogram Empreinte, however, the pattern is embossed with a sharper precision. The leather also has a metallic sheen, giving bags a delicate and futuristic appearance.
Louis Vuitton still handcrafts bags using a range of animal skins, including lizards, minks, ostriches, crocodiles and snakes. It’s long been a concern of animal activists, yet the collections still draw in fashion connoisseurs looking for unique textures and rare designs.
Does Louis Vuitton use vegan leather?
Currently, Louis Vuitton is not considered a vegan brand. The collections of bags, accessories, clothing and even the homeware edits contain products created with animal hides and furs. However, as more and more people commit to a vegan lifestyle, brands and companies are listening and taking note… In 2021 Louis Vuitton released a shoe created with vegan leather and eco-friendly materials.
One way to enjoy the stylistic detailing and fashion history of Louis Vuitton is by purchasing a secondhand Louis Vuitton bag. Although many people believe vegans should not own leather at all, a secondhand leather bag is a great option if you’re curating a more sustainable and ethical wardrobe.
Trims, handles and straps
This soft, natural leather is used on the trims and detailing of the vast majority of Louis Vuitton’s most iconic bags, like the Alma and Neverfull. It has a unique trait where it develops a honeyed patina as it is handled and exposed to the sun. It’s also a factor that’s taken into consideration when the bag is authenticated by official designer bag resellers.
Tips on how to clean Vachetta leather
Grained Cowhide Leather
Bags created with the Epi leather or patterned bags with Monogram Empreinte or Mahina usually have trims and straps created with supple grained leather in matching colours.