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A Guide to Prada Leather Types

As one of the oldest designer brands in the world that is still trading, Prada has a far-reaching back catalogue of quality materials and refined designs. Often associated with their iconic usage of nylon, Prada is also recognised for its fine-tuned collection of leathers.

Louis Vuitton has the iconic Monogram Empreinte, and Hermès has the Box Calf, but do any of the Prada leather types hold a similar reputation? 

From signature favourites to former contenders, here’s a breakdown of Prada leather types, past and present.

Saffiano Leather

One of the most well-known and well-loved leathers to emerge from the Prada brand. With its signature, crosshatch, embossed texture and waxed finish, Saffiano is a supple and highly durable leather. It’s so unique that it has been officially patented by Prada, and other design houses including Michael Kors and Kate Spade use Saffiano leather to create some of their products.

Browse secondhand Saffiano Prada handbags

Pink Saffiano leather on a Prada Small Promenade bag within our secondhand Prada handbag collection

Nappa Leather

One of the other popular Prada leather types, Nappa leather is a natural, full-grain leather. It has a much softer and supple texture compared to Saffiano leather meaning it is considered less durable.

Red Nappa Leather Zippy Purse, view more designer wallets and purses here at Timeless Vintage

Vernice Leather

Prada’s Vernice is a patent leather with a striking, high-shine varnished coating. It’s a calfskin leather that is layered with a plastic coating that gives shoes, belts or handbags a firm structure and increased durability.

Prada Vernice Leather Black Heels, shop more designer accessories here at Timeless Vintage

Vitello Leather

Meaning ‘calf’ in English, Vitello is a calfskin leather with a distinctive natural grain. It’s generally considered a thin leather, giving it a supple feel, but it is still noted as having excellent durability.

Vitello Daino: A calfskin leather that is processed to reflect the texture and appearance of deerskin.

A Prada Crossbody Bag with Vitello Daino Leather

Vitello Move: A calfskin leather with a lined and textured grain. It has similarities to the Louis Vuitton Epi Leather.

Cervo Leather

Cervo leather has a very subtle, natural grain and an overall buttery smooth appearance. Unlike the more durable Saffiano or Vitello leather, Cervo can be easily marked, so it’s a leather that needs greater care. Like the Vitello Daino, it is meant to mimic the unique qualities of deerskin, but Cervo is created using cowhide.

Cavallino Leather

Perhaps one of the least used Prada leather types — Cavallino is a hair-on-hide leather created using cow skins. The hair gives the leather a unique texture, but it has largely lost favour because of its resemblance to fur.

A Prada Leopard Print Cavallino Leather Long Purse

Spazzolato Leather

A brushed leather that is often used on boots, heels and handbags. Spazzolato leather has a polished appearance with a smooth texture. It doesn’t have the high shine appearance of Vernice, but it does have a distinct sheen.

Prada brushed Spazzolato leather Clutch Bag

Scamosciato Leather

A suede leather that is occasionally used to create some Prada handbags, shoes and outerwear.

A Brown Scamosciato Leather Prada Handbag

Does Prada use exotic skins?

Like many high fashion brands, including the Hermès leather collection, Prada strove to create unique lines of handbags with unusual animal skins and hides. However, by the Spring/Summer 2020 collection, Prada had phased out the use of exotic animal skins and furs completely.

Some of the exotic Prada leather types and skins included: Struzzo (ostrich), Cocco (crocodile), Lucertola (lizard) and Pitone (python).

A discontinued Prada bag with fox fur | Photo by Kürschner on Wikimedia Commons

Does Prada use vegan leather?

Like their Italian counterpart Gucci, Prada is not currently a vegan brand. The fashion house has banned the use of exotic skins and fur, but they have yet to explore vegan alternatives for their leathers.

With veganism and sustainability becoming increasingly prioritised in our shopping habits, it leaves many of us looking for action and clarity from some of the worlds leading fashion brands.

A Mini Prada Nylon Toiletry Bag, here at Timeless Vintage Co

Prada has several ‘accidentally vegan’ handbags, like the Re-Nylon collection. But there are other eco-conscious ways to enjoy the sleek styling of Prada. Browse through our collection of secondhand Prada handbags to add high fashion to your wardrobe in a more eco-friendly way.

We’ve written a blog post summarising all the amazing benefits of pre-loved high fashion that allows us to enjoy the acclaimed quality of a luxury designer brand like Prada.

Read More | The History of Prada

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