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Are you struggling to differentiate Saffiano from other leather types? Then this article is certainly for you. We’re covering all you need-to-know about Saffiano Leather in this guide.

What is Saffiano Leather?

Saffiano Leather is a textured leather, meaning it has a cross-hatch finish achieved by treating the leather with a specialised stamping machine. This full-grain leather is further finished with a wax treatment. As a result, the leather is highly scratch resistant, durable and exceptionally easy to keep clean.

Saffiano Leather in Black

How is Saffiano Leather Made?

Classic Saffiano leather is made from the young cow animal, as calfskin. Saffiano leather is made of layers of materials. They are usually calfskin leather, plastics, and waxes. In some variations, Saffiano leather is made of all plastic.

The classic method of making Saffiano leather involves stamping the Saffiano pattern into calfskin (leather from young cows). This is a very soft and supple leather that would take the stamped texture very well.

On top of the pattern a finishing coating, generally a wax composition, would be applied. This would provide a protective barrier to help keep the leather in good shape, while also adding scratch and water-resistant qualities to the finished piece.

The Origin of Saffiano Leather

Saffiano Leather was originally founded in Italy, by one of the leading brand names within the Luxury Fashion industry, Prada. It is thought that Mario Prada designed this himself however this has not been proven. Prada quickly decided to patent the leather design, and named it ‘Real Saffiano Leather’ which can be seen throughout a majority of Prada’s designs, such as Shoes, Handbags, Wallets and more.

The first known Prada handbag made using Saffiano Leather was in 1913, over 100 years ago. With its iconic cross pattern grain design, it was adored and still is to this day by many.

Photo of Mario Prada, the co founder of Prada

Uses of Saffiano Leather

Strong, long lasting and with a lovely shine throughout, Saffiano Leather is a excellent choice for luxury leather accessories.

Some of the most popular Saffiano leather products include:

  • Handbags
  • Wallets
  • Purses
  • Toiletry Pouches
  • Watch Straps
  • Shoes
  • Briefcases
  • Suitcases
  • Duffle Bags
  • Backpacks
Photo of a Saffiano Leather Prada Galleria Bag for sale on Timeless Vintage Co
Light Grey Saffiano Leather Watch Strap by A Collected Man
Pink Saffiano Leather Prada Long Wallet

Is Saffiano Leather Real Leather

Saffiano leather can be made of faux or genuine leather. Due to the coating, cheaper corrected leathers – which are a grade of genuine leather – are often used, as imperfections of the hide will be hidden.

What Does Saffiano Leather Feel Like?

Saffiano leather has a smooth, textured feel to it. The cross hatch grained leather finish is small and can vary in height and depth. When running the fingers over them you can feel tiny grooves.

How to Clean And Care For Saffiano Leather

As you may know, Saffiano leather comes standard as water resistant, however you still need to take care of it to extend the life of your beloved Handbag, Purse or other item. We have listed some great ways to clean and care for Saffiano Leather below.

  • Do not clean Saffiano Leather using baby wipes or household products such as surface cleaners, as these items contain harsh chemicals which will seriously damage or ruin the leather. When wiping the leather, make sure to use only a damp cloth containing water or a genuine leather cleaner solution.
Carefully cleaning a Kate Spade bag using only a damp cloth

  • When wiping the leather, do not rub to fast or hard as this may lead to colour transfer or removal, in some cases the beautiful cross grain pattern may get damaged.
Damage found on a Prada Saffiano Leather Purse

  • When in use, keep the product away from sharp objects or edges, as this could cause the leather surface to pearce

  • Regular cleaning and protecting will help keep your bag looking newer for longer.

  • When your bag is not in use you should keep it stuffed, this will help keep its shape and stop the leather from creasing or starting to flop. You should also keep your bag in its dust bag or box to prevent any dust marks.
Prada storage dust bag

What Designer Brands Use Saffiano Leather

Since the start of Saffiano Leather in 1913, and after the Prada patented license expired, a lot of other big name brands caught on to the idea of using the leather, on their own products and designs. We have named just a few names below:

  • Prada
  • Michael Kors
  • Tory Burch
  • Longchamp
  • Marni
  • Mansur Gavriel
  • Rebecca Minkoff
  • Celine
  • Aspinal
  • Coach
  • Calvin Klein

Benefits of Saffiano Leather

  • Water Resistant
  • Can last a lifetime if cared for well
  • Easy to Maintain
  • Fine Quality
  • Beautiful Finish

Disadvantages of Saffiano Leather

  • Expensive
  • Synthetic Appearance
  • Cant develop a patina
  • May smell similar to plastic

How to save money on the Best Saffiano Leather bags and Accessories? 

Each of the brands mentioned within our list is entwined with the long heritage of Saffiano Leather. However, the rich history of these brands brings a high price too. So how can you save money but still enjoy these iconic pieces of fashion history? 

Buying a pre-loved or vintage handbag is the best way to enjoy these iconic bags at a more affordable price point. Not only will you save money, but there are other benefits to buying a pre-loved handbag too. The most prominent is that it’s a much more sustainable way to add to your wardrobe.

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