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Handbags 101: Let’s talk about animal leather

When it comes to handbag making, leather is one of the most popular choices of materials to use. In addition to having good durability, as well as good biodegradability, leather has become a classic choice for numerous styles of handbags. Unbeknownst to many, there is a wide variety of leathers to choose from – each having its own style and quirks. Keep reading our blog to learn more about the characteristics of each one of these articles.


In terms of strength, durability and toughness, cowhide is considered the best option. It can be used to make bags, wallets, belts, and many accessories. It is a classic material that can be found in a variety of colors, with or without hair Cowhide comes in different thicknesses, but overall, it is a very durable material.


Calfskin, the smaller, baby cow, has a softer, more flexible texture with little variation on the skin - less wrinkles. In terms of quality and durability, calf is superior to older animals of the same species. On the other hand, its price is higher, being used mostly in high-end products.


Lambskin is soft and lovely, much like the animal itself. It is soft to the touch, smooth and the hides are small, which can be a hinderance to those looking to make larger bags. Lambskin is elegant for the interior of small bags, for clothing and for special little accessories. It is not as durable as cowhide, so you want to choose its application wisely.


Goat is another small animal hide that has many small accessory applications. These hides are close to the lambskin in size and hand, however, the goat is a bit "tougher" and stronger as a leather. It is increasingly becoming more popular. Baby goat hides, known as Kid skin, as widely used for the making of gloves, known as kid gloves.

Alligator and Crocodile Leathers

Alligator and Crocodile Leathers are known as some of the most elegant and beautiful hides that you are able to acquire and use on the market. The hides are finished with nice patinas, so that they preserve and wear extremely well. They are strong hides, difficult to sew and cut. Only true artisans know how to work with these hides, that can fetch up to $5000 a hide for the larger reptile.


Ostrich leather is one of the finest and most durable types of skin in the world. It’s known for its bumpy texture and for being tough, pliable, durable, soft, and very strong. Ostrich leather contains natural oils, which means it resists cracking and stiffness.


Fish leather is strong and has water-resistant qualities because it is rich in oil. It has a distinctive scale pattern and can be used mostly for smaller accessories such as wallets and purses.

These are just some of the leather options that come from animals. There are also vegan options that are constantly being improved – there are materials made from mushrooms and even fruit. These options will be discussed in the next blog in the series. Stay tuned to the Clutch Made Factory blog for more or schedule your design consult today to find the perfect material for your product.

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