There is nothing worse than buying a gorgeous leather work bag that wanes with age. Aesthetically speaking, top-quality leather is supposed to improve with time, developing its unique characteristics on the surface patina. Such authenticity requires a hefty investment, however, we emphasize the word “investment” because you will gain not just a durable men’s bag but also an heirloom.
That is why it is crucial to grasp what leather is the best quality for men’s work bags - something which we will gladly help you accomplish through this little leather guide…
The basics of leather bags for men
In order to make an informed decision when shopping for leather products, first, you need to understand what types of leather exist, their properties, and manufacture methods. Remember folks, humanity has been manipulating leather for more than 30,000 years so leatherworking is an ancient craft with tons of tradition and expert terminology.
Unfortunately, the current leather industry is sometimes even using that terminology solely for marketing purposes without applying those values and practices to production. High market demand has prompted some manufacturers to create vast amounts of leather in a short amount of time that is either nowhere near the quality standard, environmentally hazardous or both.
We believe it is important for the consumer to understand these terminologies and thus what leather is the best quality for men’s work bags. Why the fuss? Because next time you go shopping, you can ask all the right questions and know exactly what you are investing in. And what leather is of the best quality? Cowhide leather.
Why is cowhide leather the best?
At I Medici, all our products are made of 100% cowhide leather. Bovine farming is one of the most widespread livestock on the planet and, just as the name suggests, leather is made of cow’s hide. Rest assured, all the leather we use is the byproduct of the meat and dairy industry.
We are strictly against working with leather materials from animals that are farmed solely for their skins. If it isn’t waste material, we are obliged not to use it.
Cowhide leather properties
The reason why cow skin is ideal for leather manufacturing is that it is thick, quite common-place and available pretty much anywhere. Calfs produce thin and soft skins with very little blemishes, whereas adults provide thicker properties with a lot more natural markings that give the hide its unique character.
At I Medici, we work with malleable skins that come from aged dairy cows, due to the higher quality of life and much longer life expectancy. They are estimated to live between 6 to 8 years on average compared to other types of cattle, which have a lifespan of merely 5 to 7 months.
Interestingly enough, one cow does not only produce one type of leather but 2 and sometimes even 3. Now, just to clear the air - there is an ongoing myth by ill-informed people that some cows are skinned alive and even left to regrow their skin for future harvests. This is completely untrue, inhumane, and impossible to accomplish. What actually happens is that the entire skin is cut down into different layers, which provides several leather types that can be used for numerous purposes.
Usable cowhide parts
In essence, the skin of the cow used for leather manufacturing can be divided into two primary parts: the corium or bottom layer on one hand and the grain or top layer on the other.
The corium is the part of the skin that contains thin and elastic collagen fibers which is resting beneath the sturdier top grain. Additionally, as the cow ages, this particular layer also becomes thicker and tighter.
The grain or top layer faces outwards towards the fur and it contains blemishes, scratches, insect bites, and other natural markings that may give the hide its authentic aesthetic properties. This layer is typically buffed out to achieve that smooth and shiny look but certain markings can be kept for character.
So next time you go searching what leather is the best quality for men’s work bags - cowhide should be at the top of your list. Still, let’s dig deeper and see what other types of leather exist
When shopping for leather products, know that there are essentially 5 grade of leather to look for:
Full grains. The part which hasn’t been buffed (sanded) in order to maintain the natural grain pattern, including the skin irregularities of the animal.
Top grains. The outermost layer of the skin is removed, which gives the manufactures a thinner, more malleable leather to work with.
Genuine or split leathers. Although it sounds like you are getting the real deal, this part comes from intermediate layers, between top grain and suede, which look good but wear easily.
Suedes. This soft underside of animal skin feels good to the touch, which is commonly used for clothing and rarely for creating leather bags for men.
Recycled or bonded leathers. This most affordable type is made of reconstituted leftover and artificial materials that possess that leather-like texture but fail to last.
This right here is the answer to the question what leather is the best quality for men’s work bags? Bear in mind that in cases when the leather is buffed or corrected to get rid of any unwanted skin markings, we get top grain. However, full grain leather is completely left intact, including the natural skin markings, which give the product its unique aesthetic properties. Just like we have unique fingerprints so do cows have unique fur patterns.
Both grain leathers are divided into 3 main categories, depending on the processing method:
The processing method of this leather type utilizes soluble dyes, which is why it is the most natural both in terms of feel and looks. The downside is they are the most susceptible to scratches, stains, and fading, too.
Like most bridle leathers, this type is treated with pigments, which helps conceal any natural markings, giving the final result a more uniform look. The pigmentation process also provides that extra layer of protection that keeps the leather scratch-free.
As the name suggests, this type has a protective coating which is either sprayed, sewn, or printed on top of the surface. At I Medici, we use protected leather the most to create our leather products which we guarantee are not only eye-catching but also extremely durable.
Bottom parts of the leather
The part beneath the grain is known by its various colloquial names, which can often confuse customers who do not have any previous knowledge about leather typography and their properties. To spare you the trouble, if you have heard of terms such as suede, genuine leather, split leather, napa leather or printed leather, know that they are all pretty much the same thing.
Split leather and suede are typically embossed and coated in order to achieve that leather-like appearance. Even though they cannot match full and top grains in terms of durability and sturdiness, they have that softer feel which is ideal for making clothing.
Last and least, we are left with bonded leather, which is the lowest grade of all. Next time you go shopping for leather bags for men or women, know that this grade will cost you the least amount of money but it will not deliver in terms of performance.
The reason why bonded leather bags, briefcases, and totes can never be on par with quality standards is because they are made of recycled leather scraps, fillers, and layers of polyurethane, which tend to break off very easily. They may possess deceiving looks but bonded leather products will ultimately fail to keep themselves intact with use, that is a given.
Our Italian leather
At I Medici, we combine sturdy construction practices with visually appealing qualities to bring you some of the best designs on the market. We have been crafting Florentine leather products since 1952 and have upheld our standards even to this day to bring you some of the best bags and briefcases suited to all professional and personal needs.
Another thing we take pride in is our vegetable tanned leather materials, which help us create durable, tasteful, and genuine Italian leather bags. We employ eco friendly principles by using natural tans that are not only good for sustaining the environment but also improves the quality of our products.
We have got everything you need! Whether you are searching for a bag to suit your profession or a casual one to show off some style and sophistication, our wide choice of attorney briefcases, Italian leather handbags, travel, totes, duffel bags, and work bags for men and women will surely meet all your expectations.
From great design to top of the line hardware, our vegetable tanned leather bags guarantee lifelong warranty and impeccable aesthetic properties. Feel free to check out our top brands we have on offer:
I Medici bags
This brand is our answer to what leather is the best quality for men’s work bags? From pastel to modern leathers, I Medici designs made from protected grain are built to last and project elegance. The protective layers achieved by adding a pigment to the surface allows us to provide you with a vast variety of color options for you to choose from.
Bag models are buffed and waxed to give you that smooth and even touch we all love. Each piece is handcrafted to bring you that unique and stylish look that can seamlessly endure your everyday routine. With just a few clicks, you can order your own I Medici leather crafts, right here on our website.
If you are looking for top-notch leather bags for men, Pratesi is the perfect choice for you! We have worked with our tanneries to find ways to impregnate the grain material with a protective layer that will reinforce the bag. Waxing and protective coating give the leather its durable properties that can withstand the elements and general wear and tear.
We have been receiving positive input and reviews from our customers that this brand is the best for taking proper care of your laptop, documents, and office stationeries, which is essential for professionals. They create a poise of business elegance that only Italian leather can accomplish. Prepare to turn some heads as you swagger to your workplace with Pratesi bags!
Last but not least are the famous Terrida bags, which will spoil you for choice with their chic looks, colors, and unprecedented durability. Whether you need fashionable totes, sturdy business bags, travel backpacks or accessories that complement your style, this brand has got you covered!
These impressive leather crafts can serve all sorts purposes, from safely tucking in your electronic devices to enhancing your looks for an evening outing. Terrida brand offers remarkably stylish designs that provide ample storage space and resist the elements like a breeze. With just a few clicks, you can become a proud owner of this fashionable Italian brand, right here on I Medici website!
Again, what leather is the best quality for men’s work bags? Our trade is leather so believe us when we say that cowhide full grain leather should be your go-to material, hands down. It may take some practice to refine your senses when touching and smelling leather bags but it is well worth honing those estimation skills if you are to become a proud owner of the best quality leather bags on the market.
Should you need any help or consultation when shopping for Italian leather bags, feel free to contact us and we will gladly point you in the right direction. Also, feel free to check out our extensive offers of leather crafts and accessories, right here at I Medici!