All About Leather

JLP Melbourne explains what leather is, how it is made and why leather handbags are a great choice.


Leather has long been highly valued for its unparalleled strength, durability and natural beauty. From the shoes that protect the soles of our feet to leather overnight bags, no other fibre has been as widely used as leather.

For most of us today, owning a finely crafted item made from genuine leather is about more than having a durable, serviceable item. It’s about owning something beautiful and stylish that will be a key part of our lives for years to come.

What is leather?

Genuine leather is a highly durable, natural material that can be processed using various methods to give it different weights, textures, degrees of strength and shapes. It is made from the dried and processed skin of animals. While leather made from cows is the most common, leather can also be made from the skin of many animals, including sheep, pigs, deer, snake, alligator, ostrich, kangaroo and fish. Synthetic alternatives do exist, but many people still prefer the natural strength, look and feel of genuine leather.

How is genuine leather made?

Once the animal’s skin has been removed and dried, it is processed with various compounds that aid in the tanning and crusting process. Tannins from a plant, animal or chemical source are combined with other compounds such as aldehyde, aluminium salts or lime to form emulsions that condition and preserve the skin. The leather can then be further processed to reveal various characteristics of the preserved hide. Once finished, leather can be further embossed, carved and decorated to add to its visual appeal.

Common Types of Leather

Full grain, top grain, split, and corrected grain, are the most common types of leather and finishes for animal hides. Full grain leather maintains all of the unique characteristics of the original hide. It is a highly breathable and durable fibre that develops its own unique patina over time.

Top grain leather has been treated to remove what is known as the “split” layer. It is less flexible, but more stain resistant, and has been buffed to remove minor imperfections in the hide.

Suede and other specialty leathers are made from the split, and corrected grain leather is leather that has had the imperfections removed and a new grain stamped upon it. Corrected grain leather is frequently dyed to disguise the imperfections in the hide.

Regardless of the type of leather that is used to make your item, there are several steps that you can take to preserve the natural lustre and flexibility of its unique finish and ensure that you will be able to continue to enjoy using your leather handbags for many years to come. 


Our leather handbags are made of the highest quality leather so you know that when you choose a bag from JLP Melbourne, your bag is an excellent and long lasting investment.

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