Calfskin Leather: Full Guide

Buyers Guide
Calfskin Leather: Full Guide

Calfskin leather is one of the most popular kinds of leather used in fashion industry for creating different types of accessories and goods. In this article, we will discuss what calfskin leather is, the history of calfskin leather, different types of calfskin leather, how it is made, caring tips, advantages and how to recognize a real calfskin leather hide.

What is calfskin leather?

Calfskin leather is a type of leather that is made from the skins of young cows, usually under the age of three, which are tanned to obtain a fine leather material with unique characteristics that is widely used in the fashion industry. Calfskin is known for its grain quality, softness, strength and flexibility; it's also lightweight, making it the perfect material for making accessories like bags, wallets, and shoes.

History of calfskin leather

Calfskin has been used since ancient times to make clothing, footwear, and accessories. Over the years, the popularity of calfskin leather has grown due to its unique properties. In the 16th century, calfskin leather was used to make gloves for royalty, and from the 18th century, it was used to make fashionable shoes and boots.

Peculiarities of using calfskin leather

Calfskin leather is a versatile material that can be used to make a wide range of products. It is widely used in high-end fashion industry due to its luxurious feel and durability, but it is also commonly used in footwear due to its flexibility and comfort.

Calfskin Leather

Different types of calfskin leather

There are several different types of calfskin leather, each with its own unique characteristics, the main kinds are:

  • Full-grain calfskin leather: it is the highest quality type of calfskin leather, because the surface is left in its natural state and eventually refined with processes that don’t alter the natural texture and look (i.e. aniline finish). Only the best raw hides are suitable for this kind of finish.

  • Corrected-grain calfskin leather: it is characterized by a finish on the surface that tends to alter or change the original aspect of the grain: this includes printed calfskin leather, embossed, and pigmented leathers. A finishing of this type does not always correspond to a bad quality as for fashion needs the leathers can be finished in various ways, even if very often this finishing is used to cover the defects also through, in some cases, the buffing of the grain.

  • Suede calfskin leather: it is produced using the calf split from the back part of the animal, and is obtained by sanding the flesh side of the skin in order to obtain a soft and velvety surface. Sued calfskin butts are often used in footwear and belts.

Products made with calfskin

Calfskin leather is a versatile material used to make a wide range of products. The most common are:

  • Handbags and purses
  • Shoes and boots
  • Wallets and cardholders
  • Belts
  • Jackets and coats
  • Gloves

Calfskin leather: How is it made?

Calf leather is made through a process called tanning, which transforms raw hides into a durable, versatile, non-rotting material called leather. The tanning process can involve treating the hides with chemicals substances in order to create a material that is resistant to water, heat, and other environmental factors.

There are several methods of tanning, the main ones are:

  • Vegetable tanning, it involves the use of only natural substances in the tanning process such as bark, flowers, and leaves.
  • Chrome tanning, it uses chromium salts to create a softer and more flexible leather, ideal for products such as shoes and bags.

Environmental impact of calfskin leather

The tanning process is essential for creating high-quality calfskin leathers but it can also have significant environmental impacts. For this reason it is important to use sustainable practices in calfskin leather production, such as responsible sourcing of raw hides, the use of eco-friendly chemicals in the tanning process, and minimize the waste. Only by doing so, we can ensure that we are producing high-quality leather products while also protecting our planet.

Caring tips for calfskin leather

Calf leather requires proper care and maintenance to maintain its appearance and durability; It is important to avoid exposure to water or heat and to use specific cleaning and moisturizing products.

How to recognize a real calfskin leather hide

A high-quality calfskin must have a smooth but not too uniform surface and must be soft and supple to the touch. If the leather looks too perfect, it will most likely be corrected or buffed grain leather. Distinguishing real leather from fake leather is not easy, as today the techniques of imitation are very advanced, but certainly the price of the product and the smell of the leather are factors that help to understand whether it is genuine leather or no.

Calfskin Leather

Calfskin leather: conclusion

Calfskin is a highly sought-after material that has been used for centuries to create luxurious, high-quality products. Its unique properties, such as beauty, softness, durability, and flexibility, make it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications. 

In this article we have talked about the history of calfskin, the different types of calfskin, the tanning process, care tips and how to spot genuine calfskin. When buying calf leather, it is essential to ensure that the material is of high quality and has been produced responsibly. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of calf leather while supporting sustainable practices in the leather industry.

Where to buy calfskin leather?

It you are looking for calfskin leather hides to create wallet, purse, shoes, or even a jacket, you will find on our website a wide range of “Made in Italy” sustainable calfskin leathers at best prices.