Italian Leather Guide and Care for Your Handbags

Italian Leather Guide and Care for Your Handbags

What is Italian Leather?

Italian Leather Handbag

Dating back to the Etruscan civilization in 800 BC, Italian leather has withstood the test of time for its soft feel and flexibility. Made in Italian tanneries, Italian leather’s durability and luxurious comfortable feel can be attributed to the process of vegetable tanning full grain hides which not only contributes to the perfect body for handbags, but also to the longevity of the leather. The character of Italian leather is moreover personified by the rich patina which develops over time through natural use, lending to a soft sheen accompanied by a new look, unique to every individual. Using the highest quality hide and tanning process, it is safe to say that you can count on an Italian leather handbag for life.  

Advantages of Italian Leather

If you’ve ever had to wrestle between high quality and comfortability, look no further because Italian leather is the answer. Crafted with full grain hides, it is the most resistant, durable and soft form of leather. The long process and care that is invested into the creation of Hammitt’s Italian leather handbags ensures lower user-maintenance and comfortability, allowing our customers to truly enjoy the Hammitt experience. Moreover, every Italian leather handbag is one of a kind. The patina which forms over time reflects each individual customer’s usage and experience: if you go out for a tan by the pool with your Otis Tote, she’ll tan with you; Your VIP MED that you take everywhere will soften and age as you do. Italian leather is so desirable for this reason: it grows with you. 

Italian Leather vs Nubuck Leather vs Suede 

Italian leather’s pliability and softness, as well as its ability to stand the test of time come from the fact that Italian leather is full-grain. This sets it apart from all other leather handbag products such as nubuck and suede. 

Nubuck leather, as opposed to Italian leather, is made from top-grain hide that has been buffed. This process gives nubuck leather a velvet-like feel comparable to suede.

In feel, suede is very similar to nubuck leather, but softer, because suede uses the innermost layer of the hide which makes a suede handbag pliable. While Italian leather is easy to clean as the materials to do so are readily found in most homes already, suede requires a pinch more – sealant, talcum powder and/or white vinegar – depending on the damage. 

Full-grain hide is much more durable than its counterparts, however this in turn makes full-grain hide, and Italian leather, more expensive. Italian leather handbags are a great investment, but if the price tag isn’t feasible, don’t fret! Nubuck and suede are still great alternatives. 

Italian Leather Care for Handbags

Cleaning Tips for Your Italian Leather Handbags

Luckily, Italian leather does not require much upkeep. An easy way to clean your Italian leather handbags is by wiping them down with a damp cloth, lightly drying with a dry cloth and setting them away from sunlight to dry completely. If you’re looking for an added layer of protection for your Italian leather handbags, look into purchasing Hammitt’s LEATHER LAUNDRY LRG leather protectant! Keep in mind, however, Italian leather is susceptible to transferred dye. When wearing your Italian leather Hammitt handbag, be mindful of the quality of your own clothes – whether that’s a trench or your favorite blue jeans (particularly if they’re new – as the dyed from your clothing might transfer onto your handbag. Be mindful of wearing your lighter colored Italian leather handbags with jeans or darker clothing.  

How often should I clean my Italian leather handbags?

How often you clean your Italian leather handbags depends on how often you use them. If you use your handbag everyday, consider cleaning it every 2-3 months. However, if you’re not using your handbag consistently, try to clean it every 6-9 months. 

How to keep my Italian Leather handbags soft, supple, and shiny

To ensure your Italian Leather handbags are soft, supple and shiny, take the following precautions:

  • Store your handbag in a cloth bag or cover it in cotton fabric 
  • Fill the bag interior with non-printed/dyed tissue paper to ensure it keeps its shape 
  • Clean it when necessary

While developing a Patina is desired by many, some do not like the worn-in look. If you fall into that camp, keep your Italian leather handbag away from direct sunlight as much as possible, and try to prevent grease and other substances (sweat, perfume, makeup, etc) from coming in contact with the leather. If this does happen, follow the cleaning instructions previously mentioned. 

How to Store Your Italian Leather Handbags

A good rule of thumb is to store your handbag in a cloth bag or cover it in cotton fabric, stuff the interior to maintain its shape and place it outside of direct sunlight. 

Our Favorite Italian Leather Handbags

At Hammitt, our Italian Leather handbags provide a one-of-a-kind experience, combining durability, functionality and luxury to produce the perfect handbag. Whether you’re strutting off to class with the ADDIE LRG everyday, or enjoying a night out with the girls in your AJ Crossbody Clutch, our Italian leather sourced from outside of Florence and Milan will turn heads from all directions. With a lifetime guarantee and high-quality materials, you can be sure that a Hammitt Italian leather handbag will last you ages, giving you the opportunity to pass down your beautiful Hammitt to your mini-you one day. Below are some of our favorites:

For a night out: BRYANT MED or RYAN

Everyday: AJ Crossbody Clutch, ADDIE MED or HUNTER MED



Wallet: 110 NORTH


Italian Leather FAQs

Q: Is Italian Leather Good Quality?
A: Yes! Italian leather is carefully crafted using full grain hides and vegetable tanning to produce the highest quality, comfortable leather. 

Q: How do you identify a true Italian leather handbag?
A: The easiest way to identify a true Italian leather handbag is by smell. True Italian leather has a strong distinctive earthy smell. 

Q: Why do some people consider Italian Leather to be the best?
A: Many consider Italian Leather to be the best because it is the most durable, comfortable and unique leather. 

Q: Does Italian Leather Peel?
A: When taken good care of, Italian leather does not peel because of its rich patina. 

Q: Does excessive sun exposure ruin Italian Leather?
A: Excessive sun exposure can change the look of Italian leather as it helps develop the patina. Consequently, this can result in the handbag tanning. For lighter Italian leather handbags, excessive sun exposure might mean a more dramatic tanning effect as opposed to darker Italian leather handbags. However, this is all a part of Italian leather’s uniqueness - your Italian leather handbag is a reflection of you. 

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