What is Calfskin? 5 Different Types of Leather Used in Leather Bags

by ABARA SG on Oct 13, 2023

What is Calfskin? 5 Different Types of Leather Used in Leather Bags

Luxury, elegance, and style are the defining characteristics of calf leather bags. The demand for these high-quality, fashionable products has surged in recent years, constituting a significant portion of the industry's revenue. With the advent of e-commerce and social media, the demand for leather bags has reached unprecedented levels.

Yet, many remain unaware of the intricacies involved in crafting calf leather bags. The process encompasses various stages, including design, pattern-making, cutting, sewing, and finishing. Only skilled artisans with the expertise to create enduring, high-quality products are entrusted with this craft.

Fortunately, ABARA boasts a team of highly talented designers and artisans who exclusively use high-quality, eco-friendly calfskin to craft environmentally friendly calf leather bags for our valued customers.

Let's delve into the process of crafting calf leather bags, beginning with an understanding of what calfskin is. Calfskin is a type of leather that is thin and soft, it is ideal for bags that require a more refined appearance while retaining durability and strength. Calfskin is also favoured for luxury items like designer handbags, thanks to its flexibility, beauty, softness, and durability.

Calfskin exhibits a finer grain with smaller pores, lending it a distinctive feel. It is lightweight and more supple than leather from older cows, making the feel of the calfskin smoother and will have an elasticity when you hold it. Calfskin also possesses a remarkable capacity to maintain a high polish.

To ensure high quality, calfskin must have a surface that is smooth but not overly uniform and should feel soft and supple to the touch. If the leather appears too perfect, it is likely corrected or buffed grain leather. Distinguishing real from fake leather is not straightforward, but factors such as product price and the authentic smell of leather can offer clues.

In addition to calfskin, various other types of leather find common use in the fashion industry. Each type boasts unique properties like durability, softness, and texture, significantly influencing a bag's overall look and feel.

Full-grain Leather

  • Full-grain Leather: Top skin layer with natural pores, imperfections, ages beautifully, and offers durability against wear, natural elements, and shock.

Top-grain Leather

  • Top-grain Leather: Imperfections are corrected through sanding or embossing, making it non-breathable with added artificial layers for durability against wear, natural elements, and shock.

Suede Leather

  • Suede Leather: The lower layer after removing full-grain and top-grain, often refinished or buffed to become suede for a higher-grade look, but with weak resistance to wear, natural elements, and shock.

Bonded Leather

  • Bonded Leather: Made by binding leftover leather with PU binders to create a cost-effective, artificial alternative with printed artificial grains, offering lower resistance and potential for quicker degradation.

Crocodile Leather

  • Exotic Leather: Made from non-traditional animal skins like alligators, ostriches, and snakes, exotic leather is pricier but delivers a unique look and texture.


With this knowledge about calfskin, the next time you purchase a calf leather bag, you can scrutinise the item or its description to identify the type of leather used. Rest assured, ABARA consistently provides the highest quality leather bags, exclusively crafted from calfskin to ensure superior quality, softness, and a refined appearance.


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