Anyone who cares about quality needs to take great care when buying leather accessories. Shoddy stitching, poor quality materials and lousy workmanship can make even genuine leather products look cheap and ugly. Here are three things to look out for when you’re contemplating a genuine leather purchase, whether it’s a wallet, a handbag or a belt you’re after.
Observe the stitching
Stitching is one of the most difficult aspects of leathercraft to get right, and good hand-stitching is often what sets a quality product apart from mass-produced junk. Check that stitching is even and straight, that there are no frayed threads or unraveled stitches and that the thread is strong enough to keep the product together at the seams.
Smell and feel the leather
If a product claims to be made of genuine leather, it should smell and feel like it. Spend some time observing genuine leather luxury goods to get a feel for how genuine leather should feel and smell. Leather should never feel waxy or like plastic, and while it should be soft, it should not stretch the way faux leather does.
Obtain information on the makers of the product
Quality leather products are not mass-produced in factories but painstakingly hand-stitched. Leathercraft is complicated and factory-made goods will never look and feel as good as handmade products. Check the website of the company you’re thinking of buying from and delve into the history of their products to ensure you’re getting something of quality. For instance, Detroit-based company Shinola emphasizes the craftsmanship that goes into the making of its products.
Buying leather goods isn’t just about choosing the trendiest item but is really a quest for quality that requires attention to detail and some knowledge about the history behind the product.