How to Identify Good Quality Leather Bag?

how to Identify good quality leather bag

If you are looking for a bag, made from real leather, it is always good to get familiar with the features of leather. Unfortunately, there are enough sellers who sell leatherette as the real deal. On the other side, those who imitate leather are getting smarter. Sometimes it can be hard for the layperson to decide what is genuine and what is imitated leather. In this short guide, we will give you five steps to help you answer the question of how to identify good quality leather bag, that will help you the next time you are looking for one.

Not every kind of leather is good leather.

Whenever you are looking for a leather bag, you will notice significant differences in the leather quality and the price.

Before you continue, you might check out How To Tell Leather Quality article that might complement to this article and give you some extra insights.

Genuine leather is divided into three leather quality categories

Full grain leather offers the best quality, therefore, it is more expensive, while split leather provides the worst quality, thus it is relatively cheap.

[Good read: The Difference Between Full Grain and Top Grain Leather]

Another factor which is to consider when looking for a good quality bag is the label. Any bag may have a label, classifying it as “genuine leather”, which will give you no insight about how the animal was treated, fed as well as any insights about the fermentation process of the leather. The overall condition in which the animal was kept has a direct connection to the quality of the leather bag you are looking for.

The term “genuine leather” likewise gives you no indication whether the bag is made from cow, sheep, lamb, etc. Always ask where the leather is coming from if there is no indication.

How can you be sure, if the bag you are looking at is made from real leather?

A genuine leather product has the corresponding label, which is a symbolic representation of a spread animal skin with the complimentary name of the manufacturer. You might find this label in the inside of the bag. If the label does not provide you with the name of the manufacturer, ask in the store or get more detailed information online.

How do I recognize my bag is from high-quality genuine leather

In order to recognize if the bag is made of real leather or fake leather, you can use the following indicators like smell, surface structure, touch, cutting edges, oil and water test and the price to help you guide into the right direction. So let’s cover them one by one in more detail.

1. The Smell

Unfortunately, if you are shopping online, then you do not have the advantage of smell. Leather has its own distinctive and pleasant smell, which cannot be imitated. On the other hand, imitated leather might have no smell at all or smells slightly like plastic.

2. The surface structures

Here again, if you are online shopping, you might be a little disadvantaged. However, many websites offer images, which you can zoom in. Take advantage from this feature, whenever you buy a leather bag online.

You recognize a good quality leather bag by its full grain. That means if you look closely you might discover minor natural imperfections. Those can be in the form of as cuts, insect bites, stretch marks and neck folds. However, do not dismiss these natural flaws as faults. They are a sign of excellent quality, as they verify the authenticity of the leather.

Synthetic leather on the other side is even structured and patterned. If you go over the bag with your hand, it may feel “unreal” or too smooth.

However, it’s important to note that not all “smooth” bags are automatically made of synthetic leather. There are leather sub-types that usually fall under the split-leather category, but nonetheless are the real leather. So in such case try relying more on the other indicators in order to make a correct decision.

3. Touch

Real leather, especially full grain and top grain leathers, feels warm and soft and have a comfortable grip. Synthetic leather, on the other hand, is smooth, rigid and cold.


High-quality full-grain leather develops over time a beautiful patina. Imitated leather, on the other hand, will retain or slightly fade in its color.

4. Cutting Edges

Genuine leather has a fibrous structure at the edges, which consists of the protein-containing pores of the skin, whereas artificial leather has smooth edges. Although, do not be fooled, because that is one difference, which is difficult to recognize in processed leather.

5. The oil and water test

Genuine leather is a natural material. Therefore, it can absorb water, fats and oils with the pores. You can easily recognize a leather imitation with a drop of water, which will simply run off of the bag and will not be absorbed.

6. The Price

Like with most all other products you buy, the price alone will not give you a reliable indication whether this leather bag is of good or not so good quality. Besides the excellent quality of the leather, the brand name of your bag plays a significant role in the price of the product. However, as a rule of the thumb, real and good quality leather is more expensive, than poor quality leather or even an imitation.

Therefore, if you encounter a bag of an unknown brand which is very expensive, that is almost guaranteed that the quality will be superior better known brands. Such sellers and manufacturers pride themselves on quality rather than solely on a vain name.

How to Identify Good Quality Leather Bag?

So there you have it, a full list of indicators helping you to answer the question of how to identify good quality leather bag.

If you are buying a leather bag online, you definitely have the disadvantage of not being able to touch or smell the chosen bag. The advantage however is, you can have a higher variety of choices at slightly better prices. Therefore, if you don’t have a nice leather bag shop that sells high quality leather bags nearby, we assure you that here Domini Leather we have a reputable collection of real leather bags for men and women.

Most of our bags are made of full grain leather. However, knowing the fact that some people like real leather bags that are smooth, soft and have even structure without any “flaws”, we are obliged to offer that as well. However, our product descriptions contain such information allowing you to be fully informed before you make a purchase decision.

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9 thoughts on “How to Identify Good Quality Leather Bag?

  1. professional disinfecting services says:

    Hi there to everybody, it’s my first time here; this blog contains awesome and genuinely excellent information for visitors. Thanks a lot!

  2. TEDFO says:

    Thank you for sharing this post. Very well organized and informative content. Would love to read more posts like this.

  3. Arielle says:

    Hi there, after reading this awesome article I will no longer make the same mistakes while purchasing my next leather bag!

  4. Nomadic says:

    Such a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m so happy that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Mariah says:

    Learning how to choose a high quality bag during a purchase is a crucial skill but i’d say that it’s a matter of practice, this guide has been incredibly valuable. I appreciate it!

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