Why Is Italian Leather so Expensive?

Why Is Italian Leather so Expensive

If you’re shopping for leather, you’ll quickly notice that the most expensive products are the ones labeled “Italian leather.” But why is Italian leather so expensive? Why do companies seek out Italian leather first and foremost? From the methods used to make the leather to the final product quality, there are many reasons that could answer the question. First and foremost you need to understand what is Italian leather, then you will be able to see the differences and maybe it will make more sense. However, if you are not acquainted with leather crafting, then keep on reading. This short guide will bring you up to speed and hopefully make things cleat on why is Italian leather so expensive.

[Good Read: How Much is Italian Leather?]

It Takes Time to Make Italian Leather

The first reason for the expense of Italian leather is the work that goes into each product. Italian Leather isn’t just defined by where it’s made, it’s defined by how it’s made. The methods used to tan Italian leather and achieve the final product that is so sought after take much more time than that of your industry standard tanning.

Italian leather is tanned through a process called vegetable tanning which has been around for over 5,000 years. There’s a reason it’s stuck around so long – it works. This Italian-born process has led to some of the finest leather in the world ever since its curation. The only issue is that it takes much more time and requires much more work than the alternative methods.

While vegetable tanning is not exclusive to the Italian leather, as there are other regions and countries that use it, it is, however, perfected in Italy to the level unseen anywhere else. And while somebody else can copy the processes and methods, they cannot copy the know-how and the cultural heritage that comes with it.

Differences in the Tanning Process

The main difference between vegetable tanning and the popular alternative, chrome tanning, is the amount of time they take. The heavy metals used to tan in chrome tanning have a much faster reaction than those used in vegetable tanning. This means that vegetable tanning takes up to several weeks to thoroughly tan a piece of leather, while chrome tanning takes a day or two. This wait leads to a softer, more cared-for final product, however, it leads to smaller quantities and longer turn around.

It should make more sense now why Italian leather is more expensive than more popular chrome tanned leather made pretty much anywhere around the world.

Quality of the Product

Thanks to the traditional vegetable tanning process, the overall quality of the product made of Italian leather is simply much better. While you might be paying a heftier price for traditional methods, labor-intensive processes, and name, the real reason why is Italian leather so expensive is because it’s better than other leathers around the world.

There are other hot spots for leather tanning and other methods that can provide quality leather, but few compare to that of the vegetable tanning that Italian leather undergoes. The process perfected in hundreds of years of leather-making results in a softer, more comfortable feel to the finished leather, making it better for wearing and toting. The quality of Italian leather is beyond that of any other kind.

Tradition and Branding

All of this has, over time, led to the assumption that Italian leather is simply better than most others. When you look at the methods used to tan Italian leather and the quality of the final product, you can see why it has become so renowned worldwide. Italian leather is essentially the “name brand” of leather – people will pay more to say it’s genuine Italian.

However, unlike with most name-brand items, Italian leather provides quality that can back up its place at the top. The reason why Italian leather is so expensive is that it’s simply better. More time is taken through the tanning process to ensure quality and durability. When you get genuine Italian leather, you’re getting the best of the best.


We hope that it answers your question and you can finally put your mind at ease the next time you go shopping for an expensive Italian leather handbag or a briefcase. However, if you don’t want to break the bank, check out our men’s and women’s collections. They are filled with relatively inexpensive Italian leather bags and accessories that will put a smile on your face while maintaining your wallet in a good health.

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