Louis Vuitton produces some of the best luxury handbags out there, but which type of leather should you go for? This article will cover all of Louis Vuitton leathers and materials and give you the information you need to know to buy the perfect bag.
The French fashion house, Louis Vuitton, has been making handbags for almost a century, so they have perfected the design, craftsmanship, and materials of their bags over the years.
There are many different handbags available from this luxury brand, whether you are after a classic, timeless bag or something a little more contemporary and high fashion. Or perhaps you are looking for a practical tote bag or a mini chic evening bag – either way, Louis Vuitton is bound the have the perfect option for you!
The next decision is the materials for the bag. Louis Vuitton is known for their monogram canvas and Damier Azur and Ebene coated canvas materials, but they also have some incredible leather options. We are going to delve into the different types of Louis Vuitton leathers to help you pick the perfect one to suit not only your personal style but your lifestyle too. Let’s get into it!
Louis Vuitton Leathers
1. Empreinte Leather
Empreinte leather was introduced in 2010 and has remained a very popular leather ever since. This type of leather is made from calfskin and is often embossed with the Louis Vuitton monogram.
The fine grain on the Empreinte leather means it is both supple and durable, perfect for a Louis Vuitton bag this is used often. This leather is also very easy to take care of, making it the go-to low-maintenance leather for anyone with a busy life!
The Speedy and Onthego are two incredible examples of bags in this type of leather. The black classic speedy bag shows the grain of Empreinte leather and the small size is contrasted with the oversized monogram print. This chic bag is finished with gleaming gold hardware.
The Onthego tote bag is an example of how the monogram embossing can be filled with a contrasting color to create a really striking bag. This tote is the perfect work bag with a sophisticated look and super practical interior.
2. Vernis Leather
The Vernis leather was added to the collection by Marc Jacobs shortly after he became creative director and is now a favorite leather for Louis Vuitton handbags. The Vernis leather is LV’s take on patent leather, and it’s made from calfskin leather that has been varnished to create a shiny finish.
The Louis Vuitton monogram that is then embossed into the Vernis leather really shows off the shimmering gloss finish. You do have to be a little more careful with Vernis leather as ink can easily transfer onto the leather and it is prone to scratches and scuff – so make sure you are extra careful with bags that have this finish.
If you are looking to add a pop of color to your luxury bag collection, this Vernis Alma bag is perfect. The sunshine yellow shade really glows with the glossy finish of the Vernis leather, while the gold hardware is a flawless finishing touch.
The simple silhouette of the Santa Monica bag looks gorgeous in the shiny cherry red Vernis leather and tan leather trim. The brass hardware and subtle LV monogram ensure this bag has an attention-grabbing look.
3. Epi Leather
Epi leather is actually one of the oldest in the Louis Vuitton collection after it was added to the collection in 1985, inspired by the LV textured leather that has been around since the 1920s to make Louis Vuitton trunks and luggage.
Epi leather has a unique appearance which has made it so popular, while the textured finish of this bag makes it perfect for any color design. The texture’s finish also means the bag is water resistant and scratch-proof – perfect for everyday use!
The Alma, one of the oldest LV bags, is often made from epi leather as the curved silhouette perfectly shows off the texture of the leather. This rose pink Alma has a slightly pearlescent finish which really shimmers in the light.
There is also an ‘electric’ edition of epi leather, as seen on this black Alma bag. The electric epi leather is a glossier version of the original leather. As you can see, this electric epi leather is the perfect way to add a little visual interest to a classic black bag.
4. Taurillon Leather
Taurillon leather is a classic and timeless Louis Vuitton material because of its minimalist, practical design. Taurillon leather is grained cowhide leather that has a textured feel when you run your hand along the leather.
This leather is lightweight, very versatile, and pretty durable too – the ideal leather for a bag you will be wearing a lot. Many men’s Louis Vuitton products, as well as some handbags, are made from this type of leather.
The Capucines is almost always made from Taurillon leather – the paired back design of this bag means it works really well with Taurillon leather. The stone-colored Capucines really shows off the stunning natural grain on the bag, and then is finished with glittering gold hardware.
The LV City Steamer is an elegant handbag crafted from black Taurillon leather, and it makes for the perfect work bag. The minimalist look and sleek silhouette really show the beautiful look of Taurillon leather.
5. Lambskin leather
Lambskin is one of the most luxurious types of leather with its buttery soft feel and shiny look. Louis Vuitton lambskin is a very high-quality material with a very fine grain to give a smooth finish.
However, due to the soft finish of this leather, it is a little more delicate and you have to take extra care when wearing it to make sure it doesn’t scratch.
Louis Vuitton often uses lambskin leather to give their bags a sumptuous, plush finish – the perfect examples are the Coussin bag and GO-14 Malletage bag. The chic Coussin bag has a soft, cushioned look due to the embossed lambskin leather. The gold chain link strap is a stunning contrasting addition to this handbag.
This GO-14 Malletage bag features geometric quilting to create a plush finish to the exterior of the bag. The silver chain strap and LV twist lock are flawless additions to the sumptuous handbag.
6. Calfskin leather
This is one of the most popular choices for leather for both handbags and SLGs because of its versatility. Louis Vuitton’s calfskin leather is minimally processed and so has a naturally grained finish.
Calfskin leather is never embossed with the monogram pattern and so all of the focus is on the shape and silhouette. Calfskin leather is also known for being durable, easy to clean, and can hold its shape well, making it the ideal leather for a bag that will get years of use.
Calfskin leather bags have a timeless look, such as the Lockme Backpack and Vivienne handbag. The black Lockme backpack is a handy addition to any wardrobe, with a spacious interior, adjustable shoulder straps, and an easy-access LV lock.
The Vivienne has an elegant and sophisticated look and the black calfskin leather ensures it will really stand the test of time. The gold hardware adds a glamorous touch to this handbag.
7. Exotic leathers
Louis Vuitton will sometimes craft their bags from exotic skins for a really luxurious and expensive look, but these are rare and can be difficult to find. Most notably, there are alligator and crocodile brilliant leathers, which are super durable and have a glossy, eye-catching finish, however, you have to treat the leather often to prevent the scales from flaking.
Python leather looks incredible and is perfect if you want leather that is attention-grabbing and unique. However, python leather is one of the most delicate animal skins and so it has to be treated regularly so the scales do not dry out and flake off. Python leather is better for bags for special occasions as it is not durable enough for everyday wear.
Ostrich leather is one of the most popular exotic skins because of its durability and unusual bumpy texture. Ostrich leather is super tough and can withstand anything, meaning ostrich leather is ideal for an everyday handbag or wallet. The texture is stunning as well with a soft, smooth feel and small bumpy accents dotted across the leather.
Finally, Suhail goat leather may not be exotic but it is definitely rare. This leather was introduced in 2004 and is known for this high quality, durable finish and natural grained look – just beautiful.
8. Taiga Leather
Taiga leather is one of the more unusual options available from Louis Vuitton, which is only available for menswear products. This is a type of leather that has a corrected grain – this means it has been sanded and buffed to remove marks and imperfections before being printed with a new grain.
The grained finish means this type of leather is pretty durable, making it ideal for a bag that you are planning on using every day. Although, there is a chance that this leather can be scratched or scuffed so you need to be a little careful to keep it looking pristine!
The Taiga leather is available in plain finish or printed with the LV monogram for that classic look.
The Outdoor Slingbag, pictured above, is crafted from Taiga leather for astunning yet practical finish.
The bag is a combination of plain and LV printed leather, in this vibrant fuchsia shade for an eye-catching finish. The handy sling bag is then finished with black hardware for a bold contrast.
The luxurious nature of this Taiga leather is really on display in this Outdoor Messenger bag, which again combines panels of plain leather with panels of LV-printed leather.
This gorgeous bag features a roomy front pocket as well as the main compartment, which is easy to access with the black and silver zipper. The messenger bag is finished with an LV monogram printed leather shoulder strap, that is adjustable so you can wear this bag in many different ways.
9. Mahina Leather
The Mahina leather is another recent addition to the Louis Vuitton brand and is often used to make some of their newer styles of handbags. This leather has a subtly grained finish and, like many Louis Vuitton types of leather, features the LV monogram.
However, this leather is extra special as it is not printed with the monogram, but instead, the outline of the monogram is perforated into the leather. This gives the leather a completely unique and striking finish.
Like the other types of leather discussed, you do have to be a little careful as the leather can be scuffed, scratched, or marked, but the grained finish makes it a little more resilient. This leather can also be damaged by water so maybe don’t wear your Mahina leather bag on a rainy day!
The new Girolata bag is one of the styles that comes in this incredible leather. The large size of this bag perfectly shows the perforated LV monogram, while the bag also comes with a matching zip pouch to hold any smaller items. This bag is finished with a smooth leather drawstring, top handles, and a long shoulder strap.
If you are looking for a beautiful and rare bag, then this Louis Vuitton Mahina Degrade Bella bag is just what you need! The perforated Mahina leather fades from pale blue at the bottom to white at the top to create an attention-grabbing design!
The smooth leather drawstring allows easy access to the spacious interior, while the white braided handle, detachable shoulder strap, and sparkling silver hardware perfectly finish this striking and totally irresistible handbag!
Other Louis Vuitton Materials
1. Coated Canvas
The most common material for Louis Vuitton bags is the famous coated canvas. This is a very hardwearing and durable material that ensures your LV bag will last for years and years to come.
The coated canvas is a cotton-woven canvas material that has then been treated with PVC (polyvinylchloride) to give it a smoother, more resilient finish.
The PVC treatment on the canvas means the bag is water-resistant making this fabric perfect for a bag that is going to be used every day, plus the coated canvas is lightweight so you don’t have to worry about a heavy bag before you have even put any of your belongings inside.
Its practicality and stunning design have made this fabric a best-seller for Louis Vuitton. The LV-coated canvas is available in three different finishes for ultimate versatility, which we are going to explore next.
The most iconic print on the coated canvas bags is the LV monogram, which is now instantly recognizable and signifies the luxurious nature of the Louis Vuitton brand.
The Louis Vuitton monogram was first established in 1896 and was intended to prevent fake bags from being produced and for customers to quickly work out real and authentic LV bags. The monogram is made up of the LV initials, flowers, and quatrefoils; the design is based on Japanese Mon designs that were popular during the late Victorian era when this print was introduced.
Here you can see two bags decorated with the famous LV monogram. The Pochette Metis features the original monogram on the body of the bag, while the front flap is printed with the reverse monogram with a light caramel brown as the background and the LV logo in dark cocoa brown.
This stylish bag is perfectly finished with glittering gold hardware. A slightly larger LV monogram decorates this Petite Malle Souple bag, which has been finished with black leather trim and gold hardware to give this bag a luxe and striking look.
You will also sometimes see a giant version of the LV monogram on some coated canvas bags.
The Damier Ebene canvas was actually the first print to feature on coated canvas luggage made by the Louis Vuitton brand, first introduced in 1888 with a logo that read ‘L. Vuitton registered trademark’; this was again to prevent fake Louis Vuitton bags.
The Damier Ebene print features a dark checkerboard canvas in the same two shades of brown that appear on the LV monogram canvas, one of the squares then reads Louis Vuitton Paris – in homage to the first logo on the Damier Ebene print. The print is now quintessentially Louis Vuitton and looks stunning on some of the classic Louis Vuitton items, including bags, luggage, and small leather goods.
This super chic and so trendy Mini Papillon bag from Louis Vuitton perfectly shows the Damier Ebene print. The checkerboard gives this bag a sleek, minimalist look, and is then finished with a slim brown leather handle and gleaming gold hardware.
The beloved Louis Vuitton Neverfull also looks incredible in the Damier Ebene print. The neutral tones of the coated canvas combined with the practicality of the spacious Neverfull tote make this a must-have handbag that will quickly become a go-to in your collection
The Damier Azur is a more recent addition to the Louis Vuitton cannon but is just as stunning as the two other prints available. This print has the same Damier checkerboard design, but this time in a pale blue and white combination, giving the bags a more relaxed and summery feel.
The only downside to the Damier Azur print is that it is a little more high maintenance, as it will show scuffs and marks more easily due to its pale color, but the beautiful look makes it all worth it!
The classic Louis Vuitton Speedy bag looks incredible in the Damier Azur coated canvas, plus the larger sizes make this bag ideal for any summer travel. This edition of the Speedy is finished with vachetta leather top handles and a two-tone blue and vachetta leather shoulder strap, so this bag can be carried on the shoulder too. The interior is lined with a pale blue fabric to complete the look.
The Louis Vuitton Croisette in the Damier Azur print has such an adorable look – the perfect bag for those relaxed sunny weekends. This bag has a pretty spacious interior, lined with pink fabric, the perfect size to fit all your essential items.
This elegant bag is finished with a vachetta leather top handle and shoulder strap, as well as glittering gold hardware.
LV Pop and Damier Graphite
These are two other printed options for the coated canvas fabric. The Damier Graphite print is the same checkerboard design as the Damier Ebene, but this time in a grey and black colorway.
The darker colors mean that you have never really seen any marks or scuffs on the bag. Damier Graphite is only available in the menswear collections for Louis Vuitton.
The monogram LV pop is another coated canvas print that really attracts attention. The LV Pop print is available in several different colors, including red and blue, each features the LV monogram in an optical illusion that makes the monogram print look 3D – so much fun! Since the LV pop fabric is coated canvas, these bags are durable, but any light color will show up dirt or marks easily.
This Louis Vuitton Roadster perfectly shows the sleek and minimalist design of the Damier Graphite print. This weekend bag is finished with black leather handles and silver hardware to finish the dark color scheme and paired-back look.
We love the attention-grabbing look of the Monogram LV Pop print on this Tambourin bag. The red hue has a touch of blue to give the monogram that 3D look, all finished with tan trim and a leather crossbody strap – so stylish!
Louis Vuitton also uses some more unusual fabrics in the production of their handbags, one of them being denim. Denim bags are most often seen in the summer collections and have seen a recent resurgence thanks to Virgil Abloh’s denim designs for the menswear collection.
Blue denim is the most common shade, but you will also see some black and brightly colored denim options. Denim is a hardwearing fabric that will really stand the test of time; it doesn’t pull or snag so you can easily wear this bag every day.
However, like other fabrics, denim can easily get dirty and marked so make sure to keep it away from dirty surfaces. If this happens, make sure to seek professional help to get the bag cleaned. Over time, denim will also lose its structure a little, giving the handbag a more relaxed and casual look, which some customers love.
The unique Louis Vuitton Loop bag has been made in denim for a completely striking and eye-catching bag. The denim fades from dark blue to light blue across the bag and is printed with a white LV monogram for a quintessential Louis Vuitton look.
This stylish bag is finished with blue leather trim and gold hardware. If you are looking for a denim bag with a little more space, then this Onthego MM bag is ideal for you!
The classic, structured tote bag shade is crafted from rich blue denim that again fades across the bag and is printed with the LV monogram. This tote features top-stitched blue leather top handles and a long leather shoulder strap too.
We hope you found this article on Louis Vuitton leathers helpful! For more luxury fashion content, check out the links below.