Louis Vuitton has a long history of incredible handbags and luggage with high-quality craftsmanship, but what are Louis Vuitton bags made of?
As one of the oldest French luxury brands, Louis Vuitton founded his eponymous brand in 1854. Since then it has grown into a world-renowned fashion house known for the Louis Vuitton monogram, handbags, and stunning ready-to-wear collections.
If you are thinking of adding a Louis Vuitton Paris bag to your collection, it’s worth knowing what LV bags are made from and which material is best for you and your lifestyle.
This article will tell you a little bit about each material, the trimmings, and the hardware of Louis Vuitton handbags so you can pick the right one for you!
What are Louis Vuitton Bags Made of?
There is a whole range of materials that Louis Vuitton uses to produce its bags and other luxury items. Often, customers are able to choose their style of bag as well as the material they would like it to be made from, with certain restrictions.
This means you can create the perfect bag just for you! With this said, the most famous LV material is definitely the coated canvas – so that’s where we’ll begin.
The famous Louis Vuitton canvas is one of the brand’s hardest-wearing materials ensuring that your LV bag will last for years.
The coated canvas is a cotton canvas material that has then been treated with PVC (polyvinylchloride) to give it a smoother, more durable finish. It was first used on Louis Vuitton trunks to make them waterproof, before then being used on other Louis Vuitton items.
The PVC canvas is lightweight and water-resistant meaning this fabric is perfect for a bag that is going to be used every day. Its practicality and stunning design have made this fabric a best-seller for Louis Vuitton, as well as synonymous with the brand.
The coated canvas is available in three different finishes for ultimate versatility, which we’ll explore below.
1. Monogram Canvas
The monogram canvas is perhaps the most famous material that Louis Vuitton uses. The LV monogram was first introduced to the brand in 1896 and was meant to prevent fake bags from being produced.
The monogram is made up of the LV logo, flowers, and quatrefoils and the design is based on Japanese Mon designs that were popular during the late Victorian era when this print was introduced. You can’t really beat the classic design of the monogram canvas.
Most Louis Vuitton bags are available in this canvas print, including the classic Noeneo bucket bag and the Keepall bag.
The Noeneo bucket bag is a favorite in the Louis Vuitton cannon, first introduced in the 1930s to carry champagne, the Noeneo stuck around to be one of the best bucket bags out there. It looks incredible in the monogram canvas and is trimmed with the Vachetta leather.
The Keepall is a perfect weekend canvas bag – it is a timeless classic that is you will love forever. The monogram canvas is perfect for the Keepall because of the durability of the fabric, meaning this bag will last for years and countless weekend trips!
2. Damier Ebene
The Damier Ebene canvas was actually introduced before the monogram in 1888 with a logo that read ‘L. Vuitton registered trademark’, again to prevent a fake Louis Vuitton bag and guarantee an authentic bag.
This dark checkerboard canvas is also quintessentially Louis Vuitton and looks stunning on some of the classic Louis Vuitton items, including the Croisette and Speedy bags.
The beautiful structure of the Croisette is perfect for the dark Damier Ebene and trimmed with matching dark brown leather and polished brass hardware. The top handle and optional shoulder strap mean this bag has versatility, while the interior is lined with a contrasting red and features a patch pocket.
The Speedy is an iconic Louis Vuitton bag that will never go out of style and is a favorite of American customers. The gorgeous round shape of the bag complements the slight flexibility of the Damier Ebene canvas perfectly.
The Speedy bag was a favorite of Audrey Hepburn because of the delicate top handles, compact size, and gleaming brass hardware – a classic.
3. Damier Azur
The Damier Azur doesn’t quite have such a lengthy history as the previous two types of coated canvas but it is just as beautiful.
The same Damier checkerboard design, this time in a pale grey and white combination is perfect for more of a summery feel. The Damier Azur is a little bit more high maintenance – it will show scuff and marks more easily due to its pale color, but is definitely worth it.
The classic Neverfull bag looks incredible in the Damier Azur and creates the perfect summery tote bag. The spacious bag can fit everything you need for a sunny day out, and it even features a zipper pocket so you can find everything. The blue and white of the canvas are complemented with the Vachetta leather trim.
If you are after something a little smaller, then the Favorite is just ideal. With a short gold wristlet chain, as well as a longer shoulder strap, this bag will easily work with both day and night looks. The gold Louis Vuitton logo plate sits on the front flap of the bag and accentuates the blue and white of the canvas.
Leathers are an integral part of the Louis Vuitton brand, and the brand has three distinct favorites which we’ll explore below.
1. Epi leather
The Epi leather refers to a specific tanned calfskin leather used by Louis Vuitton that has textured micro-ridges. The Epi leather is a favorite among LV customers and is perfect if you are looking for a little extra detail and texture in your fabrics.
The Epi leather is similar to the grained leather that was used by Louis Vuitton in the 1920s, but the linear texture of the Epi leather was introduced to Louis Vuitton stores in 1985.
This is a rigid leather that will hold the shape of any of Louis Vuitton’s more structured handbags and it’s also pretty durable too. The Epi leather is scratch and water-resistant, meaning you don’t have to worry about damaging your bag. The structure of the Twist and Cluny bags works perfectly with the Epi leather.
The Twist is an amazing shoulder bag – and in this white and gold combination, it’s just glam enough for a night look, but also practical enough for everyday use. The polished brass of the chain strap and LV turn-lock accentuate the textured leather of the bag for an eye-catching finish. The bag also comes with a matching mirror – so much fun!
The professional structure of the Cluny makes it the ideal, stylish work bag. This bag comes with a top handle as well as a longer shoulder strap for versatility and practicality. The interior is fitted with patch pockets and a zipper pocket so you can keep everything organized. The silver hardware gives a sparkling finish to this bag.
2. Vernis leather
Vernis is the French word for varnish – the perfect name for this glossy patent leather. Marc Jacobs introduced this leather into the collection in 1998, shortly after he started working for the brand, and it has remained very popular ever since.
The Vernis leather is made from soft calfskin and then coated to give it that lovely shiny finish – an easy way to add a little bit of glam to an outfit.
However, it is worth noting that this stunning leather can be a little high maintenance and it is prone to showing scuffs or marks. This leather is also often counterfeited in fake LV bags, but the real deal will always have the luxurious shine and no chemical smell so you know you have got your hands on an authentic Louis Vuitton bag.
The Vernis is perhaps most famously associated with the Louis Vuitton Alma bag. This high quality bag perfectly shows the shine of the Vernis leather.
The curved shape and curved leather handle all sparkle in the Vernis leather, and the monogram print that is embossed into the leather perfectly catches the light. The longer shoulder strap also guarantees versatility.
For something a little smaller and more glam, the metallic Vernis Mini Pochette is perfect! This adorable mini bag is ideal for adding a little eye-catching element to an evening look. The brown leather trim and gold hardware accentuate the pink metallic leather, while the delicate chain wristlet strap makes it easy to carry around on a night out.
3. Empreinte Leather
The Empreinte leather is a recent addition to the Louis Vuitton cannon, as it was only launched in 2010. This buttery-soft calf leather is embossed with the LV monogram in an oversized print for a subtle finish to the bag.
The Empreinte leather is durable and quite easy to clean. Designer bags made from Empreinte leather are also trimmed in cowhide leather too so the bag has a unified look.
The Pochette Metis is often made from Empreinte leather and is available in a whole plethora of different colors.
This scarlet edition is just beautiful and has a lovely tactile finish that makes you just want to reach out and feel the soft and silky leather. The bag secures with a gleaming gold-toned S-lock, which opens to reveal a compartmentalized interior to help you stay organized.
For something a little larger, the Montaigne is just ideal. Neutral colors look fantastic in this Empreinte leather if you are after a subtle bag that will suit a whole range of outfits. This bag also comes with a luggage loop, a dust bag, a clochette, and a lock with two keys – everything you color possibly need!
Almost all Louis Vuitton bags are trimmed with Vachetta leather. This type of cowhide leather can be difficult to maintain but it does develop a gorgeous patina over time that makes the bag unique just to you.
Louis Vuitton’s hardware is often gold-color hardware, although some styles, colors, and fabrics of bags can feature silver-color hardware. Both options give a stunning sparkle to the handbag and accentuate the LV logo.
For linings, Louis Vuitton guarantees practicality with either a microfibre lining or cotton lining – both are durable, functional, and give a luxurious finish. Some bags, such as the Capucines, will have a leather lining for an extra luxurious finish.
Finally, some Louis Vuitton bags are also made from exotic skins, such as crocodile, ostrich, alligator, or lizard for the most luxurious of finishes. These luxury bags will cost you significantly more money because of the rarity of the leather but will have the highest quality finish to it.
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