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Genuine Leather - NOTTEVERA

HOW TO IDENTIFY REAL LEATHER

There’s definitely something sexy about leather. You don’t need to be a rocker or a biker to sport a cool leather jacket or some out-of-this-world accessories. But how do you make sure that what you’re buying is real leather in the first place?
 

Genuine Leather - NOTTEVERA

Here’s 10 things to look for when shopping for leather products. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be able to distinguish genuine leather from “pleather” - that cheap man-made synthetic fiber that seems to be everywhere these days.

1. Read the tag: This may seem obvious, but we’ll say it for the record. If a product states that it is made from ‘man made materials’ you can be sure it is not real leather. Similarly, if a product doesn't state its composition, chances are that it isn’t real leather either.

2. Visually inspect the surface grain: Look for scratches, wrinkles and creases. Imperfections in leather are actually a good thing. Remember, leather is made from animal skin, each piece is as random and unique as the animal it came from. In contrast, synthetic fibers often have regular and consistent colors and grains. (Keep in mind though synthetic manufacturers are getting better at mimicking the texture and look of real leather).

3. Smell the leather: Real leather has a natural, musty smell, whereas synthetic materials have a plastic-like or chemical odor. The difference is unmistakable.

4. Press or bend the leather with your fingers: Real leather will wrinkle under pressure, just like human skin. When bent, real leather may slightly discolor because it is elastic. Man-made materials on the other hand are more rigid and will often retain their shape and color.

5. Ignore color when comparing real vs fake leather: Colors and dyes can be added to both natural leathers and synthetics alike. Stick to feel, smell, and texture.

6. Wet the leather: Drop a small amount of water on the leather. Real leather absorbs moisture, while in a fake the water will just puddle on top.

7. Look at the edges: Real leather often has rough edges, while faux has even and perfect edges because it is machine-cut.

8. Do the fire test – but not on your favorite handbag or boot! If you happen to have pieces of leather and synthetic material that you don’t need, hold a flame for 5-10 seconds on each. Real leather will only char slightly smelling like burnt hair, while fake leather will catch flame and smell like burning plastic.

9. Know that quality real leather objects are rarely cheap: If a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is. Real leather is expensive, that’s because when properly maintained, it will last forever. This said, know also that there are different types of leather, and some are more expensive than others. Workmanship and origin also impact pricing considerably.

10. Above all, always purchase leather from reputable sellers to avoid buying products made with lower-grade materials or synthetics. At NOTTEVERA, we sell only products made with premium Italian leather and we fully stand behind each and every item we sell. Our customers buy from us because they appreciate the quality, creativity, exclusivity, and – above all – the integrity associated with a genuine Made in Italy NOTTEVERA product.


KNOW YOUR LEATHER: LAMBSKIN VS. CALFSKIN

Leather is a living, natural and durable material. At NOTTEVERA, we use several types of high quality Italian leather, including lambskin and calfskin. It’s not a matter of one being better than the other - both hides are considered luxury leathers - but there are in fact several differences between the two.

Lambskin is a remarkably soft, buttery, lightweight and delicate leather. And yet, in spite of its thinness, it is windproof and protective, and stands up to cold climates better than most other natural (or even synthetic) materials. On the other hand, Calfskin is firmer, and more well balanced in terms of softness and durability. It is stronger, making it good for harsh conditions and withstanding abrasions.

As a general rule of thumb, lambskin is best for leather garments (jackets and coats) because its soft texture easily forms to the body, whereas calfskin is better for accessories (shoes, handbags, wallets, and related accessories) because it is tougher and retains its shape better. Either way, if properly maintained, both hides will last for generations.

Our designers often like to mix things up. Our sleek Carla clutch is an exquisite example of an accessory made with genuine lambskin leather. It has bold design and a unique look, making it the distinctive choice for the sophisticated woman on the go. If you prefer a sturdier bag, then the Borchia clutch is more your style. Made with genuine calfskin, it sports raised gunmetal pillars around the frame and a rhinestone ornament, giving it a very glamorous look.

Can't choose? Get both, you only live once!




MADE IN ITALY HANDBAGS

Italian craftsmen abide by some of the most stringent labor and environmental regulations in the world. Atelier laborers have health insurance, paid vacations and must undergo yearly physical exams to determine their ability to perform their jobs. 

 "The Made in Italy label is synonymous with tradition, know-how and very high standards. Many family-owned ateliers have been around for decades, and it is not uncommon for craftsmen to spend their entire careers working for the same atelier, passing down their knowledge from generation to generation" explains Marco Serrano, a third-generation family business owner who has been making handbags for top Italian luxury brands for over half a century.

But Italian craftsmanship comes at a price. While most handbags made in Asia can cost less than $20 each to manufacture, traditionally-crafted Italian leather handbags like NOTTEVERA cost much more to make. That's because many Asian manufacturers operate more like sweatshops with poor working conditions and virtually indentured laborers -- two factors giving them a steep price advantage over Italian ateliers.

 "Made in Italy also means made the Italian way. A customer acquiring a made in Italy handbag can expect not only the best materials and workmanship, but also a respected legal process" said Mr. Serrano.

 And so, there you have it. While our handbags may cost more to make than others, we believe this is the only way for us to ethically guarantee the well-being of our artisans and the integrity of our brand. Our bags are not only made in Italy, they are made the Italian way.