Louis Vuitton Leather
For six consecutive years it was named the world’s most luxurious fashion brand. Looking at Louis Vuitton’s impeccable taste for fashionable shoes, watches, jewelry handbags, and more, it’s not hard to see why. Louis Vuitton leather has earned its prestige pioneering art and aesthetic in all of its products. Naturally, it did not take long for questions to hit our mailbox inquiring how to best take of these invaluable leather luxuries. Who are we to refuse?
Louis Vuitton leather is awesome to look at, and to keep that way, sometimes you’ll need to use less conventional treatments to maintain it. I won’t beat around the bush here – most Louis Vuitton products don’t need conventional leather treatment. Many of LV’s products aren’t made from leather at all, favoring a waxed canvas design, and will require different kinds of treatment. Many of Louis Vuitton’s other designs that are made with leather are coated in a thick, protective covering. We call this leather “patent leather,” and it also requires a different sort of treatment. That said, Louis Vuitton has released several leather products over the years that are very compatible with Leather Milk. If you are unsure how to treat your own Louis Vuitton product, we recommend checking out their website, at www.LouisVuitton.com, where detailed leather care information can be found on every individual product page.
With all that out of the way, let’s look some of the different Louis Vuitton leather types!
Patent leather is one of the more common types of commercial leather you’ll find out there. Beneath the shine of a colorful, plastic coat lies a layer of fine leather, usually calfhide. Due to a highly synthetic finish, this leather has a few pros and cons.
Louis Vuitton’s most popular patent leather, called Vernis, is instantly recognizable by its glossy, uniform finish. Leather made with this finish will gleam luciously wherever you go, a solid, colorful aesthetic to catch the eye and tantalize the passerby.
- Easy Cleaning and Maintenance
Patent leather requires next to no maintenance, and cleans probably the easiest between itself, canvas and vachetta. Just a light cleansing every week to knock off the dust, perhaps a silicone protector if you are expecting harsh weather, and boom. Done. Even without protection, this leather is often virtually waterproof.
- Great Protection Against Spills
That’s right, patent leather has super-great protection against spills! The synthetic finish on this leather permits almost zero permeability, which means fluids aren’t going to be staining your leather anytime soon. Just dab a spill off the moment it drops on, and you should most often be good to go.
Patent leather’s greatest strength is also it’s greatest weakness. Aesthetic is a largely subjective thing, so it won’t surprise you when I say the glossy, uniform finish may not enchant a handbag owner like the natural scents and intricate, grainy patterns of leather proper. This leather usually has the scent of plastic to match the look, but the aesthetic itself is a matter of personal taste.
- Scratches Easily
Just like the promising, Apple white coat of a shiny new iPhone, patent leather can surprise you with its ease of getting scratched up. While keeping this leather clean is no biggie, it’s going to take a lot more work to keep it free of scratches. Handle with care.
- Shorter Lifespan
The synthetic coat covering patent leather also prevents the leather from breathing properly. This significantly reduces the leather’s ultimate lifespan, even if it’s well kept. Happily, proper care can keep this leather lasting for many years, but it probably won’t be outlasting you.
Waxed canvas, often made from cotton, is a competent fabric that may even rival leather. Made from various types of textile and protected with a strong wax finish, you’re going to end up with a pretty great handbag.
- Water Resistant
Waxed cotton is water resistant, and can prevent liquids from absorbing fairly easily. Scratches are not nearly as large a problem on canvas either. That said, canvas does not have quite the level of protection that patent leather does, and liquids will absorb if they are not taken care of.
This permeability, on the other hand, helps canvas to breathe, which is a definite plus, improving its smell and texture. This material is also the lightest between canvas, vachetta and patent, and versatile.
Best yet, since canvas is natural, it will also possess a richer texture and scent. As this material ages and is cared for, it will eventually develop a lovely patina. Better yet, you’ll be enjoying this sight for a while, because waxed canvas has a great life expectancy!
- Wax Melts
At higher temperatures, wax can melt, reducing your canvas’s protection and giving it a waxy texture. While canvas is adaptable, higher temperatures are generally wise to stay away from.
Waxed canvas can stain and absorb materials much more easily than patent leather. A regular application of protective wax can reduce this risk, but don’t be rubbing it on your denim jeans.
- Dries Slowly
Waxed canvas also dries much more slowly. If your canvas does end up getting wet, textiles take a while to dry. Even worse, wet fabrics create a welcoming environment for mildew and mold, so make sure to treat your waxed canvas quickly, allowing it to dry naturally, and applying an appropriate cleaner.
At last, my favorite type! Louis Vuitton carries a lot of awesome products made from this material, including their Alma, Speedy, Houston, and Tivoli handbags. Vachetta is made from natural, honest-to-goodness leather, often a vegetable tanned calfhide, top grain. As this is the material Leather Milk specializes in, you better believe we’ve got a few things to say about it!
The main appeal of leather is its natural quality. It’s delicate, but sturdy. Beautiful, but functional. And it’s a companion for life. As your leather grows and flexes, it adapts to its environment and tells a story. Leather absorbs the scents around it, breathes, grows beautiful patina with the oils and nutrients it absorbs. The aesthetic itself is utterly unique, and you won’t find two leather items that are exactly alike.
Leather is also super durable, resilient against abuse and hard to wear out, even when you’re trying to wear it out. Leather isn’t invincible, of course, and if you want to leather to go the distance with you, you will need to take care of it. On its own, leather will last many years. With a little TLC, leather may even outlast you.
Leather can function in a variety of environments, from harsh cold to sweltering sun and rainy weather to a parched desert. With the right conditioner, your leather can survive almost anything. Even crocodiles.
Leather does absorb stuff fairly easily – commercial variety like Louis Vuitton leather more than most. You’ll definitely want to use some kind of protection, or else take care to keep it from unlucky spills and snippy altercations with Mother Nature.
Although you can find some leather types for relatively cheap, investing in good quality leather can be…an investment. A good philosophy is to do a bit of research into a product before you buy it, and make sure it’s something that works for you and your lifestyle. Leather can be a little pricey, but take care of it, and it will more than offset its cost.
Because leather is an investment, it will require more maintenance than both waxed canvas and patent leather. You’ll want to clean and condition your leather at least a few times a year, and most importantly, develop a leather care rhythm that works for you. Once you get it down, I think you’ll the fruits of your labor well worth the labor.
While caring for patent and canvas requires its own approach, treating vachetta leather is easy with Leather Milk! Leather Care Liniment is a light emulsion designed to enrich and protect leather bags while maintaining a gentle effect. You can read more on this recipe in this handy guide! Always remember to test your leather care treatments in a discreet area before you use them, and above all, have fun.
Hope this helps, leather aficionados!