What Is Saffiano Leather?


Saffiano leather has become synonymous with luxury and high-end designer bags, belts and wallets. The name refers to the cross-hatch print that is etched onto wax on the surface of the leather, creating a sumptuous feel and finish to the material. In theory, this design can be done on anything from the best-quality leather to synthetic fabrics.

The reason so many designers – from Prada to Kate Spade and from Coach to Michael Kors – use this print on their fabrics is that it creates a highly durable finish. The leather (or synthetic fabric) is stamped and finished with a wax coating, which makes it water-repellent and scratch resistant. The finished fabric is also much easier to keep clean than more natural leathers.

You can recognize saffiano leather by the diagonal lines that intersect to make a cross hatch pattern. It’s much smoother and finer than the similar palmellato design, which is another popular and durable textures leather. For both, the design is machine stamped into the wax coating that sits on top of the material. This coating provides shiny finish and the durability of the leather.

Thanks To Prada

The first designer to use saffiano leather was the house of Prada in Italy, back in 1913. Mario Prada invented the design and the finish, and ensured that he patented the concept. The first saffiano handbag was produced in the same year and the design house has been making them ever since. Once the patent expired, other design houses and tanneries started to use the method for stamping leather and quickly broadened the reach of saffiano leather.

Vegan Saffiano

In the early days, the saffiano method was only applied to the finest calf leather in the tanneries of Italy. Now, it is made all over the world and on a wide range of materials. It’s possible to even get vegan saffiano fabrics that look like the real deal. Designers are stamping the crosshatch design into PU materials. It’s the finished look, much like the end result in live bets, that defines saffiano and not the material that is used.

Caring For Saffiano Products

While this leather may be designed to wear well and to clean easily, it’s still best to care for it properly. You don’t have to be too concerned about your bag or belt getting wet, just be sure to dry it off as soon as you can. The same goes for spilling things on surface.

It’s important to find out exactly what your bag, wallet or belt is actually made out of too. This is because the saffiano method is often applied to cheaper leather grades to hide imperfections. The saffiano finish will protect it a fair bit, but if liquids or sunlight get through to the underneath layers, they can damage the leather.

Be sure to get a proper leather care product – they come in sprays and lotions – to maintain your product over time. You can wipe the leather down with your care product once a week to make sure you get rid of anything that might eat into the material.