What is Leather?

Leather is traditionally made from animal skin typically through a process called tanning. However, increasingly faux leather is on the rise due to ethical protestors educating on the benefits of producing a animal free product.

Why is Leather used?

There are several reasons why Leather has remained a popular material in fashion. Starting with the facts that it is renowned for its high quality and durability, meaning products will last longer if properly cared for. Another key reason for leather’s popularity never dwindling is the fact that it is such a classic look, leather never seems to go out of style and thanks to it’s unique feel it’s constantly in fashion and on trend. Leather is a natural product and as such no genuine leather bag, leather jacket or leather skirt will ever be completely identical, due to the unique innate differences in the product.

It is well known that genuine Leather is a resilient and strong material which is favourable when looking for a product you want to last. Quality and resilience is especially sort after when looking for a bag because often you need to carry a lot and want to not worry about your bag breaking easily. A leather bag will be practical and last a long time. Due to the higher quality of leather clothes or accessories a higher price point is usually seen. However, those leather trousers cost per wear might end up being a lot less than a cheap pair.

Designs both fashion and interior are big fans of leather because of how versatile the material is. Not only can you create beautiful leather bags, leather trousers or even leather boots but the material is also widely seen on sofas or headboards.

Whilst Leather is durable and resilient you must care for your product properly. To keep your Radley leather items in the best condition possible make sure to use a Radley Leather Protection Cloth before the first use of your bag or purse to help protect the leather surface from everyday dirt and water marks, and then use the Radley Leather Care Foam to gently cleanse mild soiling and water-based stains to restore your Radley bag or purse to its former glory. For the best results, use the Radley Leather Care Foam with a lint free cloth, and wipe the leather in light, small, circular motions, until the dirt is lifted. If you do use the Radley Leather Care Foam be sure to then treat it again with the Radley Leather Protection Cloth.

Due to Leather deriving animal skin, it makes it a porous material meaning that it can never be 100% waterproof, unless coated with something. However, leather is naturally water resistant to a certain extent. This means that your leather bag will not get ruined in the rain, perfect if you are looking for an all year-round bag.

How is Leather made?

As mentioned, Leather is made from animal skin, typically cow hide, although occasionally other animals are also used to create leather. In most cases when leather is used it’s as a by-product. This means that the entirety of the animal is used for meat, tools, shelter and the leather is used to create products to reduce waste. Historically, early man would hunt animals for their meat and then use every other part to enhance their basic caveman lives.

Leather Details

Leather Origins


Whilst many countries produce leather, the main specialists in the material are China, Italy, India, Brazil, Korea and Russia, the leather is used to create a large variety of products from leather sofas, leather jackets or even leather car seats.

Different Leather Processes


There are many different processes that the leather goes through before it can be used:

Moisturising

: This helps the leather the stay moisturised so that it doesn’t crack or break.

Tumbled

: This is the process of making the material much softer. The material is rotated in a large barrel to achieve the results.

Waxed

: Waxing leather helps to improve the bags water resistance as well as maintaining breathability and keeping the leather supple.

Plated

: This is where the leather has been pressured under high heat and heavy pressure to give it a more polished surface.

Tanning

: Tanning is where animal proteins are turned into a much more stable material that won’t break down as easy. There are two different types of tanning, chrome and vegetable.

Chrome Tanning

: This uses a tanning agent called ‘chromium’. It is the faster method of tanning, which is why most companies opt for this way, as it is more effective. Chrome tanning gives the hide a pale blue colour and is often softer and more supple compared to vegetable-tanned leather. Furthermore, it also does not discolour as drastically and is easier to dye.

Vegetable Tanning

: The tanning agent that this uses comes from vegetable origins. It is called Tannin and comes from trees and plants. This process can take months to complete, making it a more expensive leather. Vegetable tanning gives leather a greater body and the result is much more natural.

Dyeing

: This is where colour is added to the leather. It is done during the tanning process. Since leather is a natural product there is likely to be a slight difference in some of the dye depending on how well it has been absorbed.

Pigmentation

: This is where a coloured dye is sprayed all over the leather to give it a new colour.

Drying

: There are a few different ways of drying leather, the first one being naturally, meaning that it is left flat out to dry on its own without any help. Another way is for the leather to go through large rollers and have all the moisture drawn out and decrease any wrinkles in the leather.

Milling

: This is the process where the leather is placed into a giant drum and tumbled. The reason that this is done is to soften the leather and make the grain of the leather more prominent.

Buffing & Polishing

: This is done at the end of the process to give leather a smooth surface.

Different Types of Leather

Delicate


Our range of delicate Leather styles will require some extra TLC to maintain its luxurious craftmanship. Using Radley’s leather care products regularly and following our care guidelines means the leather will remain with you for years to come. Should these delicate materials get wet, allow them to dry naturally before applying any aftercare products. Also, if a mark does appear, we advise careful cleaning.

Intermediate


Typically crafted for everyday use, our intermediate leathers will need caring regularly to ensure the integrity of the base material is maintained. Please be aware that abrasive pads or detergents should not be used while cleaning, we recommend that you use Radley care products for the best results possible. As with many leathers, please allow them to dry naturally if they become wet and keep them away from any direct heat sources.

Hardwearning


Taking everyday knocks in their stride, our hardwearing leathers are perfect for using every day. If these materials get wet, please let them dry naturally before applying products and keep them away from direct hear sources. When preparing to clean these materials, it’s best to avoid using abrasive pads or detergents – we recommend that you use Radley care products for the best possible results.

Radley Leather Overview

007 Metallic


A soft metallic finish, this Leather has a smooth touch with a reassuring suppleness which is lightly grained to reflect the original leather material.

Angelo


A lightweight Leather with a medium to hardware lifespan. Lightly milled, with a subtle grain finish, it retains depth of colour and shape well and will age wonderfully.

Belmar


This has been chrome tanned then thoroughly soaked and moisturised for a week to improve its softness. Following the natural drying process, the leathers undergoes a pigment spray to give products a perfectly even colour.

Brooke & Ferrari


Ferrari and Brooke are full grained leathers that boast a rich softness that is sumptuous to the touch. Tumbled for the full process, this material has a rich finish and will keep colour vibrant and long lasting. Naturally air dried so that the natural oils in the leather are maintained – this material needs the occasional leather cleaners and wipe with a lint free cloth for good aftercare.

Chandler


Shiny Chandler is chrome tanned and undergoes the same manufacturing process as Statue. The finishing is slightly different as it will undergo a prolonged plating to remove the natural grain. Followed by extended buffing and polishing to achieve a high shine surface.

Cosmopolitan


Following the tanning process, a further veg tanning process gives the leather its roundness, before being dyed through to the desired shade and slightly embossed. Following this it’s tumbled for a short time to enhance the embossed finish. A spray of pigment and wax is then applied to even out the colour and add shine.

Cow Smerido


In terms of durability, texture and elegance, this bovine based leather is an investment. The trendy python effect is transferred, printed and rolled to give a snakeskin inspired effect and feel. A hardwearing fabric, Cow Smerido will last for years to come. A simple light surface wipe with a lint free cloth is all the care needed to keep this material in luxury condition.

Cow Vachetta


The leather is chrome tanned and split to the required thickness. It is then re-tanned using a small amount of veg tan which will add substance and fullness to the leather. Following this the leather is immersed in dye and left to fully penetrate. Once dyed and dried, it is them embossed on the surface before a finishing spray is applied to ensure colour consistency.

Faux Python Adder, Angie Faux Python & Faux Python Frida


In terms of durability, texture and elegance, this bovine based leather is an investment. The trendy python effect is transferred, printed and rolled to give a snakeskin inspired effect and feel. A hardwearing fabric, those leathers will last for years to come. A simple light surface wipe with a lint free cloth is all the care needed to keep this material in luxury condition.

Florence


This has a chrome tan process to start and then a veg tan treatment is added that brings to life the fullness of this soft and supple leather. The fullness of this leather has a dry feel thanks to over 12 hours of milling, allowing the colour to breathe life into our products. The flexibility of this leather is enhanced with a final treatment, which gives the surface a glow.

Fulham


A robust material that will remain in great condition if take care of correctly. With a lightweight grain, Fulham boasts a strong supple feel for a plush finish. Soft to the touch, this leather will age well over years of use and keep to its sleek soft shape perfectly.

Indie


Indie leather undergoes a chrome and vegetable tanning process that gives a structured shape to our luxurious products. To receive its even texture, this fabric is slightly buffed and pigmented and finally tumbled to achieve the distinctive breaks on the surface. The results for this intricate process will give a subtle yet sugary grain which leaves products smooth to the touch.

Indus


Chrome and vegetable tanned for structure, slightly buffed and pigmented for an even texture and finally tumbled to achieve the characteristic breaks in the surface. The result is a subtle, sugary grain that is smooth and supple to the touch.

Joey


This hardwearing leather has been passed through multiple drying processes before being coated to flatten the grain. The leather is then waxed and polished to promote the shine, enhancing the finish.

Liberty


A hardwearing Leather and if cared for in the right way will be with you for years to come. This material is immersed multiple times in tanning agents, preservative and dye to form a base which is then left to air dry. Once the leather has dried it is plated and polished to produce a silky-smooth surface before the pigment is applied for a sleek finish.

Mastrotto Suede, Suede & Suede Etna


A plush mid-level suede, this fabric is flayed in a delicate process to bring out the natural fibres and make sure that the suppleness is kept within its raw materials. The richness of its colour will be held well as we continually dye it through washes to keep moisture at bay. These fabrics may not be waterproof, but a soft brush after it’s left to dry naturally will have the fabric glowing through its dyed colour.

Mississippi Faux Croc


In terms of durability, texture and elegance, this bovine based Leather is an investment. The trendy croc effect is transferred, printed and embossed to give a reptile inspired effect and feel. A hardwearing fabric, Mississippi Faux Croc will last for years to come. A simple light surface wipe with a lint free cloth is all the care needed to keep this material in luxurious condition.

Muscat


This leather is made to ensure a supple finish, as it’s hung dried, tanned for extra softness, milled extensively for a luxe grainy leather finish and plated for a smooth texture. A Radley favourite, this Peru leather is skilfully dyed twice and meticulously polished to give its luxurious glossy appearance.

Oscar


A grainy, hardwearing Leather with a plain texture and smooth finish.

Prado


A resilient leather that will last for years to come, this material holds colour well to give each of our products a vibrant pop. Prado leather has a supple feel with a light embossed grain effect that provides the opulent finish Radley handbags are known for.

Regent


This leather follows intricate and delicate chrome and vegetable tanning processes which gives a full-bodied look and feel that will wear well for years to come if treated with car. Regent then undergoes a light top spray which achieves a desirable and luxe shade that will appeal to our Radley customer. To finish, this leather is carefully dried in a tumbling drum to add consistency and plumpness to the grain.

Richmond


As a hardwearing fabric, Richmond leather will hold colour well once dyed and continue to for years to come, so you can be sure it will stay in good condition throughout the years if taken care of. Known for being strong and supple with a light grain effect, Radley fans will adore this luxurious leather.

Statue


A leather delicately soaked multiple times in tanning agents, preservative and dye, to form a base which is then left to dry naturally. Once dried it is plated and buffed to produce a smooth surface before pigment is applied to ensure an even and vibrant colour is produced.

Suede


The suede is chrome tanned and split up to the required thickness. Following this it undergoes a re-tanning process and is dyed at the same time. The materials are the thoroughly washed to remove excess dyes and any of the tanning elements. The final process consists of the material being buffed to achieve the desired texture and then lightly sprayed with a fixer to improve dye fastness.

Thames


For a refined finish that will have any product looking luxurious, Thames leather is tanned and plated achieve a polished feel. Rich, smooth and full of body, these durable materials are showcased on the seasonal stand-out shapes that Radley fans adore.

Veneer


The top colour is natural due to veg tanning process and the material only being part dyed. A pigment is applied to the surface and then tumbled to create the desired grain structure. The leather the undergoes a wax to its surface to create the sheen and two-tone effect, which is more visible on tan and red coloured products. A final light spray of lacquer is applied to seal the finish and provide a lasting gleam.

Vintage


A leather with a grained pattern and a smooth texture. It’s a unique combination achieved through hours of milling and softening. The result is a luxuriously soft finish.

Volvo


Through a ten-hour milling process, a beautiful even grain is crafted to ensure a luxe finish to this Volvo leather. For a sleek and consistent appearance throughout each of our products. Volvo leather is slightly top sprayed and plated for an even appearance.

How to treat Leather

Radley prides itself on its use of fine, natural leathers. With that in mind, we’ve formulated a range of products to care for your Radley leather handbags for years to come.

Radley Leather Protection Cloth/p>
Use before your first use of your bag to help protect the leather surface from everyday dirt and water marks

  • In a clean, dry space, remove the cloth from its pouch by tearing across the top, perforated edge.
  • Wipe the cloth in an even, circular motion across the surface of the leather, avoiding any fabric trim.
  • Once you finish treating the bag leave to dry for at least an hour.


Radley Leather Care Foam


Gently cleanses mild soiling and water-based stains to restore your Radley bag to its former glory.
  • In a clean, dry space, thoroughly shake the Radley Leather Care Foam bottle and pump into a clean soft cloth.
  • Dab the formula onto the leather and gently work the surface in a smooth, circular motion
  • After you’ve finished, lightly remove any excess formula with a clean corner of the cloth and allow to dry away from direct heat for at least an hour.


Delicate


Our range of delicate leather styles will require some extra TLC to maintain its luxurious craftmanship. Using Radley’s leather care products regularly and following our care guidelines means the Leather will remain with you for years to come. Should these delicate materials get wet, allow them to dry naturally before applying any aftercare products. Also, if a mark does appear, we advise careful cleaning.

Intermediate


Typically crafted for everyday use, our intermediate leathers will need caring for regularly to ensure the integrity of the base material is maintained. Please be aware that abrasive pads or detergents should not be used while cleaning, we recommend that you use Radley care products for the best results possible. As with many leathers, please allow them to dry naturally if they become wet and keep them away from any direct heat sources.

Hardwearing


Taking everyday knocks in their stride, our hardwearing Leathers are perfect for using every day. If these materials get wet, please let them dry naturally before applying products and keep them away from direct hear sources. When preparing to clean these materials, it’s best to avoid using abrasive pads or detergents – we recommend that you use Radley care products for the best possible results.

What Happens to Leather Over Time?

Overtime, good-quality Leather will start to develop. It develops in a good way becoming softer, more malleable and may change colour slightly. The biggest factors that cause these developments are sunlight, age, natural body oils and dirt.

Sometimes when you buy a new bag or purse, you may find it tight, but this is what you need to look for, as overtime as you wear it in, it will be the perfect item for you. Leather has tons of character and overtime will gain even more, which is one of the things we love so much about it.

To keep your Radley leather items in the best condition possible make sure to use a Radley Leather Protection Cloth before the first use of your bag or purse to help protect the leather surface from everyday dirt and water marks, and then use the Radley Leather Care Foam to gently cleanse mild soiling and water-based stains to restore your Radley bag or purse to its former glory. For the best results, use the Radley Leather Care Foam with a lint free cloth, and wipe the leather in light, small, circular motions, until the dirt is lifted. If you do use the Radley Leather Care Foam be sure to then treat it again with the Radley Leather Protection Cloth.

Why is Leather a 3rd Anniversary Gift?

For every wedding anniversary, there are certain types of gifts to give that should be made from a specific type of material. The most commonly known ones are, on someone’s 25th wedding anniversary they should be gifted silver, and on someone’s 50th wedding anniversary they should be gifted gold. There are many more years in between in which a different material should be gifted, however, for a 3rd wedding anniversary, the traditional gift is leather.

The reason for this is that it represents how the relationship should be after 3 years. Paper is typically given as 1st wedding anniversary gift as it modest and fragile, representing the early stages of a relationship. Cotton is typically given as a 2nd wedding anniversary gift, stronger than paper and more comforting.

Leather is typically given on a 3rd wedding anniversary as it represents the strength and durability, qualities that help a marriage continue to thrive. The idea of the gift also comes from the fact it is durable, flexible, strong and resilient, and if you treat it right it will last forever. Some people also believe that during your third year of your marriage you should be extremely comfortable in your own skin around each other, hence the leather. Therefore, giving the gift of leather symbolises that you believe the relationship will last a lifetime.

Make your 3rd anniversary gift extra special and personalise your Radley Leather bag or leather purse.

10 Random Facts about Leather

  • The leather industry has makes $53 billion USD worldwide, every year.
  • The value of hide and skin represents around 5-10% of the value of the animal.
  • Cowhide is the most commonly used skin in the production of different leather products.
  • The average person is wearing four leather items at any given time.
  • Humans have used animal hides since the Old Stone Age for clothing and shelters, however the tanning of leather did not start until ancient Egyptian times.
  • White leather is the most difficult colour of leather to produce.
  • Leather has been a popular material since 3000BC during the Roman Empire when it was used for the sails on boats.
  • Top grain leather does not mean top quality.
  • Back in the 17th century in Italy, leather was a popular choice for wallpaper.
  • Objects such as gold balls and mugs were once made from leather.

How to choose the Right Leather Work Bag for you

With many people having to carry a laptop or tablet with them to and from work you, people are looking for the perfect bag that will both protect your laptop but look stylish at the same time.

There are many different types of bags that are useful for work, for example, backpacks, totes and holdall, however it’s hard to know what is best for you.

Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to help you decide what work bag is for you:

  • How big is your laptop?
  • How heavy is your bag?
  • How long will you be carrying you bag?
  • Is your bag likely to get wet?
  • Do you commute on public transport?

Radley Top Leather Picks

Arlington Court – Large Multi-Compartment Multiway Bag


Meet the must-have handbag of the season. Take our Arlington Court large multiway through the working week with ease, featuring multi-compartments and a soft leather finish this design will keep you organised without compromising on style. Wear across your body or use the grab handles and be on your way!
Every exceptional woman needs a handbag they can rely on – whether you’re headed to a meeting or a casual dinner date, these silhouettes are the perfect fit.

Wood Street- Large Zip-Top Tote Bag


Why not choose sleek simplicity when it comes to picking your next Radley bag? This practical option will pair perfectly with any ensemble, formal or casual. Crafted from smooth grainy leather, this large tote offers a spacious interior that will keep all essentials in place. Finished with a stitched handy slip pocket to the back, this is the easiest purchase you’ll make this season!
Your everyday must-haves need an update and here it is. Sleek, sophisticated and perfectly compact. - enjoy a style that’ll keep essentials safe.

Woburn Abbey- Large Foldover Backpack


Invest in a leather backpack that is both spacious and stylish with our new foldover design. Perfect for going hands-free on your daily commute, this backpack comes in two versatile shades, so you’ll have no problem slipping it into your everyday wardrobe.