What Is Epi Leather Made From?
Epi Leather in most cases is most often made from calf skin, with a unique micro ridge to its surface. This is from Louis Vuitton who opened its first store in 1854 in Paris.
Epi Leather is known as a smooth leather, with a pigmentation to the surface making it a very durable and water-resistant leather, for wetter climates this makes this the perfect arm candy for daily use.
This type of leather is one of Louis Vuitton’s original leather design introduced to the company, the epi leather design was inspired by some of its luggage in the 1920’s, it’s a smooth leather tanned using vegetable materials and then given a pigmented coating on the surface to create a very durable coating for handbags and other fashion items.
It became famous when it was first used on a unique one-off design in the 1920’s on a tea case trunk for the Maharaja de Borada tea case. But it wasn’t until the mid 80’s that it became used more widely.
There are two types of this leather the classic matt look leather and the patent look which has a high shine finish to it giving those who wish to have a patent leather that option. Its original look was a two-tone look, like wheat growing in a field blowing around in the wind. It was deep dyed with natural vegetable extracts and then surfaced dyed to give it the iconic two tone look and characters.
This Louis Vuitton type of leather was famed by this brand back several decades ago for exclusive use on their iconic luggage and handbags and now to an array of accessories.
The purpose of this type of leather is its hard wearing water resistance and claims that it is scratch poof, but we have seen thousands of this style of bags over the years that have all been scratched.
Taking care of epi leather is like most other leathers, being a finer grade quality calf skin in most cases, it’s best to use product such as an aniline leather cleaner to clean and preserve your leather, then a leather protection cream can be applied to give surface protection to the coated finish.
The ridge finish this type of leather has can make it difficult to repair for some people who have not experienced this type of leather on a regular basis, care must be taken not to destroy the unique ridge system on this style of leather, so only let experienced professionals undertake such repairs.
Being a traditional pigmented finish, you can use a standard leather cleaner, but as with most fashion items like handbags and purses we always suggest an aniline leather cleaner is best due to its soft more natural ingredients.
Minor scuffing can be rectified with antique restore creams or for more obvious damage then pigmented paints will be needed.
This style of leather requires regular dusting as particles of dust and grit can get trapped in between its unique style of ridges creating wear to take place if not dusted regular with a soft horsehair brush.