Saffiano Leather Origin, How It’s Made, and How to Protect It

Many handbags created by Michael Kors feature Saffiano leather. If you were wondering what exactly earns leather such an illustrious title, it’s not because it originates in an obscure Italian town called Saffiano. Saffiano is the stamping method used to create the cross-hatch texture which sets this style apart from all others.

What Exactly is Saffiano Leather?

Like we said, it is the stamping method used to give leather that beautiful texture you love so much. If you examine your Saffiano leather handbag carefully, you will see diagonal lines which criss-cross one another. This is the distinct cross-hatch pattern that defines Saffiano leather. What it does is strengthen the material making it more resistant to stains and scratches. It also improves its natural water repellent characteristics.

There are many types of base materials used to create leather: cowhide, calfskin, kidskin, goat hide, deerskin, even kangaroo. Saffiano leather always begins with calfskin. This base material is chosen because of its qualities of softness and a rougher grain.

Saffiano Origin

Although you may be a faithful fan of Michael Kors, to learn the history of Saffiano leather, the name of a rival must be invoked. In 1913 Mario Prada, yes, the patriarch of that Italian fashion house of his own name, created and patented Saffiano leather. That same year the first official Prada Saffiano bag it the market.

How to Care for Saffiano Leather

Cleaning it is relatively easy. Dirt and debris simply wipe off with a soft cloth. For a stubborn soiled area, you may need to use a wet cloth but go easy on the moisture and don’t rub hard. Applying a leather conditioner every few months will help keep Saffiano leather in great shape. For the serious protection of a favorite purse or an expensive handbag investment, you may want to go the extra mile with a high density (HD) transparent coating.

Examples of Saffiano Leather Handbags


[easyazon_link identifier=”B00JJ4YGSK” locale=”US” tag=”jfaction-20″]Calvin Klein Saffiano Tote Handbag[/easyazon_link]

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B00JJ4YGSK” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jfaction-20″ width=”335″]

[easyazon_link identifier=”B0157AKQOC” locale=”US” tag=”jfaction-20″]Greg Michaels Hannah Saffiano Leather Functional Tote[/easyazon_link]

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B0157AKQOC” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jfaction-20″ width=”500″]

[easyazon_link identifier=”B01JNEB124″ locale=”US” tag=”jfaction-20″]Michael Kors Jet Set Saffiano Medium Top Zip Tote[/easyazon_link]

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B01JNEB124″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jfaction-20″ width=”367″]

Tanning Saffiano Leather

Different leather manufacturers will use any number of tanning methods to treat the raw base material and transform it into leather:

Chrome-Tanning: A method using chromium sulfate and salts to create a supple, water-resistant material. Popular because of its rapid completion time and ability to create an array of vivid colors.

Vegetable-Tanning: Tannins and other organic ingredients, such as tree bark, roots, and fruits, are used to soften and color the hide.

Aldehyde-Tanning: Often called wet-leather because of its white or creamy color, it is a chrome-free method creating the leather most commonly used in traditional high-top baby shoes.

Brain-Tanning: A very labor-intensive process using the emulsified oils of large mammal brains, such as cattle and buffalo. It produces one of the softest leathers available that can even withstand washing.

Chamois-Tanning: A water-absorbent soft leather is created with the use of fish oils. The leather is then colored with the application of aldehydes.

Rose-Tanning: Another labor-intensive method is producing the world’s most valuable leather with the use of rose otto which infuses the leather with the scent of rose that will last for years.

The calf skin used to create Saffiano leather could have been produced by any of these tanning methods. The tanning process is not what makes Saffiano leather Saffiano. It is what happens next that puts it into a class of its own.

What Are the Steps to Producing Saffiano Leather?

Calfskin then undergoes three steps to create a final product of Saffiano leather:

1. Heat treatment at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Pressed for 10-15 seconds with the stamp to create the cross-hatch pattern.

3. Treated with a final wax coating.

The end product is leather that is water-resistant and so durable that only a razor sharp instrument could mar the surface.

Getting An HD Protective Coating

ColorWash provides coating, cleaning and coloring services for luxury leather goods. Your arm candy treasure can get the royal treatment with a coat of invisible armor. The transparent coating won’t change the color you prize in your favorite handbag. But do expect it to have a curious aroma immediately following treatment. The silicone shield is effective on all types of leather as well as suede and certain fabrics. The coating virtually doubles the natural protection of your handbag’s Saffiano leather with regard to the effects of UV light, heat, abrasions, food stains and water. The process takes about one week. ColorWash is based in Singapore but has outlets in other places. They recommend a reapplication of the coating every three to four months for bags that are frequently in use. They also offer DIY products like soft cleaning wipes and color protection wipes.

1 Comment
  1. […] that can serve alone as a wristlet. The Jet Set Leather Continental Wristlet is also constructed of Saffiano leather and designed to complement every Jet Set Handbag with simple, clean lines. Its elongated shape […]

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