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Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better?

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better?

What’s the most important thing in luxury handbags for you? Their stunning design? Color that matches any outfit? Or maybe material? Each of these plays its own role in the general look of a purse. The same model made of different types of leather can look absolutely different! Today we are discussing Chanel leathers and materials. This ultimate Chanel leather and material guide can help every bagaholic to learn more about the origin, style, and durability of Chanel materials. Be sure to stay with us until the end to find out which Chanel leather is better!


Where Does Chanel Get Their Leather?

Everyone, who has ever had a chance to hold a Chanel purse in their hands, can say that the quality of the material is impeccable. It’s not a secret that a luxury purse can last for generations thanks to the leather it’s made of. Every fashion house is proud to be selective and demanding when it comes to material supply.

Where are Chanel tanneries located?

The luxury brand prefers to keep its precious sources of leather close to the production site. As we know, Chanel bags are manufactured in three European countries

  • France;
  • Italy;
  • Spain.

There are, however, some ridiculous theories. According to one of them, the production of chic handbags has been moved to China. We’ve already discussed these rumors and gave our opinion on that subject in our article -  Where Are Chanel Handbags Made.

Naturally, the fashion house understands how fragile and capricious delicate leather could be, so all the tanneries and suppliers are located in one of the above-mentioned countries. Most of them can be found in Spain and Italy, as these countries border France (which is the home of Chanel), and it’s easier to oversight the whole process.

The supply chain might be quite large and is kept secret. However, we’ve heard that at the end of 2020, the brand made a decision to purchase their long-time supplier Gaiera Giovanni, the Italian company. Thus, the list of leather manufacturers owned by Chanel became a bit longer. In the previous years, such companies as Renato Corti and Mabi (Italy); Grandis, Samanta (France); and Colomer Leather Group (Spain) were already bought by the French brand.

With such a large variety and geography, it’s quite natural that the range of materials is vast. Let’s take a closer look at each type to decide which Chanel leather is better for your needs.



Chanel Leathers

Let’s start with the leather. It’s the main material for elegant and timeless purses produced by skillful artisans. Every kind of leather has its own character, which manifests itself in several unique features: a certain look, wear and tear, price, and even the style of the purse.

Ready to learn about each of them?



Chanel Lambskin Leather

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? chanel lambskin leather


General description

velvety and soft to the touch, this type is one of the most popular. The surface is smooth and makes you want to run your fingers over it again and again. The incredible softness of the material is the result of a special tanning process. It is used for legendary Chanel flap bags.


This material has a special layer of protection because it’s tanned together with the wool. It makes each purse made of Chanel lambskin leather phenomenally durable. However, keep in mind that this ultra-delicate leather is for careful owners and can easily reveal scratches.

How to clean

Lambskin requires constant attention and babying. Clean the material with a soft and dry fabric (microfiber cloth). Here 4 ways to minimize the scratches/stains on your lambskin purse with what you have at home, be it Chanel or Dior. 



Chanel Iridescent Lambskin Leather

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel iridiscent lambskin leather


General description

This edition immediately blew up the imagination of fashionistas across the globe and became a sought-after item. Leather is shiny with a mother-of-pearl effect, and as we can guess from the name, it actually changes shades when you look at it from different angles.


With proper care, it might serve for a long time. However, porous lambskin is not prone to stains and color transfer. Doesn’t lose its ‘puffiness’ with time.

How to clean

A tender light-colored material might turn into a magnet for stains. Use a dry cloth after each use to wipe the purse.



Chanel Caviar Leather

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? chanel caviar leather


General description

For those looking for a luxury and durable leather for their product, Chanel Caviar Leather might be the perfect choice. Made from high-quality grained calfskin (it’s the way the fashion house mentions it on the official website), the leather is buffed to give it its signature “caviar” effect, as well as making it scratch and water-resistant.

The surface is very textured; a purse made of such leather is as hard as a rock.

Caviar leather is known for its durability and resistance to scratches, which makes it an ideal material for luxury products. The procedure used in crafting caviar involves multiple steps that involve specialized tools and chemicals to strengthen the material. It's an iconic type of leather most Chanel lovers are hunting.


An extremely strong material that can survive different weather conditions and doesn’t reveal scratches. Perfect material for everyday wear.

The important thing to keep in mind is that there are actually several types of caviar leather Chanel uses. On structured classic Chanel Flap purses, it's very sturdy. On more relaxed silhouettes such as Shopping totes or even Chanel mini flap the leather can be very soft. Make sure you get the feel of the leather before purchasing a 'caviar' item.

How to clean

To ensure the longevity of your Caviar Leather piece, it is important to practice proper care and maintenance. Only use mild soaps to clean your leather and avoid harsher chemicals as they could damage the surface. Your purse should also be stored in a dry and dark place when not in use to protect it from light fading or discoloration due to heat or humidity.

Maintaining a handbag made of this leather is easy–just wipe it with a dry piece of fabric after using.


Chanel Crinkled/Aged Calfskin Leather

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel aged calfskin leather


General description

When you first look at the bag made of this type of leather, it seems that the material is wrinkled. However, it’s a special vintage-like effect. A perfect choice for those who don’t want a structured or hard bag. Unlike Caviar, it’s soft to the touch but as tough.


Extremely durable material, which can be compared to grained calfskin (so the difference is the style and look only).

How to clean

As the material won’t reveal marks and scratches, the maintenance is very easy. Just clean your precious item after each use.



Chanel Quilted Calfskin Leather

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? chanel quilted calfskin


General description

An ideal balance between the lambskin smoothness and the look of grained calfskin – this is the choice for those fashionistas, who want to have a durable bag with a silky touch. Mostly used for the production of Chanel Boy bags.


As has been already mentioned, this material shows incredible longevity, remaining velvety. Another great advantage – it’s lightweight.

How to clean

Use a dry cloth to wipe your purse after use.



Chanel Cracked Patent Calfskin Leather

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel cracked patent calfskin leather


General description

This delicate and soft material also has a vintage look. The grain texture of the surface feels a bit rough to the touch. It’s a perfect choice for those bagaholics who are craving a retro look and classic vibe.


It’s a great material if you’re a bit careless when carrying a bag. All scratches will blend in, so there’s no need to give it a special treatment.



Chanel Glazed Calfskin

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel glazed calfskin


General description

Silky and smooth to the touch. It might be hard to believe that you’re holding a leather item. A purse made of this material will be shiny and shimmering, like Louis Vuitton Vernis Leather. To learn more about Louis Vuitton materials, check out our guide -  Everything about Louis Vuitton Prints and Patterns and Popular Limited Edition Collaborations (With Photo Examples).


In order to have this handbag in perfect condition, you have to baby it a lot and carry it with delicacy. Avoid rubbing against rough surfaces. Keep the bag clean, the stains are impossible to remove. With time, soft leather can become wrinkled.

How to clean

No special maintenance recommendations, don’t forget to clean after each use. Use a clean slightly damp cloth to wipe the leather.



Chanel Metallic Calfskin

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel Metallic Calfskin


General description

Fabulous eye-catching material turning each bag into the center of attention.


The accessory made of this material is completely scuff and scratch-free. A great choice for those who don’t like babying their purses. It keeps polished look without extra efforts.

How to clean

Wipe with dry fabric and avoid staining.



Chanel Deerskin Leather

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? chanle deerskin leather


General description

Pebbled leather, which appears to be more smooth than grained calfskin. Although, bumps can still be felt and seen. Quite thick and heavy material compared to other types. Very rare leather for Chanel items.


Tough and durable. Similar to Quilted Calfskin.

How to clean

Take a dry fabric to clean your purse after use.



Chanel Patent Leather

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel patent leather


General description

Shiny and silky material, which appears to be smooth and soft to the touch. The look gives retro vibes; this is a great choice for vintage and classic outfits. When choosing this type of leather, it’s better to purchase dark colors.


Handbags made of Chanel patent leather are to carry on rare occasions, as they require constant attention. Marks and scratches appear easily.

How to clean

Avoid stains and scratches. They can’t be removed from this delicate material. Be gentle when cleaning after use.



Chanel Goatskin Leather

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel goatskin leather


General description

Stiff leather, although very soft to the touch. Grained texture and vintage-like style. Used for the production of different purses and small leather accessories, like wallets. Might be suitable for everyday use if carried gently.


One of the most durable Chanel leathers of all. Keeps its structure perfectly, although might be dented on top if used frequently. Doesn't show a lot of wear as it already has a 'vintage look'.

How to clean

Use an absorbent cloth to wipe your purse.



Chanel Metallic Goatskin

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel metallic goatskin


General description

Stiff and tough material with mesmerizing metallic sheen (hence the name). Soft and elegant, a handbag from this leather should be kept for special occasions only.


The leather itself is very durable, but the metallic peel has a tendency to fall off with time. Treat it as often as possible and avoid any type of rubs to preserve the lifetime of your luxurious bag.

How to clean

Use a dry microfiber cloth for regular cleaning, don’t press too much to avoid metallic coating falling off, don’t forget about bag spa.


For your convenience, all the main features of each type of leather, like pros and cons, wear and tear, recommendations on care are in the table below. It might help you to compare the advantages and disadvantages of the materials and decide which Chanel leather is better.


Type of leather

Wear and Tear



Recommendations on care




Stains, marks, scratches, loss of ‘puffiness’, fade of color if exposed to sunlight


Soft to the touch

Puffy quilting

Elegant look


Requires extra care


Always keep in dust bag when not carrying

Iridescent Lambskin

Stains, marks, permanent fade of color

Original style

Attractive sheen

Soft to the touch

Limited palette

Only for special occasions

Clean regularly and use special products




As the material is durable, the bag can look brand-new if you maintain it well



Prone to damages




Not smooth


The leather durability varies from season to season

Crinkled/Aged Calfskin

Can remain in good condition if cleaned regularly and stored properly

Vintage look


Smooth to the touch

Aged or worn look

Wipe after each use to preserve in perfect condition


Quilted Calfskin

Quilts and the shape hold remarkably well, rubs might appear on the corners 


Retro style




Limited choice of models

Any scratches can be masked using special products


Cracked Patent

Small marks and scratches won’t be visible

Vintage look

Low maintenance

Prone to scratches and color transfer

Grainy texture (a matter of preference)


Use a dry cloth to clean your bag


Glazed Calfskin

Easily scratched

Stains cannot be removed

Gets wrinkled

Beautiful sheen

Smooth texture

Elegant look

High maintenance

Impossible to get rid of scratches

Be extra cautious when carrying a bag 


Metallic Calfskin


Durable and shows almost no signs of wear and tear

Easy to maintain

Elegant sheen

Stays in good condition without babying


Stains are hard to remove

When cleaning the bag with a dry cloth, try not to stain it




Thick material that requires low maintenance and shows incredible durability



Grained but soft surface






No special treatment required






Stains, marks, scratches, dirt




Vintage look



Requires extra care and attention

Choose dark colors if you want to keep your bag in pristine condition as long as possible




Might be dented




Becomes sloppy on top

Carry with care to avoid shape loss 


Metallic Goatskin


Coating tends to fall off


Eye-catching look



Coating rubs off

Bag spa is a must

Once in 1-2 years, let the professionals take care of the purse


If you have chosen the type of leather suitable for your lifestyle, be sure to check our guide on Which Chanel Bag to Buy First if You Want Classics: Top 3 Most Iconic Chanel Bags.

And now we are going to talk about the most expensive and rare materials that the French brand uses to manufacture its masterpieces.



Chanel Exotic Leathers

Purses produced from exotic leathers are hard to find. Every fashion house (and Chanel is not an exception) releases a limited number of these accessories. However, our Ultimate Chanel leather and material guide wouldn’t be complete without them!



Chanel Alligator Leather

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel alligator leather


General description

Exquisite and eye-catching, this is one of the most best-selling precious materials for several reasons. First, it’s the natural pattern of the skin. Second, it’s the vibrant and vivid colors that the material acquires after dyeing. Chanel purses in croco leather start at $15,000-$20,000 with prices going up every year as these materials have been discontinued by the brand.


Alligator skin is considered to be one of the most durable materials. Moreover, it’s not easily scratched, so there’s no need to worry about the expensive accessory.

How to clean

Despite its durability, the precious alligator leather should be moisturized and stored the right way. It’s advised to let professionals take care of your purse.



Chanel Python Leather

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? chanel python leather


General description

With no doubt, python is the most coveted exotic leather in the fashion world. When buying such a purse, it is guaranteed that you are getting a unique piece. Python leather is so different - there’s a high chance there is no other pattern like yours. Moreover, the palette is juicy, vibrant, and bright.


Once investing in such a bag, you’ll be able to enjoy it for many years. No special maintenance required.

How to clean

Clean carefully with a piece of cloth and lotion after use. Store away from water.



Chanel Galuchat Leather

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel galuchat leather

General description

From first glance you may think that it is a carpet with rhinestones. Yet, this is another exotic skin made of shark or stingray. The texture can be both smooth or rough, depending on the design.


It’s considered to last 25 times longer than cowhide, which makes it a perfect everyday bag.

How to clean

Avoid extensive cleaning, use dry fabric and treat delicately.


One more table with key information about exotic leathers. Which Chanel leather is better, in your opinion? Would you like to have a purse made of exotic skin?

Type of leather

Wear and Tear



Recommendation on care



Color fades if exposed to sunlight

Bright colors

Unique and rare



Water and heat can cause early aging

If stained requires professional maintenance





Scales might detach after contact with water


Aging well

Symbol of luxury

Unique design




Limited amount


Avoid any contact with water



Leather is resistant to scratching and deformation

Extremely durable

Unique look

Hold the shape for years


Mostly seen on Boy bags

Be gentle when cleaning the exterior


Most often, when people buy a purse made of exotic skin, it’s an investment in the future. These leather types are long-lasting and hot. However, they are now only available pre-loved. Read on to find out why!



Is Chanel Cruelty-Free?

In 2018, Chanel declared a ban on rare leathers use. The official representatives of the fashion house explained that ‘it’s becoming increasingly difficult to source the exotic skins that match our ethical standards’. It was quite surprising, because bags made of these types of leather, despite their price, are the most sought-after items. But, of course, this news was very welcomed by animal activists. 

What else does the French brand do to protect the environment?

The luxury fashion house from Paris joined the list of top companies who are planning to reduce their impact on the environment and follow sustainability strategy. This means a more conscious approach to each stage of production and measures to prevent a negative impact on the planet’s ecology.

Here are some important steps of the Chanel sustainable journey:



  • Ban on exotic leather goods (including the most coveted crocodile, lizard, and snake), natural fur, and angora.
  • The brand invested in Finnish start-up Sulapac, which worked on the creation of a microplastic material that is completely biodegradable and can be used for packaging.



  • Chanel invested in Evolved by Nature, a chemistry company from Boston, that has created Activated-Silk (a natural silk protein that serves as an alternative to toxic chemicals).
  • Purchasing tanneries near production sites to localize their supplies.



Another great contribution of the luxury fashion house to the global aim is the promotion of animal-free materials. The bags made of them are hot and stylish as well! Let’s learn more about them!



Chanel Materials

There’s no need to deprive yourself of an elegant and chic purse manufactured by Chanel artisans. If you can’t picture yourself carrying a leather handbag, you can choose from one of the following Chanel materials.



Chanel Jersey

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel Jersey


General description: knit material with signature Chanel-look and 100% animal-free! It looks awesome. The casual vibes of the jersey make it an ideal option for daily wear. However, it’s not as thick and tough as leather, so lovers of sturdy and structured purses might be disappointed.

Durability: Chanel’s jersey is a quite long-lasting fabric if carried with caution. Marks and dirt can appear though.

How to clean: don’t attempt to remove stains at home. Use a gentle brush after each use to get rid of dust.



Chanel Velvet

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel velvet


General description: soft and low-priced (compared to leather), velvet is a top choice for people who dream of an iconic Chanel handbag, but can’t imagine purchasing leather goods. It is especially stunning in dark colors, which gives a purse a luxurious look. Material is not smooth when you touch it.

Durability: if handling the handbag with proper care, it will serve for many years. The fabric lasts quite long.

How to clean: use a gentle roller for occasional grooming. Keep away from water and moisture to prevent staining.



Chanel Tweed

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel Tweed

General description: woolen material that can’t be called smooth, yet the material itself is quite flexible. The ‘bumpy’ surface gives the bag a unique and mesmerizing style.

Durability: the fabric itself is durable but should be taken utmost care of. Avoid any damages, like holes, as they are impossible to mend.

How to clean: take a gentle brush or roller. Avoid contact with water.



Chanel Canvas

Ultimate Chanel Leather and Material Guide: Which Chanel Leather Is Better? Chanel canvas


General description: a great choice to match any casual outfit. However, it doesn’t offer such a chic and structured look, as leather. Chanel canvas is as rough to the touch as, for example, Louis Vuitton canvas.

Durability: canvas has proved to be a long-lasting material for handbags, yet, when purchasing a luxury item you should handle it with care. It’s quite easy to get some dirt and stains that are almost impossible to remove.

How to clean: with a cloth and soap; don’t forget to properly wipe the spot with an absorbent fabric.


Another table that can help you decide which Chanel leather is better and deserves to be a part of your collection!

Type of leather

Wear and Tear



Recommendation on care




Small pills might appear with time

Chic look

Big palette

Great for everyday

Dirt cannot be removed at home

Seek professional help to clean the bag 




Looks shabby when not taken care of properly


Cheaper compared to leather

Gorgeous look

Capricious material

Hard to remove marks

Clean as often as possible with a brush or a roller


Material is prone to fringes and holes

Unique style


Requires extra care 

Avoid rubbing against rough or raw surfaces




Might be a magnet for dirt



Ideal for daily use


Expensive price for a canvas bag

Avoid dirty surfaces, especially if the color is light



Conclusion: Which Chanel Leather Is Better?

As you can see, even the most demanding fashionista will be able to find a suitable leather type that meets their needs and preferences. The variety of materials is vast: from standard cowhides and goat skins to exotic leathers and animal-free materials. With such diversity, Chanel shows its care and respect towards their clientele.

I hope you have thoroughly read our ultimate Chanel leather and material guide. Have you made up your mind which Chanel leather is better personally for you? Share your opinion in the comments!

If you have already made up your mind about the material, be sure to check if the official website of the French brand has the necessary item. However, in case the selection or the price doesn’t suit your expectations, you can always buy a pre-loved bag. For example, we have a convenient and stylish Chanel Blue Khaki Nylon Tote in stock.

And of course, don’t forget to order an independent professional authentication before paying for a second-hand luxury purse. We, at Bagaholic, offer authentication service for every fashionista in doubt.

If you need to authenticate a Chanel bag or accessory, please order one of the three types of authentication:

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