This store requires javascript to be enabled for some features to work correctly.

What is Calf Leather and How It's Used In Fashion

Calf leather, or calfskin, is a highly sought-after material in the fashion industry, known for its durability, softness, and luxury. In this blog post, we will explore what calf leather is, how it's produced, compare it to other types of leather and see which luxury bag brands are using it.

What is Calf Leather?

Calf leather is derived from the hides of young calves, typically less than 3 months old. These hides are known for their fine grain and smooth texture, making them ideal for luxury fashion items. Calf leather is indeed real leather, as it is sourced from animal hides and undergoes tanning and processing to create the final product.

How is Calf Leather Produced?

The production of calf leather involves several steps, including sourcing the hides, soaking them in a tanning solution, and then undergoing a process called "tanning" to preserve the leather. The resulting material is softer and more supple than other types of leather, making it ideal for high-end fashion products.

Is Calf Leather Good?

Calf leather is highly regarded in the fashion industry for its exceptional quality. It is known for its durability and ability to age gracefully, developing a beautiful patina over time. In addition, calf leather's fine grain and luxurious texture contribute to its desirability and versatility in various fashion applications.

Is Calf Leather Expensive?

Due to its superior quality and desirability, calf leather can be more expensive compared to other types of leather. The cost is often justified by the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into producing luxury fashion items made from calf leather. However, the price can vary depending on the brand, design, and market demand.

What is Refined Calf Leather?

Refined calf leather refers to a type of leather that is made from the hide of a calf or juvenile domestic cattle. It is highly valued for its softness, fine grain, and durability. Refined calf leather is known for its elegance, being thin, bright, and smooth, with an unmistakable grain.


Top Luxury Brands That Use Calfskin for Their Items

Calfskin is praised for its durability. A lot of fashion brands use this type of leather while producing their handbags, footwear and accessories. Let's see the most popular items from the top fashion brands.

Chanel Calfskin Bag Selection

Chanel offers a range of iconic handbags crafted from calfskin leather. One of them is the Classic Flap in Calfskin. While this material is not typical for Classic Flaps, some collections featured metallic calfskin flaps.

 chanel Metallic Calfskin Quilted Mini Rectangular Flap

Next, the recently introduced Chanel 22 bag is made of calfskin. 

Shiny Calfskin Quilted Chanel 22 Purple bag

Chanel Gabrielle often features calfskin. It's typically either the primary material, or it accompanies tweed.

chanel aged calfskin gabrielle




Hermes Calf Leather Items

Hermes is on the of the luxury brands that uses calf leather extensively. To be precise, their most used Togo leather is actually grained calf leather. Thus, the famous Birkin and Kelly bags are often crafted from calfskin leather, showcasing its grained texture and endurance.

Togo calf leather Birkin 30 Gold

In addition, a lot of vintage Hermes bags are made from smooth box leather, which is also calfskin.

hermes box calf leather

Hermes is also using smooth calfskin when manufacturing their footwear.

Calfskin Womens Chypre Sandals 36 Natural hermes


In summary, calf leather is a highly prized material used extensively by the top luxury bag brands. Its exceptional quality, durability, and luxurious texture make it a preferred choice for best luxury brands worldwide. Whether it's Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, or Gucci, calfskin leather exemplifies timeless elegance and adds a touch of sophistication to high-end fashion products.


Is Calfskin Better Than Other Types of Leather?

Calfskin leather offers distinct advantages when compared to other types of leather. Let's see how it's different.

Calfskin vs Lambskin

Calfskin and lambskin are both popular choices when it comes to leather, but they have distinct characteristics that set them apart.

Calfskin leather is known for its durability and strength. The leather is thicker and firmer compared to lambskin. Its density and resilience make it more resistant to wear and tear, making it an excellent choice for products that need to withstand regular use, such as handbags or wallets.

On the other hand, lambskin leather is prized for its softness and supple texture. It has a lightweight and delicate feel, making it ideal for luxury items like handbags and accessories. Lambskin leather tends to be thinner and more pliable than calfskin, which allows for intricate detailing and a smoother overall appearance.

Ultimately, the choice between calfskin and lambskin depends on the intended use and personal preferences. If durability and longevity are priorities, calfskin is the better option. If a soft and luxurious touch is desired, lambskin is the preferred choice.

Calfskin vs Goat Leather

When comparing calfskin and goat leather, the primary differentiating factors lie in their texture, durability, and overall appearance.

Calfskin leather is known for its fine grain and smooth texture. The tight grain structure gives it a refined look and a luxurious feel. Moreover, calfskin leather is generally more durable than goat leather due to its thicker and more substantial nature. It can withstand everyday wear and tear, making it suitable for products like shoes or handbags that require longevity.

Goat leather, on the other hand, has a slightly coarser texture compared to calfskin. It often features a pebbled or grainy appearance, which some individuals find appealing for its rugged charm. While goat leather may not be as soft or supple as calfskin, it is known for its flexibility and resistance to cracking, making it a popular choice for items that require a balance between durability and flexibility, such as gloves or jackets.

Ultimately, the decision between calfskin and goat leather boils down to personal preference and the desired aesthetic. If a more refined and resilient texture is sought after, calfskin is the better choice. However, if a slightly more rustic and flexible leather is desired, goat leather may be the preferred option.

Calfskin vs Deerskin

Calfskin and deerskin are both highly regarded in the world of leather, offering unique characteristics that appeal to different preferences and purposes.

Calfskin leather is known for its fine grain and smooth texture. It has a luxurious feel and a refined appearance. Calfskin is prized for its durability, providing strength and resistance to wear and tear. This makes it an excellent choice for long-lasting products like handbags, wallets, or shoes that require significant use.

Deerskin leather, on the other hand, is highly praised for its exceptional softness and suppleness. It has a more natural, textured grain that contributes to a rugged and classic look. While deerskin may not possess the same level of durability as calfskin, it offers excellent flexibility and comfort, making it ideal for products like gloves, jackets, or accessories that prioritize comfort and a gentle touch.

When deciding between calfskin and deerskin, consider the intended use and the desired aesthetic. If longevity and resilience are essential, calfskin is the superior choice. However, if a softer, more textured feel is desired, and if flexibility and comfort take precedence, deerskin is the preferred option.

Calf Leather vs Cow Leather

Calf leather and cow leather are both widely used in the fashion industry. These two types of leather have different characteristics that make them suitable for various applications.

Calf leather is derived from young calves, typically under three months old. It is known for its fine grain and smooth texture, often lending a luxurious and refined appearance to fashion items. Calf leather is also known for its durability and ability to age gracefully, making it suitable for long-lasting products. Its softness and flexibility make calf leather ideal for items such as handbags, wallets, and shoes.

Cow leather is obtained from fully grown cows and is generally thicker and more robust than calf leather. It offers durability and strength, making it suitable for products that need to withstand heavy use and rough conditions. It is commonly used in the production of jackets, belts, and furniture upholstery. Cow leather may have a slightly coarser texture compared to calf leather, but it can be exceptionally resilient and can develop a beautiful patina over time.

The choice between calf leather and cow leather depends on the desired characteristics and specific requirements of a product. Calf leather lends itself well to luxury fashion items, offering a refined texture and long-lasting quality. Cow leather, with its strength and durability, is the preferred choice for items that require toughness and resilience in demanding environments.

Bovine Leather vs Calf Leather

Bovine leather and calf leather are two distinct types of leather that are derived from different stages of a cow's life. While both belong to the bovine family, they have certain characteristics that set them apart in terms of quality, appearance, and usage.

Bovine leather is obtained from fully grown cows, usually around 2-3 years old. It is known for its durability, strength, and thickness. Bovine leather is often used in heavy-duty applications such as furniture upholstery, automotive interiors, and belts. The thickness of bovine leather makes it suitable for products that require robustness and resistance to wear and tear. It can withstand heavy use and is less prone to scratching or damage compared to thinner leathers. The naturally occurring grain pattern in bovine leather gives it a classic and rugged appearance, making it highly sought after in certain markets.

On the other hand, calf leather is obtained from young calves, typically under three months old. It is considered a luxury material due to its softness, fine grain, and refined appearance. Calf leather is prized for its elegant and supple texture, making it a popular choice for high-end fashion items such as handbags, shoes, and wallets. The fine grain of calf leather allows for intricate detailing and a smoother overall appearance. It is often used in items that require a combination of aesthetics, comfort, and durability.

One of the main differences between bovine leather and calf leather is their thickness. Bovine leather tends to be thicker due to the age and size of the animal it is sourced from. This thickness provides added durability and resilience, making it ideal for heavy-duty applications. In contrast, calf leather is thinner and more pliable, allowing for greater flexibility and comfort in applications that prioritize luxury and a gentle touch.

The age difference between the animals also plays a role in the quality and characteristics of the leather. Calf leather is generally considered to be of higher quality and more refined than bovine leather. The young age of the calf results in a softer and more supple leather with a finer grain. This enhanced quality is reflected in the higher cost of calf leather compared to bovine leather.

Furthermore, calf leather tends to have a lighter weight compared to bovine leather due to its thinner nature. 

In terms of color and appearance, both types of leather can be dyed to achieve various shades and finishes. However, due to the finer grain and smoother surface, calf leather often takes dye and finishes more evenly, resulting in a more polished and refined look. Bovine leather, with its natural grain pattern, exudes a rugged and timeless charm that appeals to certain consumers.

For heavy-duty applications that demand durability and strength, bovine leather is the preferred choice. It is well-suited for products that need to withstand rough conditions and prolonged use. On the other hand, calf leather is highly desirable for luxury fashion items that prioritize elegance and a refined aesthetic.



In summary, the choice between calf leather and other types of leather ultimately depends on personal preferences, intended use, and desired characteristics. Each type of leather brings its unique qualities to fashion items, ensuring a diverse range of options for discerning consumers.


Leave a comment