What is Luxe Leather | Pros & Cons | Top Care Tips & Tricks

You’ve probably heard the term “luxury leather” thrown around but is never defined. In this article, we’re going to inform you about real luxury leather, what it is, and how to take care of it.

What is luxe leather?

Luxe leather is just another term for any type of luxury leather that showcases the high-quality animal hide used in making leather goods. Luxe leather is usually made from full-grain leather and is soft, but highly durable . You can expect luxe leather items to be more on the expensive side. Luxury leather is also used as a term for exotic leathers like crocodiles, kangaroo, and others from species you don’t often find as sources of leather.

Common types of luxe leather

There are actually many common types of luxe leather since it refers to any type of high-quality leather material. You can often find luxe leather items in the form of shoes, handbags, expensive leather furniture, and clothing.

Just keep in mind that the best types of luxe leather are the ones that haven’t undergone too many chemical processes. Luxe leather is usually just tanned and cleaned to remove any minimal blemishes. Here are some of the most common types of luxe leather that you can see in the market:

Nubuck leather

Nubuck leather is considered a luxe leather material since it’s made from the top grain of cowhide. You can distinguish nubuck leather for its velvety surface which can often be seen in footwear and high-end furniture. What makes nubuck a luxury material is its silky and glossy texture and it needs to be protected from water damage at all times.

stylish yellow nubuck mens boots


Suede and nubuck are often categorized together because of their similarities such as having a soft and velvety texture. The difference is that suede is made from the underside of the animal hide, which is much softer than nubuck. Suede is less expensive than nubuck, but it’s also pretty luxurious considering that it needs just as much extreme care as nubuck.

Orange suede Balmain handbag

Nappa leather

Nappa leather is one of the most common luxe leather materials because it’s been specifically treated to feel and look luxurious. You can often find Nappa leather on car seats from luxurious car brands or expensive handbags. This type of luxe leather is definitely expensive, but for good reasons because of its durability and rich appearance.

black soft nappa leather

Brushed hides

Brushed hides are made from pigskin and cow skin which makes them not only flexible but also very durable. It also has a velvety and soft feel similar to nubuck, but it’s less likely to show wear and tear over time. Plus, it also requires lesser maintenance compared to suede, nubuck, and Nappa leather.

The term “brushed hides” comes from the process in which the manufacturers comb or wash the hides to produce high-quality leather that is much less expensive than the previous ones we mentioned above.

brushed cow hide

Shell cordovan

Shell cordovan is a horse leather that comes from the back of a horse, just before the tail, known as the rump. Since it is a very specific part of the horse and not the whole horse, this leather is very expensive and can only be found in small quantities.

Shell cordovan is characterized by its shiny nature. It is also quite durable, water resistant, and can resist creasing and cracking more than other types of leather. It is also a type of leather that cannot be stripped down into different layers like most leather types.

cordovan derby shell

Pros and cons of luxe leather

If you’re considering buying a luxe leather sofa or leather bag, you need to make sure that you know the disadvantages and advantages of owning that type of item. Here are some of the pros and cons of luxe leather:


  • Made from high-quality real animal hide
  • It has a beautiful finish that you can’t get from low-quality leather
  • Strong and durable
  • It will last you longer than faux leather materials
  • It can be recycled


  • These items can be quite pricey
  • You need to invest in the best leather care products
  • Sensitive to weather and temperature changes
  • It can fade if not protected and handled properly

How to take care of luxe leather

In order to keep your luxe leather goods in pristine condition, you’ll need to clean and condition them properly. You don’t need to clean them after every use or every month– it depends on how often you use them. The process for cleaning and maintaining suede or nubuck is different from leather with smoother surfaces.

Suede and nubuck

  1. The first thing you should do after buying your suede jacket or nubuck shoes is to protect them from any type of liquid damage. Use a waterproofing spray for this.
  2. If your items have grime and dirt, use a suede brush to clean them.
  3. To remove scratches and scuff marks, use a suede eraser. This will also restore the velvety texture of fibrous leather materials.
  4. You can also choose from the best suede and nubuck cleaning kits if you don’t know where to start.

Smooth leather

  1. Smooth and finished leather surfaces can be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution.
  2. If you want to absorb any unpleasant smell on your expensive handbag, you can place baking soda next to it and leave it overnight.
  3. For more stubborn dirt on any smooth leather surface, you should use a leather cleaning product to ensure that it doesn’t get damaged during the cleaning process.
  4. Always apply a leather conditioner after you clean the surface to bring back its suppleness and some lost moisture.
  5. You can check out our list of the best leather cleaners and conditioners in the market today.
  6. Apply a UV protector and a water-repellent spray for some added protection to your luxe leather items.

Brushed hides

  1. Brushed hides require minimal treatment and don’t need much cleaning compared to the other types of luxury leather.
  2. Use a soft clean cloth and wipe the surface of your brushed hide once every 6 months.
  3. You may also opt for a mild soap and water solution for mud stains. Avoid using harsh chemicals and detergents when cleaning this type of leather.

Shell cordovan

  1. Shell cordovan doesn’t need much in terms of maintenance. You only need to wipe it if it gets dusty.
  2. To polish shell cordovan, use a horsehair brush and brush it intensely for a few minutes until you get the desired shine.
  3. You can also use Creme Cordovan to help condition your shell cordovan leather, use only a very small amount, and wait 10 minutes or more before buffing it with a horsehair brush.

How brands are deceiving you with the term “luxury leather”

There are often many luxury brands that don’t use high-quality leather but brand them as luxury leather anyway because they can get away with it. You’re more likely to find the best and most luxurious leather from skilled leather crafters in your area or order it from reputable leather crafters online.

We will not be naming any specific companies, but there are many cases in the fashion industry in which luxe leather goods are mass-produced and are not crafted with the utmost attention to detail or any passion, even.

Skilled leather craftsmen are able to create works of art that you’re guaranteed to be satisfied with. They have spent years honing their skills and the products that you buy from them are guaranteed to be done by hand and not in a factory.


Luxe leather products can be great signature items to keep in your wardrobe or as a main piece for your living room. However, they require much care for them to maintain their rich feel and appearance. If you want to ensure that they last long, be sure to follow our care guide. Caring for your leather is part of the experience and we hope you enjoy it as well.


Is luxe leather real leather?

Luxe leather is real leather. However, just because it has luxe in its name doesn’t mean that you’re buying a good product immediately. The term is not protected and therefore anyone can use the term without any regard for the actual quality of the leather. It is best to know if your leather is grain leather, genuine, or suede as that will tell you more about the leather than the word “luxe.”

Is luxe leather good?

Luxe leather is a good investment only if the manufacturer can assure its customers that they only use high-quality materials and the process doesn’t alter much of the original leather look and feel. Since it’s made from real leather, you can be at peace knowing that your item is going to last you for at least a decade with proper care and handling.

What leather is the cheapest?

Bonded leather is the cheapest you can go without opting for faux leather. Bonded leather is still real leather, but it’s mostly scrapped leather. The leftover scraps are sometimes mixed with faux leather so the output is not as durable and strong compared to genuine leather. If you want to get your money’s worth, going for full-grain leather or top-grain leather products is still the best option.


  • Luke

    With a 14-year journey dedicated to preserving and enhancing leather goods, his unwavering passion continues to fuel his expertise. When he's not immersed in the world of leather, you can find Luke enjoying exhilarating bicycle rides or exploring nature through invigorating hikes.

  • Ralf

    Ralf is a multifaceted creative enthusiast with a deep passion for various crafting hobbies, including sewing, pottery, and the captivating world of leathercraft.