Why Is Leather So Expensive?

Why Is Leather So Expensive?

Leather is a popular material for furniture, car seats, clothing, and other items. It’s often considered a luxury item because of its high price tag. But what makes leather so expensive? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the high cost of leather and provide some tips on how to save money when buying this luxurious material.

Types of Leather

The type of leather used can affect its cost. Generally, there are three main categories of leather: full-grain, top-grain, and split leather. The highest quality is full-grain leather, which has not been buffed or sanded to remove any imperfections in the grain pattern. This type is highly sought after because it develops an attractive patina as it ages and provides superior durability.

Top-grain leather comes from the second layer of cowhide and has had a portion of the natural grain removed through sanding or buffing processes. This makes it smoother to the touch but less durable than full-grain leather.

Finally, split leather has been split off from the middle layers of hide and often treated with artificial materials to make it look like more expensive leather. [1]

Types of Leather

Dyes and Colours

The price of leather can also be affected by the quality of dyes and colors used. Natural dyes are typically more expensive than artificial ones, as they allow for a wider range of hues and tones when dying the material. The coloring process itself can also add to the cost, as some techniques such as embossing or contrast stitching are often labor-intensive and time-consuming.


The tanning process is another factor affecting the cost of leather. Tanning is the process of preserving and softening hides using chemical treatments, tannins, or oils to make the material more durable and less prone to rotting. This can be a lengthy procedure that requires special equipment and knowledge, making it more expensive than other types of materials. Additionally, some tanning processes use environmentally harmful chemicals which can add to the cost.

Small companies vs Big companies

The size of the company selling or manufacturing leather products can also affect pricing. Smaller companies often produce higher quality leather items, but usually at a premium cost due to their limited production capabilities. On the other hand, large companies may have access to cheaper raw materials and economies of scale, allowing them to offer more competitive prices for larger orders.

World Leather

Finally, the global leather market can also affect prices. When demand for leather goods is high, so too are the prices of leather products. Conversely, when demand is low, prices tend to decrease. Additionally, fluctuations in the cost of raw materials such as cowskin or oils used for tanning can have a significant impact on leather pricing.

Genuine Leather Is Expensive

In conclusion, leather is an expensive material. Many factors contribute to its high cost, including the type of leather used, the quality of dyes and colors used, the tanning process, the size of the company producing or selling it, and global market conditions.

If you want to save money on leather goods, look for discounts or sales from larger retailers offering more competitive prices. Be sure to check out any products labeled as “genuine”—as these are usually higher quality than splits or faux leathers. With a little bit of research, you can find great deals and enjoy your luxurious leather goods without breaking the bank.

Why are genuine leather bags so expensive?

Genuine leather bags are expensive because they use the highest quality of leather, which takes time and skill to process. The tanning process can also be costly and time-consuming. Factor in the cost of dyeing, stitching, and other finishing touches, as well as any additional features such as zippers or buckles, and you have a luxury item that comes with a hefty price tag. Additionally, it is worth noting that genuine leather items usually come from smaller companies or craftspeople who are often unable to offer more competitive prices due to their limited production capabilities. Overall, if you want to buy a quality bag that will last for years to come then investing in genuine leather is always your best bet.


What is Aniline Leather?

Aniline leather is a type of leather that has been dyed with aniline dye, which allows the natural grain of the hide to show through. This type of leather is usually more expensive than other types as it retains the highest quality and adds richness to the material. Aniline leather also tends to require more maintenance and care than other varieties, so make sure you are prepared for this when investing in a product made from this type of leather. [2]

What is Aniline Leather?

What is Bonded Leather?

Bonded leather is a type of leather created from scraps and remnants of genuine leather which are then bonded together to form a single sheet. Although it is made using real leather, this type of material is not as durable or long-lasting as other types. The cost of bonded leather items can also be relatively low when compared with other varieties of leather, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.

What is suede leather?

Suede leather is a type of leather with a fine nap on one side, giving it a soft and velvety feel. It is usually made from the underside of the hide, which is more delicate than other types of leather. Suede leather is typically more expensive than other types and requires special care to keep it looking its best. Also, since it can easily be stained or damaged, suede items should be used with caution—especially if you plan to use them outdoors. [3]

Why Is Suede Less Expensive Than Leather?

Suede is typically less expensive than leather because it is made from the underside of the hide, which does not require as much processing as other types of leather. It also usually requires less dye and coloring than other varieties, making it cheaper to produce. Additionally, suede doesn’t have to be treated with oils or waxes to protect its surface, saving manufacturers money on materials. All these factors make suede a great option for those looking to buy a quality item at an affordable price. [4]

Useful Video: Why is real leather so expensive?


Thanks for reading! We hope this blog post has helped you understand a bit more about the leather industry and why leather is such a luxurious material. If you’re looking to invest in a piece of quality leather furniture or clothing, be prepared to pay a higher price tag. However, the durability and luxury associated with leather make it worth the investment for many people. What do you think? Is leather worth the expense?


  1. https://steelhorseleather.com/blogs/the-journal/what-makes-leather-so-expensive
  2. https://bestleather.org/types-of-leather/aniline/
  3. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-suede-fabric-learn-about-the-difference-between-suede-leather-and-nubuck
  4. https://favoredleather.com/suede-vs-leather-price