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Are you thinking of buying high-quality leather on the internet?
Then this reference guide is a must-read before making your purchase. You want to make sure that you can have your own piece of Italian elegance, without having to spend upwards of $1,000 dollars!
Italian leather is considered the finest leather in the world. Italian leather is a status symbol, but is more importantly representative of excellence, elegance, and a rich cultural tradition.
It is no surprise that such a great fashion culture has given rise to like Prada, Gucci, and Armani. However, a common misconception is that such designers are the extent of Italian fashion.
This is simply not true.
Florence and the surrounding region of Tuscany are particularly renowned for tanneries and leather workshops. It is these artisanal workshops that make up the breadth of the revered Italian leather industry.
These smaller manufacturers make high quality leather goods and more importantly a unique product.
Unfortunately, with so many cheap imitation leather bags flooding the market, consumers are wary of counterfeits. This is particularly problematic when making a significant leather purchase online.
Luckily, there are several precautions that you, as the consumer, can take before spending several hundred dollars on your next leather accessory from Italy.
If you walk into any department store, you will see tons of wallets that are marked down to the $50 to $70 range. If you pick any of them up, you will probably see the word “Italy” displayed prominently on them.
The word “Italy” often strikes an internal chord in consumers, because anything Italian is synonymous with luxury and excellence.
Unfortunately, this is a common labeling that belies the truth. Italian leather has become a confusing term, with the globalization of the leather industry, so it is important that you are able to pick out unique, quality leather products for yourself!
Plus, you should be comfortable doing this without spending thousands of dollars on a trip to Italy.
Many labels on leather accessories will say something like “Genuine Italian Leather” or “Made with Italian Leather.” Notice that this says nothing about the craftsmanship or the stitching. These products were likely machine-made in China or India.
This is evident when you take a closer look at the actual leather product. The exterior will seem just a little bit too smooth or even have a plastic-like texture.
If you examine the stitching, it may be uneven or just done in a sloppy manner. This should raise a major red flag for you.
Furthermore, if you get a whiff of the leather, it will not smell like leather is supposed to.
However, what are you to do when you are online shopping?
As we talked about before, we need to forget about relying on a product saying where it is from. There are many leather products that are commissioned in Italy, but made elsewhere in the world that have the “made in Italy” label.
You will want to look for a certification such as the Vera Pelle certification.
The Vera Pelle certification means that the leather good was traditionally crafted in Tuscany and used environmentally friendly tanning techniques (remember, the tanning process can be harmful to the process, because of the chemicals that are used). The Vera Pelle Consortium of tanneries represents the pinnacle of excellence in Tuscan leather.