Please note that we do not make up grade names. These terms are used in Guangzhou baiyun leather world marketplace. Marketing tactics are at the discretion of our online vendors. Some online sellers may use tactics to create a grade like 5 star, 6 star, 7 star, AAAAA grade, etc.
Types of leather:
There are three main different grades of leather:
* Chinese local leather
* Spain imported leather
* France/Germany imported leather
Chinese local leather
Chinese local leather is used for normal standard grade items. This includes Clemence and Togo (which has been rare this year).
They are produced by Chinese local tannery. There are a lot of tanneries in Guangzhou but very few produce Togo leather because it is harder to produce than Clemence. If they use local Chinese calfskin, the Togo would be very stiff.
There is only one tannery that uses Brazil imported crust leather to produce Togo and it is for this reason that some bag manufacturers declare they are using ‘imported leather’. The crust leather is imported but finally tanned in China.
Clemence vs. Togo
Most people do not know the difference between Togo and Clemence. Here is Clemence grain:
And here is Togo grain:
The Togo has vertical lines in grain and is sold around 300 USD. Togo is always a little more expensive than Clemence.
From 2015, there was another grade of Birkin bags made of Spain imported leathers. It is softer than normal leather but stiffer than France imported leather. The grain is also larger. It is middle grade and we do not sell them.
The France/Germany imported leather is also called the original leather in the marketplace. There are three grades depending on craftsmanship: machine stitched, half hand stitched and full hand stitched. Please note: These are the wildly used terms by all factories. Two of them are easy to understand and not confusing at all.
* Machine stitched: Every thread is stitched by machine.
* Full hand stitched: Every thread is stitched by hand using saddle stitch method.
* Half hand stitched: The exterior is stitched by hand while interior is stitched by machine. Take the Birkin for example: The green highlighted part is hand stitched while the red highlighted part is machine stitched.
Hand stitched part:
Machine stitched parts:
In most cases, we use France/Germany imported clemence leather, the grain look like this:
These are not imported from Haas tannery but are consistent to source. It has a soft feel and the grain is very close to authentic. These tanneries do not supply leather to Hermes but some other luxury brands use their leather.
However, if you prefer Togo to Clemence, use Haas leather that looks this way:
We do not recommend using Haas leather considering the fact that they are not consistent. Hermes has a controlling stake in Tanneries Haas and they have rights to select the best pieces of leather before other manufacturers have a chance to buy. Nobody can predict the time of availability and sometimes, the leather grain is not good like this;
Please remember, the finest pieces of leather are used by Hermes and the left overs are for other manufacturing companies. Hence, the possibility of getting a great piece is not guaranteed.
The normal leather grade does not always come with indentation. The original leather grade must come with it. Here is the image of indentation:
The normal version will use is coated thread but it’s not bees wax. It is paraffin wax.
The original leather will use Fil au Chinois “Lin Cable” Waxed Linen Thread which is also used by Hermes official.