One of the things that Hermès is best known for (and it's far from being the only things) is its consistent use of the finest leathers. But, as no other top brand uses so many different leather varieties, it can all get a little bit confusing when looking at Hermès bags.
Here is the lowdown on some of the leathers that the brand has used. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a selection of some of the most commonly used and popular leathers that the brand has used.
Barenia is a smooth calfskin. It was originally used in the brand's line of saddles, not least because it is scratch and water resistant.
Other brands use Box Calf too. It is a very smooth and glossy leather that is often found in vintage and modern designs. Usually found in neutral tones.
Made from water buffalo hides, this is a soft and pebbled leather. Sometimes dye gathers in the centre of the pebbles, further adding to the spotted effect.
This is an alternative to box calf. It's far less susceptible to scratches but isn't water resistant.
Clemence is one of Hermès's most popular leathers. It comes from baby bull hides. Its key feature is that it is soft and heavy. This means that structured bags are given much more of a casual look. Clemence is good with scratches, but not so good in rain.
This is similar in appearance and qualities to box calf, but feels softer to the touch.
Very soft and buttery in feel. Can be prone to scratching.
A soft and smooth calf leather that has a matte finish.
Togo is the most popular leather for the iconic Birkin bag. It's fine-grained and scratch-resistant. The baby calf skin that is fairly lightweight but retains its shape very well.