Selecting Leather Goods
When it comes to evaluating leather quality, try to forget whether you’re in a bustling street market or you've purchased from a high-end online boutique. Instead, let the buying environment fade out of focus, and use your senses:
• Aroma: First, follow your nose. The item should smell musky and natural. Steer clear of anything that smells like chemicals, which are used to treat the hides and cover up lesser quality.
• Suppleness: The leather should feel smooth, supple, and soft, not stiff.
• Color: The highest quality natural leather in tan or brown can stand on its own, without any added color, to reveal the natural grain and beauty of the material. If the edges of the leather are unfinished, you should be able to tell if the color lies on the surface or penetrates all the way through the hide.
• Stitching: The stitching should be tight and regular, with small stitches sewn close together.