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August 16, 2022 4 min read

by April Quibido

A wife, a mom, and a definite homebody who loves writing about all sorts of interesting things online. She loves fashion, interior design, and other creative pursuits—writing included. She also has entrepreneurial endeavors and, like everyone else, wants to thrive and grow in all aspects of life.


Old is gold – and that’s exactly the case with leathers. The older the material gets, the more character it develops. Don’t get it wrong, it’s also great to have new leather. They’re super comfortable material that’s perfect for anything – shoes, belts, jackets, shorts – you name it!

However, old leather – just like fine wine – develops with time. It’ll give you that darker finish, called Patina, as it ages. If you hear the term “patina,” it simply means the handsome finish that leather gives out in time. The natural leather patina becomes visible with age, natural body oils, the sun, dirt, and the environment.

Old, worn-in leather offers some unique characteristics that you may love, and we’re here to discuss that!

Characteristics of Old, Worn-In Leather


Leather naturally provides a higher level of durability in comparison to other materials (such as cotton). You can tug, stretch, and pull leather and not have it sustain any major damage. However, worn-in leather offers far more strength as compared to new ones.

This is because it’s already withstood plenty of stretching and tugging over time, which means it’s already built a lot of resilience. Aged leather is not necessarily impregnable to wear and tear, but it takes a huge amount of strength to rip it to pieces! This alone makes a great reason for you to opt for aged leather!



If you were to feel new and worn-in leather side-by-side, you’ll notice a great difference in softness between the two materials. Aged leather is more pliant and smoother than its counterpart, featuring a more forgiving texture.

If you bought a new pair of leather shoes, they might hurt you at first but over time, you’ll notice how more comfortable and softer they get. That’s how leather is designed to last a lifetime. So although it’ll get softer, that doesn’t mean it's less durable than brand-new leather.


Better Smell

Worn-in leather has a more distinguished smell compared to new leather. The older it gets, the better it smells. New leather tends to have a very particular smell too, but it’s more artificial at the start, old leather has a more subtle and softer smell. It’s not easy to describe the odor without having a whiff at it yourself, but some compare it to the smell of cinnamon and cedar.



One of the best benefits of older leather is its appearance. As it ages, the material will start to develop natural markings. These markings tend to be small but noticeable, adding another character to its look. If you’re looking for a spotless garment, you’d want a new leather, but if you’re looking for a piece that’s truly unique and eye-catching – aged leather is best!

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PHYSICAL - The Suede Double Rider

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How to Know If the Material is Genuine Leather?

Because leather is such a remarkable material, knowing its certain characteristics will help you identify its genuineness quickly and help you make informed decisions when choosing.

Although leather encompasses any type of leather-like material, whether man-made or natural, it helps to know that ‘genuine leather’ pertains to materials that are of animal origin. You can typically find this inscribed on the underside of belts or garment labels – and it’s the quickest way to tell whether what you're buying is real or fake.

Other considerations that can help you distinguish a genuine leather are:

  • The smell: Real leather tends to have a unique organic odor, while fake leather smells of vinyl and other chemical agents.
  • The surface: Artificial leather is more glossy, while genuine leather offers fine lines and a porous look.
  • The backside: Genuine leather features a rugged-suede underside. Faux leather, on the other hand, has visible seams (most commonly).

How to Care for Your Leather

The best way to maintain your leather is to clean it with a damp cloth after every use to remove dirt and dust. For grain leather, a soft brush should give you the best results. While it’s best to care for your leather manually, some people usually ask us whether it’s safe to wash leather jackets.

To answer the question, we recommend not to machine wash any leather accessories and clothes as it can result in cracked, battered, or even frayed leather. Some recommend using the gentle cycle, but we don’t think it’s a foolproof method.

If it’s a piece you’ve invested in, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Clean it manually instead – use leather soap and accompany it with balsam to moisturize – or even better, take it to a specialist cleaner who knows how to handle the situation best!

Leather jackets get better with age

Final Thoughts

We’ve shared everything you need to know about leather, including how you can distinguish genuine from fake and the correct way to take care of the material. By the end of this article, we hope you’ve become well informed in buying and maintaining your leather accessories.

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