Allett makes wallets out of a material known as “Napa Leather.” Sometimes spelled “Nappa Leather,” the term itself refers to a tanning process that makes the leather both soft and breathable. It is neither rough, nor rigid, and typically free of imperfections which makes it a smooth and comfortable option for a variety of leather products.
“Napa” refers to the tanning process (which was created in Napa, California), rather than the quality of the material, but for products like ours at Allett Wallets, we also use top grain Napa leather. We will explain this distinction later in this post.
What Products Are Typically Made with Nappa Leather?
Soft, breathable leather like Nappa leather has a variety of uses that make it ideal for essentially any product that needs to have a more comfortable and high end feel. Examples of these products include, but are not limited to:
Vehicle Interiors – Cars that have leather seating typically make that seating using Napa leather. These types of vehicles need seating that is breathable for long drives and capable of feeling soft to give it that more luxury feel.
Fashion Items – Although some lower cost fashion items use genuine leather, many prefer to use Napa leather because the products will feel software and maintain a more uniform appearance. These include belts, shoes, and jackets.
Chairs and Furniture – Furniture is frequently made with Napa leather. Like car interiors, furniture needs to be soft, comfortable, and breathable, and that is something achieve with the Napa leather tanning process.
HOWEVER, it should be noted that there are also different types of Napa leather. Napa is just the tanning process, and so any grade of leather can be turned in Napa leather to make it softer and more breathable – including cheaper products like genuine leather.
Luxury products typically make Napa leather out of what’s known as “top grain leather.” Top grain leather refers to the most luxurious part of the leather. It is a thin, softer, more durable layer of leather also known for developing a very popular and beautiful patina that most people prefer with their luxury items. Nappa leather is typically used only on the most high end products:
Luxury Vehicle Seating
Luxury Brand Handbags
High End Furniture and Executive Office Chairs
Luxury Watch Straps
All Napa leather is softer and more comfortable than other forms of leather, which is why it is chosen to be used on many materials where comfort is key. But for luxury items, quality and durability is extra important. Top grain leather may be thin, but it is incredibly durable, smooth, soft, and develops the patina that leather is known for. This is why it is often considered the ideal type of leather, and why we use its leather in our designer wallets.
Napa Leather and Its Many Uses
There are many forms of leather. Most leather you see on inexpensive items is made with “Genuine Leather,” which is not as durable or soft as Napa leather and does not come from the top grain. Many inexpensive leather jackets use this type of leather.
Napa leather is used on products where softness and comfort are key. But top grain Napa leather is even more desirable, because it combines that with a thinner, higher quality leather material that adds to this feeling of luxury and value. If you’ve been interested in a leather wallet made with a high quality leather, we encourage you to look through our minimalist leather wallets– wallets made with Nappa leather that ultra-thin, soft, comfortable, and designed to last.