Lux leather, or occasionally luxe leather, is a non-regulated term that manufacturers sometimes use to indicate that a leather product is high quality or luxurious. You may see the term used to describe leather shoes or handbags, among other items. Truly luxurious leather is full-grain, strong, soft and has very few imperfections. To make sure that your leather is lux, determine the type of leather you have, then examine it for durability, texture and flaws.
Lux leather should be both durable and soft. Full-grain leather is the most resilient and long-lasting leather, because none of the layers of the animal’s skin are stripped or sanded away during treatment. A soft, full-grain skin with very few natural imperfections is the best leather you can find. Top-grain leather is the thinner, less durable upper skin of the animal. Split-grain leather is the bottom layer of the skin, which is used for suede and nubuck. Bonded leather is the least luxurious and refers to leather that is glued or fixed to another surface, such as cardboard.
Examine the Leather
If possible, ask the manufacturer whether the leather is full-grain, top-grain, split-grain or bonded. Check the item for discolorations, lumps, blemishes or breaks in the hide. Any stitching in your leather should be straight and tight. Finally, smell the leather. Lux, full-grain leather with minimal treatment will have a noticeable leather smell, while others may have no odor or a chemically treated smell.
References and ResourcesSaddleback Leather Company: The Most Vital Part of Saddleback: Leather 101
Luggage and Leather: Leather Guide
ResourcesPuma: MMQ Disc Cage Leather Lux Crafted Men's Shoes
Coach: Crosby Carryall in Lux Leather
Urban Outfitters: UO Lux Leather Butterfly Chair