Leather in general

Leather is a beautiful natural product which is being preserved by tanning. It’s typical for leather to show smaller irregularities due to scars and pigmentation. Leather is by nature durable and sturdy. The leather hide consists of two parts: The upper part with the smooth surface (smooth leather) and the raw inside (raw leather).

How can I maintain
my Leonhard Heyden bag?

Regular care maintains the beauty of leather products. The following applies if there are stains: first clean (if possible dry) and then care. The cleaning and caring of the bag depends on the type of leather and soiling. Additionally, your bag should be impregnated before the first use – this protects from drastic soiling and penetrating moisture. Your retailer will help you with all questions concerning care, cleaning and selection of the correct products. Your bag will change its look, colour and haptics within the course of time; it develops a patina. This is desired and a characteristic for real leather.

Different kinds of leather

Cowhide leather

Cowhide leather is the most common kind of leather. Thanks to the dense texture it shows a high stability and resilience. In general, cowhide leather is so thick that it can be split in two layers. The upper part is named full grain leather, the lower one as cowhide leather or split leather.

Calfskin leather

Calfskin leather is one of the most precious leather kinds – with a particularly fine, firm and consistent structure. Thanks to this structure calfskin leather is very smooth and flexible.

Leather kinds and workmanship

Nubuck leather

Nubuck leather is leather with a roughened and grinded upper part. Thanks to this method it has the velvety surface and its gentle touch. The grinding, however, also increases the sensitivity when it comes to spots and stains and reduces the UV resistance – thus the leather loses colour more quickly.

Suede leather

If the lower part of the leather is roughened, you get suede leather. Its open-cell structure is significantly rougher than Nubuck – and the fibers are more clearly visible.

Smooth leather

Smooth leather are all kinds of leathers where the grain side is used and finished outside – irrespective of structure and level of graining and workmanship.

The full grain cowhide leather of our Cambridge line is refined with a transparent aniline finish.

Aniline leather / open-cell smooth leathers

Open-cell smooth leathers which are only dyed with solvable colorants are called aniline leathers. The pigments penetrate the material deeply and completely dye the leather. After the colour bath, the leather has a smooth-waxy touch. The natural structure is preserved – so only flawless pieces are used. Since the pores are not sealed (open-cell), this leather is prone to water and dirt.

The full grain cowhide leather of our Cambridge line is refined with a transparent aniline-finish.

Boarded leather

Boarding is when leather is being pulled over a metal edge from two drums – or when it is folded by hand and under pressure smoothened out. This way, the leather does not only get a very smooth finish after the dying process, but also receives a fine, parallel wave-like structure. The cross-boarding is created when the component is also turned 90 degrees and worked on again, the cross-boarding is created.

Milled leather

Milled leather is dry leather which has tumbled around in a barrel (the so-called mill-barrel) for several hours. This leather is very smooth and has a natural surface structure.

Milled leather is used for our Berlin and Montpellier lines.

Nappa leather

Nappa leather is a general term for especially flexible smooth leathers with authentic grain leather in grown structure.

Pull-up leather / Greased leather

Pull-up leather is dyed, smooth cowhide nubuck leather with so-called fatty feel. It is created by applying an oily or waxy layer, which dissipates slowly when used. The patina which is created thanks to this effect is desired and intensifies the typical vintage look.

For our Roma line we use best pull-up leather with a fatty feel to achieve the desired 2-tone-effect. We also use high-quality waxed leathers for our Salisbury and Dakota lines – with an authentic vintage effect thanks to the matt finish. For our Lucca line we use oiled and waxed cowhide leather.

… other materials

Artificial leather

Artificial leather means synthetic materials that look like leather and have a plastic-coated surface. The surface accounts for the haptics of artificial leather. It is often very steadily grained and based on the leather structure. High-quality artificial leathers are smooth, easy-care and hard-wearing.

Our Cult and Hannover lines are made from high-quality artificial leathers.


Nylon is a synthetic material – fiber which is exclusively made from inorganic material and convinces thanks to its elasticity and durability.

Our Soho line is made from matt shining twill-nylon.

Washed canvas

Divers processes and washings make washed canvas durable and hard-wearing.

Washed canvas is the base of our Gobi line. A PU coating makes it abrasion-proof and water-resistant.