Saffiano Leather – The Ultimate Guide

Saffiano leather is a hallmark of a quality product with its durability, scratch resistance, water resistance, and cleanliness ease. At the time of its invention, it was limited to Prada, but now, it has made its way into numerous brands and industries, with one of the main ones being the watch industry.

Fashion and leather experts swear by its superior qualities, and that’s why we chose it for our watch cases and straps. In this post, we’ll provide a detailed overview of Saffiano leather and what makes it a sought-after material in the luxury industry. Let’s dive in!

What is Saffiano Leather?

Image via Leather and Time

Saffiano leather is a textured full-grained leather with a crosshatch pattern stamped onto it through a specialized stamping machine. It is then coated with wax, giving it a slight sheen and making it scratch, water, and stain-resistant.

The legend goes that it was created by Mario Prada, the founder of the high-end Italian fashion house, Prada. He created it by applying the diagonal crosshatch pattern onto the calfskin.

The Saffiano leather was used to make Prada’s first-ever handbag in 1913.

Image via Fashion Luxury

At the time of its invention, Prada patented it and used it for their handbags. However, after the patent expired, it started getting used by other high-end brands in numerous accessories.

How is Saffiano Leather Produced?

The Saffiano leather is created through a three-step production process:

  • The leather is passed through a machine heated to 165°F (70°C).

  • The crosshatch pattern is pressed diagonally onto the material for 10 to 15 seconds.

  • A wax finish is applied for a slight sheen and superior protection.

How to Clean Saffiano Leather?

Saffiano leather doesn’t get dirty easily because of its stain resistance. However, if, somehow, it did get a stain, or dirt got stuck in the texture, here’s what you should do:

  • Look for care tags and follow those instructions.

  • If there aren’t any care instructions, then take a soft, damp cloth and gently remove the stain or dirt.

  • If you are using any cleaning agent, or even simple water, choose a concealed section of the product and use it there to check for any issues before using it on the entire area. Also, look at the cloth to see if any color has been removed from the leather.

  • You can also use baby wipes as they are very gentle.

  • If you are removing dust through a brush, use a soft brush and don’t press down or scratch the leather too much.

  • Let the product air dry after cleaning.

  • If none of the options work, then get a specialized stain remover or hire the services of a professional leather cleaning expert.

What Makes Saffiano Leather Different from Other Leathers?

There are multiple leather options available in the market. Each of them is different from the other based on quality, durability, look, and texture. Let’s compare Saffiano leather with other types of leather to see what makes it different from them!

Durability and Quality

Genuine leather is the highest quality leather available in the market. Given that Saffiano leather is available in both genuine and faux forms, your choice dictates if it's durable or not.

Aged genuine Saffiano leather is higher in quality and durability as compared to cheaper vegan, PU, or bonded leather alternatives.

Furthermore, Saffiano leather is superior to genuine conventional leather when it comes to scratch resistance because of the extra protection layer.

On the flip side, faux leather wins in the water resistance and care category as it is generally waterproof in comparison to genuine leather or genuine Saffiano leather. You’ll need extra care protocol to dry out water from the Saffiano leather surface.

Odor Resistance Through Breathability

Real leather has pores, which makes it breathable, and stops moisture from accumulating. On the other hand, faux leather has fewer pores, making it humid and causing bacteria and mold growth, resulting in bad odor.

Saffiano leather is somewhere in between because even though it has more pores, it has wax finishing on top, reducing the breathability a bit, but not as much as faux leather.

Care Requirements

Faux leather and Saffiano leather are easy to take care of as compared to genuine leather.

For Saffiano leather, all you need is a clean, damp cloth or a baby wipe, and you’ll be done. Whereas, for genuine leather, you’ll need specific equipment depending on the type in question.


The price of leather depends on the quality, the finish, and the manufacturer.

Cheaper leather options are generally not durable, whereas, the expensive ones can last you for generations. Some of the expensive leather items are even bought and kept for investment purposes.

You can get Saffiano leather for both expensive and cheap prices depending on the quality you choose.

What are the Advantages of Saffiano Leather?

Following are the main pros of Saffiano leather:

  • It’s one of the most durable leathers and lasts for a long time.

  • It is scratch, water, and stain resistant.

  • It is relatively easy to take care of as compared to other leathers.

  • There is a variety of choices available ranging from vegan options to inexpensive, slightly low-quality Saffiano leather.

  • Given its high resistance to everyday wear and tear, it is suited for regular use.

What are the Disadvantages of Saffiano Leather?

The following areas that you might think of as cons of saffiano leather:

  • It is expensive, specifically if you are looking for good-quality leather. If someone offers it to you for cheap, they’re probably scamming you, so steer clear of such offers.

  • It is highly sensitive to sharp objects and might get permanently damaged.

  • Based on the quality of the leather, the wax coating may flake off over time, making the leather susceptive to water and scratch damage.

  • Some people don’t appreciate the slight synthetic feel.

  • Even though Saffiano leather has good water resistance, it isn’t waterproof. This is more of a misconception than a fault.

Key Saffiano Styles

Leather & Time takes pride in its superior quality Saffiano leather watch cases and watch straps. Alongside the water, stain, and scratch-resistance of the specialized leather, the reinforced cover wall and microfiber pillows on the watch rolls ensure your watches get the best care possible while traveling or in storage. Head over to this link to check our collection!

Back to blog