What is Epi Leather and How Do I Look After it?

Leather Types

Have you ever seen the term ‘Epi’ leather and wondered what it meant? In the latest of our leather guides, we explore what exactly Epi leather is and how to maintain it.


You might have already read our Vachetta Leather blog, but what about Louis Vuitton’s other signature handbag leather – Epi Leather? Lets look further into the story behind the distinctive textured leather that is Epi.

Epi leather is one of the first leather lines by Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton typically use Epi Leather on their range of handbags and wallets. The brand describes their Epi creations as combining:

“…modern elegance and timeless luxury. Durable Epi leather is ideal for daily use while still being effortlessly stylish.”  Louis Vuitton


Louis Vuitton Epi Leather

So how do Louis Vuitton create Epi leather? The process of making epi leather is very specific, firstly it’s tanned with plant extracts and then deep-dyed. After this process, a special colouration on the surface of the grain is applied, which creates its distinctive coloured two tone effect.

A key characteristic of Epi leather is its durability and ability to withstand any weather condition (making it the perfect companion for the rainy UK climate!)

Louis Vuitton handbags which are typically made from Epi leather include the Alma, Holdall, Neverfull, Noe, Speedy and Wallet styles.


Types of Epi Leather

Keen handbag connoisseurs will note that there are actually 2 types of Epi leather: Classic Epi leather and Electric Epi leather. Both Epi styles are resilient to water damage and are suitable for everyday use, but the key difference between Classic Epi leather and Electric Epi leather is their appearance. The matt, smooth appearance are common characteristics or Classic Epi leather. Whereas Electric Epi leather has a high-shine, patent-looking finish compared to its counterpart. This makes Electric Epi leather an enticing choice for those who want a wearable patent bag.


How to Care for Epi Leather

Try to keep your episodes leather handbag away from anything abrasive, as it’s prone to scratching. Then protect and clean it at home. Some people would have you believe that all you need to do to clean this leather is to wipe it over with a damp cloth, which is not the case! Here at The Handbag Spa, we sell a range of products which are great for maintaining Epi Leather.


Dermo Protect

We recommend protecting Epi leather with Dermo Protect.

This water-based spray, protects finished leathers including Epi leather from day to day staining, liquids, dye transfer, ink, oil, sunlight damage and more. Unlike it’s competitors, Dermo Protect protects the leather, whilst hydrating it at the same time and therefore allowing it to breath. This in turn ensures that Epi leather is kept soft, supple and feeling the way it should.

CAN BE USED ON: Finished & Unfinished Leather, Full Grain, Aniline Leather, Lambskin, Calfskin, Exotic, Ostrich, Saffiano, Epi and Vachetta Leather.

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– Just spray a light layer evenly onto a clean lint free cloth

– Test on an inconspicuous area such as the bottom or inside

– Wipe the cloth onto the leather focusing on one panel at a time

– Leave to air dry

Customers should use Dermo Protect monthly to ensure maximum stain guard protection is achieved on their handbags!


Dermo Cleanse

In conjunction with Dermo Protect we recommend using Dermo Cleanse

You can protect heavily finished leather, such as Epi & Saffiano leather with Dermo Cleanse. Designed specifically for finished/protected handbag leather, Dermo Cleanse is a gentle foaming product, which gets deep into the grain lifting dirt that is sitting the surface. Therefore, this water-based product is strong enough to remove stubborn ground in dirt, yet mild enough to allow regular use on protected leathers. This surfactant based mild leather cleanser is suitable for use on handbags at the end of each season, or for regular use on your favourite bag.

CAN BE USED ON: Finished Leather, Coated Canvas, Scotch Grain, Protected Leather, Pigmented, Saffiano, Epi and Caviar Leather.

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– Spray a light layer evenly onto a clean lint free cloth

– Test on an inconspicuous area such as the bottom or inside

– Message in, focusing on the affected areas

– Customers can repeat the cleaning process if the leather is very dirty, but using a new clean lint free cloth.

– Leave to air dry

Apply a generous application of Dermo Protect after using Dermo Cleanse to protect the leather post cleaning.

NOTE: None of The Handbag Spa products will alter the look, feel or finish of a leather handbag in any way.


Louis Vuitton Before & After

If your Epi leather handbag is looking a little worse for wear, send it into The Handbag Spa for our team to asses. Here it can undergo treatments to clean and restore its appearance.

This Louis Vuitton had suffered from day to day dirt build up and liquid staining. The customer chose an Exterior Cleaning treatment to remove all the dirt, which was sitting on the handbags surface. The technician cleaned up the leather beautifully, using a water based foam cleaning method, which got deep into the grain lifting all the stubborn dirt. The results speak for themselves.


Staining from dye transfer on the back of this Louis Vuitton tote was ruining its stylish appearance. A technician carried out an Exterior Clean, Dye Transfer Removal and a Colour Touch Up to get it back to looking it’s best! Customers can book their bag into the spa for these treatments online.


Contact The Handbag Spa

Request a quote for your epic leather handbag and contact The Handbag Spa:

Telephone: +44 1423 888 709

Email: info@thehandbagspa.com

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