Epi Leather: Supple, Sophisticated and Long-Lasting

Published March 10, 2021
Louis Vuitton EPI Leather Bag

Epi leather is a signature leather of Louis Vuitton. You can find colorful handbags made of calfskin leather processed as Epi leather for a waterproof, scuff proof, and durable leather bag.

Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Bags

Inspired by the Epi leather that Georges Vuitton and his son invented in the 1920s to use in manufacturing trunks, the Epi leather was reimagined and first introduced in 1985. The Epi leather handbags became the company's first line of leather goods. Over the decades, the Epi leather has remained a signature pattern for Louis Vuitton handbags, especially the iconic Neverfull tote.

Is Epi Leather Real Leather?

Epi leather is real calfskin leather that is tanned with natural plants instead of synthetic chemicals. The leather remains soft, even though it undergoes a tanning and stamping process to make it a very tough and durable leather that is resistant to scratches and water.

What Is Epi Leather?

Epi leather is a very distinguishable leather with a finish of horizontal lines. In fact, the look of an Epi leather handbag almost immediately identifies it as a Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton EPI Leather Bag

Available Epi Leather Bags

However, Epi leather is available to other handbag manufacturers, so you can find Epi leather bags that aren't Louis Vuitton. If you're shopping specifically for a Louis Vuitton handbag, make sure the bag is an authentic Louis Vuitton Epi leather bag by reviewing how to recognize a fake Louis Vuitton.

Process for Creating Epi Leather

The process for creating Epi leather is straightforward. It involves tanning, dyeing, stamping, and finishing processes. Each process adds to the textured leather, giving it the special protection properties found in Epi leather.

Leather Is Dyed

After the calfskin leather is tanned with natural plant chemicals, it is dyed. Louis Vuitton has several Epi leather signature colors. Annual and seasonal colors are often introduced. Most of the Louis Vuitton Epi leather colors are vibrant and bold.

Epi Pattern Stamped Into Leather

The next step in the making of Epi leather is the stamping process. This is done with machines that press the signature horizontal pattern into the leather hide. The resulting raised lines and groves give the leather a scratch and scuff resistant texture.

Leather Finish Is Applied

The finish applied on top of the textured leather is typically clear, although it can be colored. The finish provides a protection against scratches and scuff marks. It is also water resistant. Some handbags may feature additional color finishes for a greater depth of color. The handbag can have a matt or glossy finish similar to patent leather.

How to Clean and Maintain Your Epi Leather Bag

An Epi leather bag is easy to clean and maintain. All you need is a damp cloth to use once a month. Small, gentle circular motions should be used in cleaning your Epi leather bag to avoid damaging the finish. Some handbag owners prefer to use a cleaner made just for Epi leather.

Woman Spraying Purse

How Do You Protect Epi Leather?

The finish on your Epi leather bag should give you protection under normal use. However, some people use a protective spray designed specifically for Epi leather for added protection.

How Do I Restore My Louis Vuitton Epi Leather?

You can restore your Louis Vuitton Epi leather bag with a glycerin based conditioner made just for Epi leather. With such an expensive investment, you may prefer taking your purse to a professional, since there is always the risk of damaging the finish.

Beauty and Longevity of Epi Leather Handbags

Many handbag collectors are immediately drawn to the luxury, style and durability of an Epi leather handbag. Whether you view your designer bags as an investment or simply want a high style durable purse, the Louis Vuitton Epi leather bags are always a good choice.

Epi Leather: Supple, Sophisticated and Long-Lasting