As Vuitton's most recognizable material, Monogram canvas a popular choice. It's durable and wears extremely well. Monogram canvas is typically trimmed with Vachetta leather, as seen in the Totally bag above. Vachetta leather is a high-quality, untreated cow hide that develops a signature patina over time. Patina comes from contact with skin oils, although an unused bag that sits in a closet for years will develop a slight patina simply from contact with air. Honey-colored patina is perhaps the most desired shade. It shows that your bag has been carried for a while, and that you aren't new to Louis. The flip-side is that Vachetta can also show water marks, which might bother some people. If leather patina isn't your thing, then you might want to opt for Damier Ebene canvas.
Damier Ebene Canvas
Contrary to popular belief, Damier Ebene is Vuitton's oldest material. First used on steamer trunks at the end of the 19th century, the two-tone brown check pattern is a popular choice. Damier Ebene pieces (like the Neverfull tote above) are trimmed with dark brown leather and are available with both light and dark-colored linings. People who don't want their bag to show its age often opt for Damier Ebene, since both the canvas and leather trim age very well. The dark brown coloring of the material means that it hides a lot of staining and discoloration. The most common areas of wear on Damier Ebene bags are the bottom corners. In heavily worn bags, the two-tone brown check will wear away and expose a black under layer.
Damier Azur Canvas
A newer member of the LV materials family, Damier Azur is seen in the Speedy bag above. It's undeniably popular and super versatile. It matches perfectly with lighter warm weather looks, and it also pops nicely when it's worn with dark clothing. Damier Azur shows surface wear and discoloration more easily than Monogram or Damier Ebene canvas. It's typically trimmed with Vachetta leather, which, like we mentioned, develops a patina over time and shows water marks. In addition, Damier Azur pieces typically have lighter colored linings that show stains. If you're rough on your bags, or if you're searching for a piece that takes a beating (such as a diaper bag), Damier Azur might not be the best choice.
Monogram Empreinte Leather
Because of its slightly higher price point compared with Vuitton's canvas materials, Empreinte leather is not seen as often. However, Monogram-embossed Empreinte (as seen in the Lumineuse bag above) is luxuriously understated. Many LV wearers prefer the monochromatic look of Empreinte, especially in neutral shades like beige, navy, and black. Empreinte is gorgeous and is one of our favorite LV materials, but it's slightly susceptible to surface wear, especially at the corners and along the edges. It won't be a problem for the average wearer, but if you're rough on your bags, and if you're set on Empreinte, then you might want to opt for a black or navy Empreinte.
Monogram Vernis Leather
Monogram Vernis (seen on the Avalon bag above) is the blingy member of the LV materials family. With its embossed Monogram pattern and subtle shimmer, this patent leather definitely gets noticed. Like Empreinte, it's monochromatic and matches easily with different outfits. Vernis needs to be stored and carried with care. It's susceptible to color transfer from darker materials. That means that if you lay your beige Vernis bag next to a black leather bag in your closet, the black can transfer to your beige LV and cause permanent discoloration. This isn't unique to Louis Vuitton patent leather, and we've seen it happen with other brands as well.
Epi has been around for a while, which makes it a Vuitton classic. Born in the 1980s, this striated leather is durable and elegantly understated. The horizontal embossed lines (seen on the Noe bag above) are what make Epi pieces recognizable, and they also typically feature an understated embossed LV in one of the front corners. Epi can take a beating, yet it has a dressy look that transitions well from day to evening. Epi bags are great for everyday wear, especially if you tend to dress up often.
In recent years, Taurillon leather (as seen on the Lockit bag above) has become a popular Louis Vuitton material. People who prefer more discreet logos often opt for Taurillon. Typically featuring a foil-embossed "Louis Vuitton Paris" on the front side, a Taurillon piece is an understated everyday option. Like Empreinte, Taurillon can show signs of wear at the corners and edges, but this won't be a huge problem if you're gentle on your bags. However, if you're looking for a Louis Vuitton bag that can take a beating, you might want to opt for black or navy Taurillon. Once you take the plunge, be sure to read our post on how to safely clean and care for your Louis Vuitton bag. And feel free to ask us any questions about your LV piece- we are huge fans of the brand and are always happy to help!
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