This Louis Vuitton guide covers the most famous prints for LV bags. It covers general care instructions and describes each leather and canvas material.
Louis Vuitton's monogram canvas is the most well-known LV handbag material. It is very durable, has a pebbled texture, and is water-repellant. Many vintage monogram bags show little to no wear on the canvas. This canvas is very easy to care for. Wiping it down with a damp cloth is usually enough to clean the canvas.
Monogram canvas can crack. This is uncommon. Wiping down the canvas with leather moisturizer/conditioner every year or so can prevent cracking.
Monogram canvas bags oftentimes have vachetta leather trim and/or handles. Vachetta leather darkens over time, in prolonged sun exposure, and with use. Vachetta should also be kept dry as much as possible, because it is very susceptible to water stains.
Slightly more understated is the Damier canvas. Damier Ebene is textured, water-repellant, and durable. The care for this material is the same as the Monogram. The only noticeable difference is obviously the pattern on the canvas.
Though uncommon, Damier Ebene canvas can get cracks. Use a leather conditioner like this one once in a year or so to keep the canvas material flexible.
A dark cowhide leather is usually used for leather trim and handles on Damier Ebene bags. This cowhide is fairly durable and requires no special care instructions.
Damier Azur is also a canvas material. The biggest difference with Damier Azur compared to Monogram and Damier Ebene is its light color. All of the canvas materials require minimal bag care, but all light colored bags should be kept from prolonged exposure to clothing that is not colorfast to avoid color transfer.
Damier Azur can also get cracks like the other canvases.
Vachetta leather handles and trim usually accompany Damier Azur canvas bags. Again, vachetta inevitably darkens in patina. Darkened vachetta is popular to many Louis Vuitton lovers, particularly during its honey-colored stage. Check out our popular blog on cleaning canvas and lightening vachetta for very specific refurbishing instructions.
Vernis leather is very similar to patent leather. It's glossy and has a smooth hard surface. Vernis leather can come in many different colors, and many of the colors have a slight micro-glitter effect to them.
For the most part, Vernis is water-repellant. The most pesky issue with Vernis is color change if exposed to sunlight for prolonged time periods. The most important bag care for Vernis is proper storage. Check out dustbag and storage tips here. Prolonged exposure to sunlight or setting it next to an item that is not color-fast for long periods is usually what causes flaws on Vernis.
To erase marks that may not have seeped into the lacquer, refer to this patent leather care guide. Vernis is similar to patent not only in look but also care.
Epi leather is a hard leather that is textured. Louis Vuitton produces Epi leather in many colors. This thick leather is very sturdy and easy to care for. It also creates great structure to any bag. This bag may be wiped down with a damp cloth if dirty, and conditioning every year or so will keep this bag in great shape!
The most common flaw that this material gets is small scuffs. Black Epi bags are the most durable of all the different Epi colors. Even on older black epi bags that have been used a lot, the scuffs are not too noticeable.
Empreinte leather is a gorgeous softer leather that has a modern drummed texture. It is not particularly sensitive to sunlight, and water. Again, a durable material! We can see a trend and one of the reasons why Louis Vuitton is such a popular designer!
The most noticeable wear Empreinte exhibits is that the leather softens somewhat over time and use. This is ok, because most bags using Empreinte leather are not structured anyway.
The last iconic handbag material is the multicolor Monogram. This material is part of Louis Vuitton's collaboration with Takashi Murakami. It was the longest running Louis Vuitton collaboration (approximately 12 years)! This iconic pattern left Louis Vuitton stores in July 2015.
Not surprisingly, the care and material is like the Monogram, Damier Ebene, and Damier Azur canvases.
Louis Vuitton does not only produce bags in their iconic patterns. Less iconic materials include smooth calfskin, many limited-edition twists on iconic patterns, exotic leathers, textiles, and more!
Hope that this summary of popular Louis Vuitton leathers and canvases was helpful. And, for all the Louis Vuitton lovers, be sure to check out all the pre-owned Louis Vuitton bags on sale here!