The price of a piece of leather goods is an important factor, which can be decisive on our act of purchase. It is sometimes difficult to know what the real price of a piece is.
Sales do not help our perception. We sometimes feel that we have been ripped off when we see the discount on a label.
Why is there such a difference between the products of luxury houses and fast fashion products?
Is the product displayed fair and does it represent its quality?
How is the price of leather goods set?
The raw material
In the cost of the product the material can represent sometimes more than 50% of the final product. The quality of the material and its origin are essential to ensure a good quality of the final product.
At Valet de pique, we have chosen a thick and resistant leather, while being supple and soft to the touch. Leather is a durable material because of its strength, which ensures a long life for the final piece.
We source our leather from a family tannery in northern Spain. A family that has been working with leather for decades, combining craftsmanship and advanced techniques that guarantee us the highest quality leather using only substances from the trunk and bark of trees. This is called vegetable tanning.
The vegetable tanning process is based on the use of tannins, extracted from the bark of trees, which are responsible for the transformation of the animal's skin into a material that is resistant to the effects of time, compact and with the quality of aging in a natural way, without endangering its resistance, and the effects of time will even increase its characteristics that make it unique: color, brightness, expression ...
Here are some examples of sources of vegetable tannins:
Bark: oak, mimosa, pine, spruce, willow, birch or mangrove.
Wood: chestnut, quebracho, oak, cachou
The roots: heather, canaigre
Leaves: sumac, gambier
The fruits: mirobolant
This leather is a little more expensive than chrome tanned leathers, but it allows us to guarantee the quality and durability of our pieces. We have made an article about it.
The manufacturing, the workmanship
Labor is obviously an essential cost in the manufacture of a piece of leather goods. The place and time of manufacture will impact the price of the piece as well as its quality.
In the leather goods industry, France is renowned for its know-how. A French production also allows to reduce the transport costs as well as the environmental impact.
Consume less, but better!
Poor quality leather is immediately noticeable. Whether it is for a pair of shoes, a handbag, a jacket, if you want your piece to last over time, you will have to invest. Otherwise your leather piece will fail you either because of the quality of the leather or the assembly, which will considerably reduce the life of your piece.
We recommend that you pay attention to the origin of your piece as well as the quality of the leather. A quality leather has the particularity to live with you, it is the witness of your history, it keeps this organic side which is so characteristic: it will patina!
The patina of leather
Why consume less, but better?
For economic reasons. Yes, between buying a piece that will last 20 years minimum and 10 pieces that will last 2 years, it is more profitable to buy one piece that will last over time.
For ecological reasons. Less consumption of raw materials, less transportation, less CO2 produced.
For ethical reasons. Consume better to encourage healthy working conditions, respecting human rights. To support the made in France, the craftsmen, the know-how.
How to recognize a quality piece?
A leather piece, more than any other product, has to be durable. But how can you tell if a piece is durable? And what is the price of a durable piece?
But first of all, what is a durable leather piece?
A durable leather piece is :
A quality leather
A solid and repairable assembly
Well executed seams and finishes
Leather to last
What is quality leather?
A quality leather, which will last in time, is a full grain leather (the upper part of the skin).
The epidermis: thin layer on which the hairs are located and composed essentially of keratin
The dermis: layer composed of collagen fibers (this is how it is differentiated from the epidermis). The fibers are very dense and tight in the part called flower and less present in the part called flesh.
Subcutaneous tissue: this layer is also composed of collagen fibers. It is therefore not clearly separated from the dermis. But the density of fibers is even lower.
The collagen fibers are more numerous on the surface, which makes the leather more resistant. But then, how can you tell the difference between a full grain leather and a rectified leather?
A rectified leather is extremely regular, mostly shiny with a plasticized aspect (normally it contains some). Full grain leather has natural wrinkles and grains. They are sometimes very little visible and unfortunately sometimes very well imitated by rectified leather.
So, how do you do it?
Look if the leather has a plastic aspect (rectified leather) or not (full grain leather).
Full grain leather is cooler and more slippery while rectified leather is rougher.
Look for wrinkles and natural grain.
What is a solid and repairable assembly?
The historical know-how coming from the saddlery, the traditional manufacturing techniques and the progressive integration of new materials and new technologies allow us to produce daily articles that reflect a passion for work well done. It is the experience of the company which allows to guarantee the quality of manufacture. For that, it is necessary to take into account its reputation. It is also necessary to look at the sewing techniques and the finishing touches. The quality of the metal accessories is also to be taken into account.
For our part, we have associated ourselves with a Parisian manufacturer, almost a hundred years old, with a saddlery know-how, which now manufactures toolboxes for plumbers, so we can tell you that the solidity of the product is their priority.
Finally, you'll get it right!
Buying a nice handbag or briefcase for 100 euros in a cheap store, which already shows signs of weakness after only three uses, is not an economically (or ecologically) viable solution. You will end up buying 10 times more handbags or briefcases in your life and most of them will not last a year. Not to mention the pieces we all bought one day on sale because it was a good deal, but never wore, because bought on a whim!
We believe that a quality product will always give you more satisfaction than an ephemeral purchase and will considerably limit the ecological impact. And above all you will save a lot of money by consuming less but better.
We have chosen Made in France
Choosing Made in France means promoting French companies of excellence in order to encourage their growth.
France benefits from the mastery of rare and traditional know-how, often linked to art, culture and fashion. Our wish is to transmit this exceptional know-how to the greatest number of people. The choice of Made in France seemed to us to be an obvious one. Its reputation, its expertise, its high technicality and its excellence allow us to guarantee top-of-the-range, durable and authentic products.
It also allows us to manufacture locally, to respect human rights and to support the French industry.
And what about Valet de pique ?
We make quality know-how accessible. By choosing to sell online we limit the intermediaries, and we can thus propose you products of excellent quality at an accessible price.
We favor the made in France industry, sustainable products, timeless designs to limit our environmental impact. We favor the "beautiful" and the artisanal know-how. We have chosen to promote the conservation of the most authentic manufacturing methods to perpetuate the values of durability, finish and timeless fashion. To highlight and revive the French historical know-how.
Our best tool to make us known: word of mouth
We limit intermediaries as much as possible to offer you Made in France pieces at an attractive price for an excellent quality-price ratio. This model is applied by more and more brands that free themselves from intermediaries and offer more accessible and good quality products. And more and more of you are defending this vision of a better understanding of the product and a transparent relationship with the brand. A system that favors "less but better", durable and ultimately more economical parts.
We want to make our French know-how accessible to as many people as possible through parts designed to last. It may happen that we accept to be distributed in an ephemeral way, the idea is simply to make us known. The idea is simply to make us known. This is to allow you to see our products up close and also to try them. We control this channel to ensure that our promise is kept.
We rely on word of mouth to get the word out. We believe that a satisfied customer will be a new ambassador for our brand and that is why we pay so much attention to the quality of our products.
So thank you for supporting Valet de pique. Thank you for following us.