What exactly is Napa Leather?

We always talk about the soft and luxurious feel of Napa leather, but do we really know where it came from? I did some digging and came up with a few interesting facts. Surprisingly, there was a man called Emanuel Manasse who worked for a tannery in Napa California in 1875 and he was the guy who first invented it.

I want to keep this simple and not get bogged down in too much technical stuff, so firstly, it is a full grain leather and comes from the skin of kids or lambs.  The pieces are small and very soft and are perfect for gloves and jackets. It is one of the most expensive kinds of leather as the way it is treated and dyeing has to be done with the utmost care. It is very supple and lightweight and wears well compared to other leathers. 



Of course the dyeing can be done in so many colours that you are going to be spoilt for choice. Wearing a jacket from Napa leather feels just like wearing a second skin, not heavy – just light and wonderful.


About Pierotucci

Since 1972 Pierotucci has been designing and producing classic Italian Leather goods for men & women, including leather bags, leather handbags and purses, leather jackets and leather accessories such as wallets, gloves, belts and much more.
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9 Responses to What exactly is Napa Leather?

  1. That was a really informative and interesting article thank you for post really enjoyed it.

  2. Beh to Cheh says:

    Wrong! Napa leather is PU. What you are describing is Nappa leather. Double P.

    • Pierotucci says:

      Thank you for your feedback. Our research has show that you can spell Napa with one or two p’s when talking about leather. In our article we talk about natural Napa leather, not as a polyurethane, which is when the leather has a plastic type layer added to it for flexibilty and durability. But we are always open to learning more!

    • Nom d Plume says:

      Sorry, but this type of leather (named after its tanning process) should properly be called Napa (one p) because it was developed at a tannery in Napa, California in 1875. The Nappa designation was a misspelling which has been perpetuated for more than 100 years.

      • Pierotucci says:

        Even though we know the name comes from the tanning process developed in Napa Valley, through time the name itself has been transformed and can be found in both ways. However it is always important to understand the origins of a word.

  3. David Chapman says:

    Nappa Leather is an acronym for Nocturnal Animal Processed Pelt Application. This material is used extensively in the automotive industry for the interiors of most automobiles. It is different from Napa leather which is a fine leather indeed. The creature’s pelts are processed in such a way as to remove any fur and then the pelts are dissolved in a solution. The solution chemically alters the skin which allows it to be mixed with other skins. The result is a paste-like material which dyed to the color specified and then is rolled out into large sheets, trimmed and cured. It does not have the strength of real leather therefore is used in applications that will not undergo stress. This fact is one that has been hidden by the automotive industry for obvious reasons. I have personally seen the 8 foot rolls of this material. It is time the public knew the truth.

  4. Don W says:

    can it be used for upolster seats in cars lease reply

  5. Don W says:

    looks like the exact leather I need

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