Just like wine — well, most wines at least — leather gets better with age. Don’t get me wrong, new leather is a brilliant, ultra-comfortable material that’s perfect for jackets, shirts, dresses, belts, shoes, and a countless number of other items as well. However, older, worn-in leather offers some unique advantages that many people prefer.
One of the many ways in which leather gets better as it ages is its appearance. As it ages, leather will begin to develop natural markings. These markings are usually small but still noticeable nonetheless, covering the surface while adding another element to its look. If you are looking for a pristine leather garment, you’ll probably want new leather. But if you want a piece that’s truly unique and eye-catching, aged leather is the way to go.
Of course, old leather also has a certain smell to it (a good smell) that differs from its new counterpart. New leather generally smells stronger and more artificial — even if it’s 100% genuine leather. This is in stark contrast to aged leather, which has a softer, more subtle odor that many people prefer. It’s difficult to describe this odor without smelling it for yourself, but some people compare it to a mixture of cedar and cinnamon.
Both new and aged leather offers a superior level of strength when compared to many other materials (especially cotton). You can pull, tug and stretch leather without causing any damage to it. However, old leather is slightly stronger than its counterpart. This is due to the fact that it’s already been stretched and pulled on plenty of times, making it more resilient. Aged leather isn’t necessarily impervious to damage, but it will take a great deal of stress to rip it. This alone is reason enough why many men and women prefer aged leather over new leather.
We saved the best benefit for last: softness. If you were to compare new and aged leather side by side, you would notice a world of difference regarding the softness of these two materials. Aged leather is much softer than its counterpart, featuring a softer and more forgiving texture.
Hopefully, this will give you a better idea of the differences between new and aged leather. As leather ages, it begins to exhibit new qualities, some of which include greater softness, strength and visual appeal.