Chanel caviar leather is one of the brand’s main types of luxury leather used for their most popular handbags.
This type of leather is very popular durable, and low-maintenance. Classic caviar bags are definitely worth investing in because they will stay in a great condition after years of wear and tear.
What is Chanel caviar leather?
Chanel caviar leather is a type of calfskin with a grained texture that resembles the luxurious grains of caviar.
Along with lambskin, it’s one of two most famous classic materials used by Chanel for manufacturing their iconic Classic Flap bags.
Some people may confuse the grained caviar leather with stingray leather.
However, Chanel caviar is not made from stingray. It’s an entirely different type of leather and is not manufactured from exotic skins.
What is Chanel caviar leather made of?
Chanel caviar is made of cowhide.
The manufacturing process creates the fine grained caviar pattern on this leather.
Chanel caviar leather durability
Since it’s a textured leather and since grained calfskin is pretty strong, caviar is a lot more durable than the fragile, smooth, and soft Chanel lambskin.
Caviar is more scratch and damage-resistant than softer leathers.
Some people describe the classic shiny caviar leather as virtually indestructible.
Most caviar bags look as new after years of constant wear.
Calfskin retains its shape better than lambskin.
So if you’re looking for a Chanel bag that you can wear every day for running errands then caviar leather would be your best bet.
However, keep it away from water and rain. And never let this material come in contact with perfumes or lotions.
What colors does Chanel caviar come in?
This leather comes in all colors imaginable.
The color depends on what dye Chanel uses on its cowhide.
The most famous classic caviar bags are, of course, black.
But you can also buy white caviar bags, as well as neutral-colored purses, such as beige, brown, or grey.
And if you want to add a pop of color ro your outfit you can buy a caviar bag in many popular bright hues.
I really love pink Chanel caviar bags.
There have also been red, yellow, turqouise, blue, green, orange, purple, and other bag colors released by Chanel in the recent years.
Types of Chanel caviar leather
Shiny classic caviar
The classic and most common variation of Chanel caviar leather is the shiny pebbled caviar.
It’s also classified as a rigid caviar because it’s stiff and sturdy. This leather doesn’t slouch over time so the bag will hold it’s shape after years of wear.
The classic one is the sturdiest type of caviar and is very low-maintenance.
The quality and feel of this leather may actually vary from season to season.
So if you’ve bought a bag with a drier, rougher, or stiffer texture of leather than what you observed in a Chanel boutique it doesn’t necessarily mean that this bag is a replica, since the quality of the brand’s leather may fluctuate.
Other variations of caviar are released rarely.
Matte caviar leather is less shiny and puffy than the classic one.
However, it’s still sturdy enough and can also be branded as a rigid caviar leather.
My personal favorite type of caviar leather is Chanel’s iridescent caviar.
It’s super hot and trendy right now and I don’t see it falling out of trend in years to come.
This Chanel caviar leather has a special mother of pearl sheer and smaller grains.
It usually comes in pastels colors, like pink, or in colors reminiscent of natural pearl hues. For example, light gold, white, dark blue.
Iridescent caviar looks amazingly gorgeous and luxurious.
However, it’s more delicate than the classic shiny caviar. Iridescent coating may rub off easily.
Chanel caviar leather also comes in metallic finish.
This is a trendy coating right now too.
The brand has released a number of silver, gold, and bronze caviar bags over the years. Gold bags have been manufactured in several shades of gold.
Metallic leather is also more delicate than the classic shiny caviar. The coating may rub off too and it’s susceptible to color transfer.
This was the type of caviar that Chanel released in 2012-2013.
They branded it as “iridescent caviar” but it’s different in texture to the iridescents that they released later.
Many people report that suede caviar is very high maintenance.
This caviar attracts dirt and isn’t as sturdy as other types of caviar leather. It shows signs of wear very easily. It’s also susceptible to color transfer.
Soft caviar aka washed caviar
This is a softer type of caviar than the classic shiny one.
It’s not as rigid as the shiny caviar and feels buttery soft, closer to lambskin. It’s also more puffy.
Still, it doesn’t scratch as easily as lambskin and is pretty durable.
So you get the softness of lambskin and the durability of caviar if you buy a bag in this leather.
This material doesn’t hold its shape as well as the rigid caviar.
Your soft caviar bag won’t be as structured as a classic caviar bag and may slouch over time.
However, a soft caviar bag is always lighter and easier to carry than a shiny caviar bag. And you may like how flexible it is.
This type of Chanel caviar leather has a special glazed coating.
Even though it looks stiffer than the regular caviar it still is soft and very lightweight.
The drawback of this leather is that it can get scratched easily. In addition to that, some people have reported that their glazed coating started to peel off after a few months of wear.
What bags does Chanel use their caviar leather for?
Chanel uses their caviar leather for manufacturing some of their most popular bags.
You can buy Classic Flap bags, jumbo CF bags, and Chanel boy bags in this material.
Chanel Deauville totes used be available in caviar too.
In addition to that, Chanel makes all kinds of small leather goods in this leather.
There are card holders, wallets, clutches, wallets on chain, and phone cases available that are made from this material.
However, the popular Chanel 19 and aren’t usually made of caviar. The top materials for Chanel 19 are goatskin, lambskin, tweed, and other types of calfskin.
Chanel also used to make rectangular mini flap bags and Chanel square mini flap bags from caviar leather.
But mini bags in caviar have recently been discontinued and are now only available in lambskin.
So these bags are a rarity now and have a great resale value for those who prefer smaller Chanel purses that are more durable and scratch-resistant.
Chanel caviar leather care and maintenance
The classic shiny caviar leather from Chanel doesn’t require too much maintenance and is generally safe to take out in the rain.
Plus, you should avoid wearing light-colored bags with dark clothes and jeans to prevent color transfer.
To keep your bag clean, wipe it with a special soft uncolored lint-free buffing cloth for leather goods from time to time and polish the bag’s hardware with it.
This buffing cloth won’t scratch your bag and works better for leather bags than a microfiber cloth because it’s more absorbent and picks up dirt and dust better.
No need to use water because there’s still a risk that it can leave stains.
If there are stains and dirt left on your bag you can remove them with a special leather cleaner and conditioner using that buffing cloth.
It’s not recommended to use baby wipes on expensive designer bags. There’s always a risk of ruining their leather finish.
However, using a good-quality leather conditioner wouldn’t ruin the bag.
It’s also great for refreshing dry or dull caviar leather and making it shinier.
Nourish your bag with leather conditioner or lotion from time to time, at least once a year.
Make sure you select a premium uncolored and wax-free cleaner/conditioner. So it won’t alter the bag’s color or harden the luxury leather.
This kind of leather lotion works great on Chanel bags.
I know that many Chanel SAs recommend using this cleaner and conditioner to their clients.
It works well for both dark and light colored bags and will make your bag look amazing.
You can remove stains, buff out small scratches and smooth down worn-out corners using this special lotion.
Many people report that this type of product even works on pen marks and color transfer stains without removing the leather dye of the bag.
Just gently rub the bag with the conditioner using an uncolored soft microfiber cloth.
You can test it on a small unseen area of the bag first, before you use it on the entire bag.
Also, you can add a water/stain repellant spray to you bag care routine. It can offer even more protection from rain and snow.
This is another care product that Chanel SAs often recommend to their customers.
You can also test it on a small area of your bag before use. After you spray that spot with the protectant any drop of water that gets on it should ball up and roll off the leather.
Always store the bag in a dustbag and stuff it with acid-free tissue paper to help it keep its shape or use a matching pillow shaper.
Never stuff it with newspapers or anything like that.
You can also wrap the bag in acid-free tissue paper for extra protection.
Chanel caviar leather is strong and durable. It comes in many colors and you can find a classic Chanel caviar bag in just about any hue.
It’s a perfect leather for an everyday bag. You can wear it anywhere and never worry about scratching or damaging it.
It’s also a great choice for people who are hard on their bags.
The drawback of this leather is that its finish is not smooth and that it’s stiffer than lambskin.
So if you prefer a smooth finish and buttery softness you may want to get a lambskin bag instead of a caviar one.
Caviar leather is also slightly heavier. So you may want to get lambskin if you prefer lighter bags.
Overall, caviar is more popular than other Chanel leathers and has a higher resale value because it holds up very well.
That’s why caviar is often sold out sooner than other leathers in Chanel boutiques. So you may want to buy a preloved caviar bag.