Hermes Epsom leather is one of the brand’s most famous materials.
It’s the preferred leather for Hermes Kelly bags for many people because it’s very durable, scratch, and water-resistant.
Plus it’s stiff and holds the shape of a Kelly bag perfectly.
And of course, it’s a beautiful leather with a slightly glossy surface and regular fine grain.
Hermes Epsom leather is made from calfskin.
The fine and regular-grained texture of this material is obtained through the process of machine embossing.
This leather was introduced in 2004 and is named Epsom after a town in England that is famous for its horse races.
Epsom leather is not exclusive to Hermes. There are, for example, leather watch straps manufacturers that buy Epsom-type leather from the same tanneries.
It’s a very lightweight material, which is a plus if you don’t want to carry a heavy bag.
The downside of Epsom leather is its stiff, dry, and plasticky feel. This is what many people hate this material for.
So if you prefer soft and supple leathers you may want to buy a bag with a different finish, such as Clemence.
Hermes Epsom leather colors
Epsom leather is available in a huge palette of Hermes signature colors.
This leather absorbs color a lot better than many other materials.
The color of Epsom is always deep and uniform.
The saturation of any hue will be super-intense on Epsom.
So it looks amazing on brightly-colored Birkin and Kelly bags.
For instance, Rose Azalee, Rose Jaipur, Jaune Ambre are some of the most popular and best-looking colors of Epsom bags.
The brand’s stamp also looks very crisp on Epsom leather.
Products and bags in this leather
Hermes Epsom leather is one of the brand’s most widely used materials.
This is the number one material for Kelly bags because these purses are structured and look best when made of stiff leather.
It’s also a popular choice for the structured Birkin and Constance bags.
Even a large Birkin will be easy to carry because this leather is so lightweight.
Hermes also makes small leather goods from Epsom, such as the popular Calvi card holder, other wallets, belts, and even bracelets.
This stiff leather helps wallets and card holders hold their shape nicely.
Epsom is a great material for shoes, like the popular Oran and Oasis sandals.
However, this leather may not the best choice for slouchier casual bags like, for example, Lindy, Evelyne, or Picotin.
Hermes Epsom leather wear and tear
Epsom leather’s best feature is that it’s amazingly scratch-resistant and doesn’t get dented easily.
This leather will last longer without damage than most other Hermes leathers and won’t show signs of wear (except corners and edges) for years to come.
Unlike Box leather, Hermes Epsom leather will never develop a patina.
So if you prefer leather bags with patina then Epsom won’t be a good choice.
Epsom leather is pretty much water-resistant and your Epsom bags will make great all-weather bags.
Of course, water resistance means that Epsom can withstand a bit of rain or snow.
Bur this doesn’t mean you can wear it in the pouring rain. As with any leather bag, you should avoid getting it drenched.
Since this type of leather is stiff, it holds its shape perfectly.
So your Epsom Birkin, Kelly, or small leather goods will hold their shape for years to come too.
Your Epsom bag will never become floppy.
Some people even believe that Epsom leather is virtually indestructible
But even though this leather is scratch-resistant, the corners can still get worn out pretty easily.
They will show signs of wear faster than, for example, the corners of a Clemence bag. This is the downside of this leather’s stiffness.
That’s why Hermes Epsom leather ages better on smaller bags and leather goods, like wallets, mini Kelly bags, or Constance bags than on larger bags like Birkins.
In addition to that, the grain rubs down on the bag’s edges and corners too and they start looking shiny.
Even a Hermes spa can’t make the smoothed-out corners and edges grainy again.
Yes, some grain can still be restored, but not all.
So this damage is mostly irreparable.
In fact, the main downside of Epsom leather is that it’s notoriously difficult to repair.
Due to its fine grain print, a craftsman can’t just simply buff it like Box calf leather to remove all the wear marks.
So you may never be able to restore this bag to its original state if something happens with it.
Deep scuffs or damage can’t be fixed they will just become less noticeable after a spa treatment.
Hermes Epsom leather maintenance and care
Epsom leather is a pretty low-maintenance Hermes material.
As with all finished leather bags, wipe it with a soft dry lint-free leather buffing cloth from time to time.
If the bag gets dirty use a clean damp buffing cloth or special leather cleaning wipes on the dirty spots.
You can also use a leather cleaner with a buffing cloth to wipe the entire surface.
Don’t use any baby wipes on Hermes Epsom leather because they have the potential to ruin your bag’s finish.
Many people report that baby wipes are safe for their Epsom bags. But Hermes doesn’t recommend it because baby wipes may damage the coating.
If you’ve spilled something on your Epsom bag or got drops of rain on it just wipe the liquid quickly off the surface with a leather buffing cloth and your bag should be absolutely fine.
Try to avoid bumping your bag’s corners on anything when you’re wearing it to prevent corner damage. And don’t put the bag on the floor for the same reason.
When your bag’s corners and handles have started showing signs of wear you can send it to a Hermes spa to get at least some of the damage repaired.
If you feel your bag is not ready to go to a Hermes spa yet you may try to fix it at home by touching up the bag’s corners, edges, or handles with a special leather restoring paint that comes in a wide variety of colors.
Hermes Epsom is one of the brand’s most popular leathers, especially for Kelly, Birkin, and Constance bags.
Hermes uses it for manufacturing many other products, like wallets, shoes, belts, and bracelets.
People either love Epsom leather for its durability, low maintenance, amazing color saturation, and lovely grain pattern and luster or hate it for its stiffness, plasticky feel, corner wear, and for how hard it is to repair it.
So it’s a matter of personal preference whether you want to buy an Epsom bag or not.