Hermes Togo leather is one of the brand’s most popular materials, especially for the brand’s top product, the Birkin bag.
Togo leather is a very durable but supple pebbled leather made from calfskin through a process of intensive drumming.
This leather was introduced in 1997 and is named after an African country.
Togo is a bit heavy. It’s heavier than, for example, Epsom but is thinner and lighter than Clemence.
It’s stiff but is softer than Epsom.
So Togo is best for structured but still soft and pliable bags that hold their shape.
For example, for Garden Party and, of course, for Birkin and Kelly.
I’d say it’s probably the most popular leather for Birkins due to its durability and low maintenance.
It’s also used for small leather goods and accessories.
Hermes Togo hashtag on Instagram is a lot larger than even the hashtag for the ultra-popular Epsom leather. That shows how trendy and favored this leather is.
Togo vs Clemence
These two types of leather are related, but Togo is made from calfskin, and Clemence is manufactured from the hide of young bulls.
Some people even confuse Hermes Togo leather with Clemence leather.
They indeed look very similar with their large-grain texture and veining.
However, Togo is actually different from Clemence in texture and feel.
It has a more pronounced veining than Clemence.
Some people like the deeper veining pattern of this material and some choose smoother leathers. It’s just a matter of personal preference.
In addition to that, Togo has less luster than Clemence.
This leather is dry and even a bit powdery to the touch.
The main difference between these two materials is that Togo is a lot stiffer than Clemence.
Clemence is more supple.
Togo bags aren’t slouchy and hold their shape much better than Clemence bags.
That’s why Togo is better for making Birkin bags than Clemence.
Clemence Birkin bags are notorious for being floppy but Togo bags are structured and hold their shape well, although they may soften with use.
And Clemence works best for making slouchy, casual bags, like Picotin or Lindy.
Another substantial difference between the two materials is that even though Togo leather is a bit on the heavy side it’s still thinner and more lightweight than Clemence.
So your Togo Birkin will be more convenient to hold in your hands and carry around than a Clemence Birkin, which will be heavier.
Hermes Togo leather wear and tear
Togo is considered to be the perfect workhorse leather.
It’s super-durable and pretty easy to repair.
The corners of a Togo bag won’t get worn down as easily as the corners of an Epsom bag and can be fixed in a Hermes spa.
A Togo bag is perfect for travel and use as a work bag.
Hermes Togo leather bags are stiff but they can soften a bit with time.
If you want to soften your bag faster you’ll need to use it a lot and even carry heavy things in it.
The leather may also stretch and become more pliable if you wear your bag intensely in warm weather.
If your bag becomes too soft you can add structure to it by putting an insert inside it.
Hermes Togo leather care and maintenance
Hermes Togo leather is a durable material that doesn’t require any special treatment.
It’s very low maintenance.
However, this leather is always a bit dry and even powdery.
So if you’re not happy with that you can use some leather conditioner on Togo. This can also help to buff out minor scratches.
Just make sure you never use wax-based products because they can make your bag shiny and you won’t want that look for Togo leather.
Plus, with Togo’s heavy veining there’s always a risk that the waxy kind of conditioner will get stuck in the veins. And that would look pretty bad.
You can bring your bag to a Hermes spa to refresh or repair it when the time comes.
Normally this leather doesn’t develop too much patina over time and stays pretty matte, although some shine may still appear.
However, the handles may become really shiny through contact with natural oils on human hands.
As with most Hermes bags, you can protect the handles from becoming worn and from hand lotions with twillies.
Other than that, wipe your bag with a dry and soft leather buffing cloth from time to time.
You can remove stains by gently rubbing them off with a damp cloth or a special leather cleaning eraser.
Do not pour water on the bag, of course. Hermes Togo leather is water-resistant only to a certain extent.
For a more serious cleanup use a leather cleaning lotion on the dirty areas or wipe your entire bag with it. Again, using a buffing cloth for that.
Hermes artisans don’t recommend the use of baby wipes on their bags in general but some people use non-scented alcohol-free baby wipes for cleaning their bags. Just proceed with caution if you decide to do it. And never use these wipes on a large area.
The special leather cleaner or leather cleaning wipes are much safer than baby wipes.
If your bag’s handles or corners get damaged and you’re not ready to send your bag off to a spa you can try to touch them up with quick leather restoration paints that are available in a large range of colors.
Don’t use colored wax for this or you may stain your clothing when your wear your bag after that.
Togo leather is a super-popular material for Birkin and other Hermes bags that has a great resale value.
It’s a perfect leather for daily wear because it’s durable, water-resistant, easy to repair, and low maintenance. Plus, it’s not as heavy as Clemence and holds its shape better.
This is why it’s probably the number one leather people prefer for their Birkin bags.
So if you like its heavy veining and its powdery feel then you can quickly become a fan of this material.