Leather Terminology / Other Leather Terms


Definition of Hand

Hand is a term used to describe the feel or texture (smoothness or roughness) of leather. It’s a subjective quality determined by how leather feels when it’s handled or touched.

A good hand implies that the leather feels soft, smooth, and supple when touched.

There are three major factors that largely affect the hand of leather:

  • The thickness of the hide: Thin hides generally have a softer, more pliable hand while their thicker counterparts have a stiffer hand.
  • The finish used on the leather product: A glossy, shiny finish will make the leather feel stiffer and harder, while matte finish gives leather a softer, more pliable hand.
  • Tanning method used: Chemicals used in certain tanning methods (like vegetable tanning) can make leather stiff and less pliable than in other tanning processes.

In general, leather with a good hand is regarded to be of premium quality and is highly sought after for its aesthetic appeal, comfort, and softness.

Example of Hand in a Sentence

"What made me purchase this leather tote is its hand. Its fullness makes it more attractive."

Synonyms: leather temper

Related Terms for Hand

Written by Ryan Popoff

Ryan Popoff is the creative mind behind Popov Leather wallets, iPhone cases, belts, watch bands and journals since 2013. With a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts, my leatherworking journey began at home. I wanted to create a simple leather wallet that could fit into my front pocket and — to my delight — it was a hit with family and friends. Hopefully you love our honest, quality leather goods too! Read more