What is Metallic Leather?
Metallic leather is tricky. It is made by putting a laminate coating over a piece of leather, that could or could not be full grain leather. It could be top grain leather. It could simply be suede with a metallic coating. Honestly, it is anybody’s guess.
Metallic leather is very pretty, and has a lovely shine, but it is a little lacking in the durability department. The leather is often thinner because it has usually been shaved off, it is frequently stiffer, and over time the shiny metallic coating does start to wear off. This leads to a faded, flaky look, and really is not all that attractive. Eventually the metallic part will wear off entirely, leaving you with just a rather dull looking piece of leather.
Metallic leather is not necessarily a bad thing, but it has very specific uses. It makes great fringe, inlays, or other decorations that look nice, but don’t see a lot of wear and tear. For example, you can look at the silver trim on the chaps pictured on the right. The trim isn’t there to contribute to the durability or structural integrity of the chaps, though it does make it a little thicker and therefore tougher. It is mostly just there to look pretty and fancy.
As always, perhaps an analogy will make the picture a little clearer. Think of metallic leather like a cheerleader at a football game. They are pretty, they are flashy, people(usually) like them being there, but they aren’t prepared to go on the field and take out the quarterback. Long story short, it is an aesthetic leather, not a rough and tough leather.