Vernasca vs Merino Leather: 5 Differences Plus Pros And Cons

Vernasca leather vs merino leather

BMW offers a wide variety of car leather alternatives to its cherished customers and it’s not a simple drive around the park when it comes to figuring out their differences.

So in this article, I’m going to focus my research on 2 of their leather materials: (Merino and Vernasca) and share with you their differences, their pros, cons, and which will better suit your lifestyle.

The main difference between Merino leather and Vernasca leather is:

Merino leather is a premium natural leather among the BMW range of leathers. It has no artificial protective coating and due to this, it requires a lot more tender loving care to maintain its beautiful texture and appearance. The Vernasca leather on the other hand is coated with artificial dyes and heavy-duty finishes which makes it long-lasting and durable.

In order to learn more about the pros, cons, and which of these two leather options from BMW are best, read on!

What is Merino leather? 

This is a  full-grain BMW leather. Merino is soft and smooth to touch in terms of its texture and during its dying process, there is no artificial protective coating added to it as in the case of other types of leather.

The nature of the Merino leather makes it susceptible to scratches, stains, wear, and tear. Only the best quality and first-class cowhide are processed into BMWs Merino leather.

In the BMW leather group, Merino leather requires so much caring in order to keep its impressive texture and class yet the deluxe and top-quality type of BMW leather.

Pros of Merino Leather:

  1. It’s made from the best quality cowhide.
  2. Artificial coatings or dyes are not used in the making of Merino leather.
  3. It’s the most natural-looking and natural-feeling Leather.
  4. Merino leather is extremely soft and luxurious.
  5. Premium quality
  6. Gives your car high resale value.
  7. Develops patina

Cons of Merino Leather:

  1. It’s pricey.
  2. It has no protective coatings.
  3. Merino leather wears quickly than other BMW leathers.
  4. Careful and gentle cleaning is required.

What is Vernasca Leather?

Vernasca leather is not a premium quality or high-grade leather. It’s one of their low-end leather alternatives. The Vernasca Leather is made from genuine leather that has been stamped with artificial grains on its surface.

The Vernasca leather surface is also covered with heavy-duty finishes and dyes that make its cleaning and maintenance a lot easier when compared to Merino. 

Pros of Vernasca Leather:

  1. Vernasca is less expensive.
  2. It requires very little care to maintain.
  3. It’s quite durable.
  4. The artificial coatings make it more resistant to water.
  5. It’s a very common BMW leather.

Cons of Vernasca Leather:

  1. It comes from low-grade hides.
  2. It may crease or wrinkle easily.
  3. It’s heavily coated so the soft natural feel of leather is eroded.
  4. Vernasca is more susceptible to dye transfer from jeans.etc.

Merino Leather vs Vernasca Leather: Which is Best?


As far as durability goes, Merino leather due to its unprotected surface makes it more vulnerable to scratch and liquid stains. So users of Merino leather will have to baby the leather in order to keep it in good shape.

This brings down the hardwearing quality that most auto users will want for their cars.

The Vernasca leather apart from its artificially embossed grain surface also has artificial dye coatings and color overlays.

This renders the Vernasca leather with a super heavy-duty finish that’s extremely hardwearing and resistant to both liquid and solid stains.


The BMW Merino leather gives you a special look and premium feel. Merino leather exudes a lot of class and luxury.

The ultra-premium look of the Merino leather is that which sets it apart from all other types of leather. Because of this, the Merino leather comes with a hefty price tag.

BMWs Merino leather has a more natural leathery look nicer than the artificially embossed grains of the Vernasca leather.

The class and luxurious appearance of the Merino leather cannot be compared to that of Vernasca leather. So if you care for a good natural appearance and dazzling beauty, Merino leather has that locked in.


Generally, a BMW leather will come from the hides and skins of mammals — that is real animals. The difference lies with the quality of hides that are selected for use.

For Merino leather, only premium quality cowhides are chosen and used. Also, fine top-quality lambskin is also sometimes used in producing Merino leather. 

The Vernasca leather on the other hand will come from regular cowhides and little attention is given to the surface quality of the hide due to the several layers of artificial finishes that will be applied to give it that extra protective cover.


It’s pretty obvious at this point Merino Leather is a lot more costly due to its premium quality. Among the range of leather BMW uses to produce their upholstery, Merino leather is on top.

It ranks best in quality and luxury among all the leather BMW uses in their car interior production. So customers will have to pay a premium price to get their seats in Merino.


Merino leather comes in a variety of bold color combinations. Its colors give you the expressive exclusive appearance you need for your car’s interior.

However, because only natural dyes are used, its color range is quite limited when compared to the wide range of colors the Vernasca leathers come in.

The only downside is that the Vernasca leather is prone to dye transfer to and from other materials.  

Environmental Resistance:

The natural unproductive fine-grain nature of Merino leather in the BMW leather family makes it more liable to destruction by environmental conditions like heat, sunshine, and least exposure to moisture.

This is because it lacks a protective coating. The Vernasca leather on the other hand can boast of artificial embossed grains and color coatings on its surface. This makes it a lot tougher, highly environmentally resistant.

Similarities Between Merino Leather and Vernasca Leather

  1. Both types of leather are from the hides and skins of animals.
  2. Merino leather and Vernasca leather are both real leathers.
  3. Generally, both types of leather can not withstand severe exposure to water.
  4. Both leather types have a nice soft feel.

Difference Between Merino and Vernasca Leather – Summary

Merino Leather Vernasca Leather
1 Merino leather is not covered with artificial coats or dyes. Vernasca leather comes with artificial coatings or color.
2 Merino leather has natural leather grains. Vernasca leather has embossed artificial grains.
3 Merino is a premium quality leather that comes with a premium price. Vernasca leather is less expensive.
4 Merino leather is slightly lighter and softer than Vernasca leather. Vernasca leather is not as light as Merino leather and is a bit firmer.
5 Merino leather can be obtained from both cowhide and lambskin. Vernasca leather is mainly obtained from Cowhide.

My Conclusion and How To Pick! 

When it comes to picking and choosing between Vernasca and Merino, you would want to consider your lifestyle and your budget.

If you want a leather alternative that’s highly luxurious, ultra-soft, smooth and you don’t mind giving it a bit of extra Tender loving care, then the Merino leather is all you need.

The Merino leather looks good, plush, and has an extra supple feel for you and your passengers to feel amazing with supreme luxurious comfort.

However, if you’re cost-conscious and want to save a little more money yet want something a lot more durable and easy to care for, then the Vernasca leather will be perfect for you.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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