What’s the Difference Between Clemence and Togo Leather?

difference between clemence leather and togo

The House of Hermes is a French luxury fashion house that has been in operation since 1837. Hermes has an amazing track record for quality and High-grade luxury products in the lifestyle accessories, perfumery, jewelry, watches, and the ready-to-wear space and because of this, it’s no wonder most people want to be associated with the brand.

There are several types of leather used in the House of Hermes. In this article, I researched the difference between Hermes’ Clemence and Togo leather to help you make a choice between the two when you are ready to get on board the Hermes wagon.

So, What’s the difference between Clemence and Togo leather? The primary difference between Clemence and Togo leather is that the grain of Clemence is less deep compared to Togo leather and Togo leather holds its shape better on bags compared to Clemence leather although Togo leather is much lighter.

During my research, It was quite easy to observe the basic difference between Clemence and Togo leather just by holding up and observing both bags. The astonishing similarities drove my curiosity to find more differences and here’s all I found. Enjoy :D!

The House of Hermès

Hermes Fashion House was established in the Grands Boulevards quarter of Paris, France creating high-quality wrought harnesses and bridles for the carriage trade by the now-famous Theirry Hermes.

The House won several awards including the first prize in its class in 1855 and again in 1867 at the Expositions Universelles in Paris.

The House of Hermes had clientele which included stylish Parisian “beau monde” and European royalty including Napoléon III and his every beautiful empress, Eugénie.

Charles-Emile, the son of Thierry and successor, in late 1879 expanded the line to include the manufacturing of saddles and they opened a new location near the Palais de l’Elysee.

By 2008, Hermes had developed 14 product divisions which include leather, watches, stationery, footwear, gloves, scarves, ties, men’s and women’s wear, perfume, enamelware, decorative arts, tableware, and jewelry.

Hermes is known today for its handmade luggage and handbags. To ensure quality, one bag can take up to 24 hours to produce. Their leather is sourced from all over the world.

One fascinating fact is most customers would have to wait close to six months to one year for delivery of one of Hermès’ signature bags and my wife can attest to how worth it the wait is!

What is Clemence Leather?

Clemence was released in the mid-1980s and it is one classic material of its kind. It is officially known as Veau Taurillon Clemence. Clemence is one of the most popular leathers in the house of Hermes made from the hides of baby bulls.

Clemence is a natural grained anti-scratch leather that is extremely durable and offers resistance against tarnishing. It is one of the slouchier leathers of the house and this property is especially considered a big advantage as it makes this type of leather on a bag very easy to refurbish.

The slouchiness of the Clemence leather gives its bags a more casual look. Due to its larger but soft flat grains, it has a matte luxurious look and is completely scratch resistant but may blister when exposed to rain and the blisters may be very difficult to remove.

What is Togo Leather?

Hermes Togo Leather was released much later in 1997. It is made from the calfskin and is often referred to as a half-sister to Clemence leather. It is the perfect perfect type of leather to go for in Birkin bags if you want something that is easy to maintain.

Togo leather is characterized as being lightweight but has an amazing capacity to hold it’s shape or form in bags. Togo leather also has a defined soft pebbled finish that creates an illusion of a raised grain but feels the opposite (smooth). Another interesting feature is how when Togo leather is viewed from quite a distance appears to have vertical veins that reflect light.

The veining of Togo leather can be more or less profound depending on the particular batch of Togo from which the leather is made. Its grainy textures make it anti-scratch.

Which Is Better, Clemence or Togo Leather?

For you to choose between these two types of Hermes leather can get you rattled up quite a bit. Both the Clemence and Togo have uniqueness you are sure to enjoy regardless of whichever you pick. Here’s however a few criteria I have established to help bring you some clarity and also to help point you to the exact one the will meet your needs and expectations.


On the level of lightness, Togo leather is lighter than Clemence leather contrary to how you will perceive it with your eyes. But don’t let its lightness deceive you as it can really hold its shape well than Clemence.


Slouchiness is a nice feature a lot of Birkin enthusiasts look out for in a bag and depending on your preference for slouchy bags, you will find the Clemence bag to be very attractive. It is much more slouchy than Togo leather because Togo leather holds shape better than Clemence.

But all in all, it’s important to add that generally, the slouch factor in both the Togo and Clemence leathers depends on the batch of leather that was used to make the bag.


The grain of these two types of leather is a distinctive telling factor. The grain texture of Clemence leather is flat in appearance while that of Togo is puffy, raised, or has a beautiful rainy effect.

In addition, the puffy grains make Togo feel scratchy when you run your hand over it, unlike Clemence which is smooth.

Finally, Togo leather is prone to veining more than Clemence which is the little vertical streak patterns that break up the grain. This is, however, an awesome property of Togo leather that makes it difficult for people to fake.


With its perfect ability to hold shape and lightness, Togo leather is much stiffer although its stiffness is nowhere close to that of other Hermes leather like the Epsom. So when you visit any of the Birkin outlets you are sure to find that Togo leather bags will be less floppy than Clemence.

It’s true, however, that natural leather becomes floppy with time. So I’d like to say why not have a head start with Togo leather. However, if you love slouch bags, you can have a good “floppy” start with Clemence and you’ll have your bag having the antique classy rich look!

Similarities Between Clemence and Togo Leather

  • Both are textured and scratch-resistant 
  • Do due diligence and look critically and you will sometimes find that Togo grains can be quite large and flat and look just like Clemence
  • Both are generally matte
  • Both generally develop veining
  • Both are gorgeous and smell great!

Differences Between Clemence and Togo Leather – Summary

Clemence Leather Togo Leather
1. Clemence grain is softer and not that puffy 1. Togo’s grain is slightly puffy
2. Less stiff compared to Togo leather 2. Togo leather is slightly stiffer
3. Less prone to veining or May develop minimal veining unlike Togo leather 3. Togo Leather is susceptible to veining
4. Feels Smooth when touched 4. Feels rough to touch
5. Heavier than Togo leather 5. Lightweight compared to Clemence
6. Clemence is more matte 6. Togo is less matte
7. Easy to maintain 7. Much more easier to maintain than Clemence

You will also be interested in the Difference between Epsom and Togo Leather

Related Questions

Are Hermes bags made of leather? Yes, Hermes bags are made of different types of calf leathers and exotic skins. Calfskins make up the majority of Hermes Birkins and the interior lining of the Hermes bags are usually made from goatskin.

Hermes also has some bags made from extraordinary and beautiful exotic skins such as Crocodile, Alligator, Lizard, and Ostrich.

What are Hermes colors? Hermes offers an extensive range of colors with the color name exclusive to Hermes. Here are some of the most popular beautiful colors Hermes offer;

  • Violine – Similar to Violet, but Lighter
  • Myosotis – Closely similar to Lilac color
  • Cassis – Deep Purple
  • Lilac – Light Shade of Purple
  • Iris – Very Deep Purple
  • Prune – Dark and Warm purple, similar prunes color
  • Tangerine – Light Shade Orange
  • Ink – Blue-Black Indigo
  • Blue Jean – Sky blue
  • Blue Roi – Bright colored Royal Blue
  • Indigo – dark navy blue
  • Potiron – Light Bright colored orange
  • Potiron – Light Bright colored orange
  • Tangerine – Light Shade Orange
  • Thalassa -Mediterranean Sea Blue
  • Hermes Classic Orange – Bright Colored Tangerine
  • Violet – Bright Purple Much Darker than Raisin

Related Articles:

Difference between Togo and Epsom leather (Plus How to Pick!)


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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