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What Are Wallets Made Out Of?

So you want to know what wallets are made out of. Sounds reasonable, as most of us carry one around in our pocket all day. We wanted to know too so we put together this list. It is a list of what we found wallet manufacturers are using to make wallets these days. Enjoy.



What are wallets made out of Leather symbol

Leather is the popular choice for wallets. It has been used for hundreds of years and has become a standard. It is smooth, holds its shape, looks good and is durable. It will move and conform to you and is often unnoticeable in your pocket .But not all leather is created equal.

There are many different claims around leather that misrepresent the product. 100% leather and genuine leather for example are typically just marketing terms. They only mean that the product is made from some kind of leather.

Here are the types of leather that wallets are made of.


Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather is from cows. It is not sanded so can include natural marks and scratches. This is the top quality leather as it breathes and shows a lovely character. Over time it develops a patina which is natural protective covering that adds to the character of the wallet. This leather is typically expensive.

Top Grain Leather

When cow leather gets made it is cut into approximately 4 thin layers. Top grain leather is the top (outside) layer. This makes it more flexible. Top grain leather is typically treated and sealed on the outside, which makes it more resistant (e.g. spills) than full grain leather. This leather is common for making wallets.

Suede Leather

An uncommon leather for wallets. It is hairy and course and is made from splitting the leather.  It isn’t used much as it doesn’t like water or any other stains on it, and is easily marked.

PU Leather/Bicast Leather

This doesn’t feel like leather because it is a polyurethane covering on the outside of the leather. The leather is on the inside, which holds the material together. The finish is shiny, may smell funny, and is easy to clean. This leather is very common in wallets because it is inexpensive to produce. It is typically found in cheaper wallets.

Italian Leather

This is simply leather tanned in Italy. The Italians are known for fashion, but don’t be mistaken. This is not a standard, there is no quality level to meet. It is typically more of a selling point than information about the wallet. We have also read that some Italian companies are quoting Italian leather on products that aren’t made in Italy.


Other Animal Leather

Unless stated leather comes from cows, but here are some different leathers that wallets are now being made from.


Genuine Caiman Crocodile Skin Hornback Bifold Wallet Brown

Crocodile Leather

This has a distinct, rough pattern. Many crocodile skin wallets are instantly recognizable because of this pattern. The leather is tough when taken from the top, but very soft when taken from the belly. Still an uncommon wallet making material.

Kangaroo Leather

This leather is very strong and will hold its shape like pig skin leather. It is also very light weight, and flexible. It is not a common wallet making leather however.

Pigskin Leather

Pig skin is quite popular for wallet lining. Pig skin is very strong, and holds its shape well, which is great for good quality wallets. It is more suede (rough) than smooth finish so it isn’t typically used on the outer of wallets.

Other Animals Skins

Wallets are now made from eel, and snake skin.



Other/Nontraditional Materials

Wallets are made of different materials these days. From convenience to price to novelty, there are many reasons why people started trying new materials. These materials all have different properties which make living with them different.

If you are interested in a new and nontraditional wallet, here are the more popular other wallet materials.


SHARKK® Aluminum Wallet Credit Card Holder With RFID Protection - 3D


This lightweight material is considered a soft alloy, but makes a tough and hard wallet. It does not compromise its shape, so these wallets are purely front pocket or bag wallets. Aluminum does not rust and is durable. Typically is used on the outside of the wallet and plastic is used on the inside. Aluminum will protect your items from everything, including RFID signals. It is inexpensive when it comes to wallet making.


Famous for being in the top of a wine bottle or old school flooring. It’s a strong and versatile material. We have only seen it used for the outside of wallets, the inside is likely too delicate for this material.


Fabric is used as lining in some wallets. It is a place of common problem when used in leather wallets. As the leather is tough, and the fabric thin under stress the fabric gives way and frays. Fabric is typically cheap and when in wallets, the thicker the better typically. Some wallets can fold the fabric over twice when stitched which can increase its lifetime.


A synthetic and versatile material. It is very flexible, which means it needs good stitching to keep it together.  It is also very durable and will withstand most conditions for extended periods of time. Kind of like the cockroach of the wallet world, but in a good way.

Polyurethane/Polyurethane Foam

This is a material made from a chemical reaction.  It feels plasticy and is great for protecting your personal items against water, weather, and blunt force. Because it is manmade it can be made in any color, and shape. It is popular with vegans as it is not an animal made good.


Silk not used for wallets, but more for travel gear that is worn against your skin. Silk and Satin are a great choice because they are breathable and washable.

Stainless Steel

A hard and rigid material, which protects from everything. Does not give or move unless forced which makes it tough to sit on. It has the benefit of being able to be engraved which is good for gift giving and marking special occasions. Stainless steel is also popular for money clips.


Stewart Stand Silver Stainless Steel Trifold

Stainless Steel Fiber

A newer wallet material that offers protection and flexibility. It is typically woven in with other fabric such as nylon and feels smooth to touch. On the down side stainless steel fiber will absorb impact and liquid which can leave the wallet looking worse for wear. It is quite strong but does not stretch like other materials.

Thermoplastic Polyurethane

A unique rubbery plastic that repels all sorts of oil, sweat and grease. It is also waterproof.  The rubbery plastic is manmade and quite flexible, so it will instantly adapt to your pocket. This means it isn’t as stiff as some wallets.


This material is famous for being house wrap (sarking), so it is very strong tear and water resistant. Also it is a quite cheap material, and can come in many different printed designs.


We hope that your curiosity is somewhat satisfied about what wallets are made out of.

If you have any comments or queries, leave a comment in the box below.



7 Responses to What Are Wallets Made Out Of?

  1. Mark August 5, 2015 at 7:12 am #

    Thanks for the information. I have been using a leather wallet for quite sometime but I have seen an aluminum wallet and will try to use it soon.

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