Luggage for Life: A Guide to the Materials that Make Our Beauty and Quality

Luggage for Life: A Guide to the Materials that Make Our Beauty and Quality
The Explorer Collection, made with renewable and sustainably sourced rattan, is an homage to our planet inside and out.

Unparalleled Craftsmanship Requires Unparalleled Materials

SteamLine Luggage creates pieces of substance with a variety of leathers and fabrics. Our cases are built to last, to help carry you through life—not just from one destination to another. More than just a pretty case, our luggage, whether the leather or fabric-based models, is designed with form and function in mind. In the execution of each of the SteamLine models, our engineers balance maximum durability with minimum weight by using innovative materials that withstand modern travel yet still carry light. To create these high-performance travel companions, we use a variety of luxurious and long-lasting quality luggage materials, including full-grain leather, vegan and vegetarian leather, linen, and more.

Luggage for Life: Our Lifetime Refurbishment Program

We are proud to guide you in the care and repair of your SteamLine for the life of your luggage, should you need it. With our Lifetime Refurbishment Program, our team will work with you to create a bespoke refurbishment plan for any cosmetic or mechanical repairs with our trusted leather repair experts, Modern Leather Goods in New York City. To initiate a refurbishment, please email us at

The SteamLine Materials

SteamLine Luggage currently uses seven styles of materials in creating the glamorous, old-world inspired cases and objets d’art you know and love. Each of our luggage material options has its own character and may require specific care instructions.

Furthermore, we are proud to announce the expansion of our sustainably focused cases, including an expanded and reinvented Editor range as well as our all-new Explorer collection

“With this year’s expansion of our Editor range and the launch of The Explorer, I was proud to increasingly work with sustainable materials. While nothing is more earth-friendly than luggage you keep for life, utilizing naturally beautiful and durable linen and rattan lightens our footprint even more.” 

—SteamLine founder, Sara Banks


The newest addition to the SteamLine materials library, rattan is a sturdy vine-like plant native to Asia, Africa, and Australia. Often woven into a wicker weave, rattan is at once lightweight and incredibly durable. The SteamLine Explorer Collection is our first collection composed of naturally renewable and sustainably sourced rattan. Lined with a rainforest-inspired print, this collection celebrates natural harmony through and through. The Explorer collection is currently available as a Carryon cabin luggage, a Spinner check-in suitcase, and a Mini rattan handbag.

SteamLine Luggage's Explorer Collection, Rattan Luggage Bags
Our newest collection, the Explorer, is available in three styles: the Mini, Carryon, and Spinner.

Flax or Linen

Turning now towards SteamLine’s fabric materials, linen is renowned for its natural beauty and durability. Made from fibers of the flax plant, linen is one of the oldest textiles in the world, making it the perfect material for SteamLine’s old-world glamour. It is also the quintessential fabric of vacation, symbolic of beaches and island life. The linen used on our Editor cases is a thicker variety than that used for clothing, making it even stronger and more durable. Though it is designed to resist tarnishes, it is also easy to clean with a mild foam cleanser and gentle scrub brush as needed.

SteamLine Luggage's Editor Linen Luggage Collections

Now offering our linen-and-leather Editor in four colorways, here you see Sea Green and Navy, while Brown and Black are also available.

Full-Grain Leather

Creating the most natural look, full-grain leather is leather that has been neither sanded nor buffed, so it retains all natural marks and imperfections. This creates an evocative authenticity, truly reminiscent of the old world. The natural grain is especially durable, and will develop a beautiful patina over time. Leather care for full-grain leather is rather simple, as the natural evolution of the case is part of its charm. Full-grain leather wears beautifully and will change subtly with use and time.

The SteamLine Luggage all-leather Pioneer

Our all-leather Pioneer, now available with a beautiful honeycomb lining, is available in a designer briefcase bag and Carryon rolling cabin luggage. 

Top-Grain Leather

Exclusively used for our corners, handles, and straps, top-grain leather is a split layer where the imperfections have been sanded away. This solid leather is more workable and lighter for travel. This particular leather features a stunning finish that gives the case a smooth feel and look, while also preventing stains from setting. You’ll see top-grain leather incorporated into our SteamLine suitcase models through the rich, substantial straps and durable corner pieces.

Bonded Leather

Beneath the top-grain leather straps and corner pieces, you’ll find our beautiful bonded leather. This material graces many of SteamLine’s beautiful leather luggage pieces. We choose bonded leather to cover the larger surface area of our cases because it is lightweight and durable, making it ideal for modern travel. This particular style of leather is a low-waste option, created by bonding smaller pieces of leather together before stretching them over a fiber sheet.

The SteamLine Luggage bonded-leather Cream & Hunter Green Diplomat

Our bonded-leather Cream Diplomat Carryon and Vanity (photo by Courtney Halverson) and Hunter Green Diplomat Vanity (photo by Christine Csencsitz & Carter Fish).

Vegan or Vegetarian Leather

Vegan leather—sometimes referred to as vegetarian leather—is a cruelty-free leather alternative. Made with sustainable materials, this vegan-friendly leather is made to imitate leather. However, besides being animal friendly, the price point of vegan leather is also attractive. Lightweight and durable, this leather alternative is a beautiful option for leather luggage if you’re looking for an animal-friendly option.

Vegan-leather Alchemist and Navy Entrepreneur by SteamLine Luggage
Our vegan-leather Alchemist (photo by Christine Csencsitz & Carter Fish) and Navy Entrepreneur (photo by Claire Oring).

Pasco Fiberboard

With Pasco fiberboard, a versatile Japanese fiberboard, SteamLine has crafted a wide variety of colorful cases. Made with wood pulp and recycled paper, Pasco fiberboard is a water-resistant and environmentally sustainable material. It is uniquely able to take vibrant color, creating a modern look that combines the old world with the new. The Pasco fiberboard material is coupled with SteamLine’s beautiful top-grain leather straps to make for a gorgeously cohesive mixed-media look.

SteamLine Luggage Suitcase Models
Our best-selling Correspondent Collection (photo by Siobhan Ferguson) and  Sweetheart Collection (photo by Luciana Terroni).


SteamLine Luggage's Starlet Collection on the Beach


Join SteamLine and Travel Beautifully. Explore our Pinterest for more travel inspiration.

Further Fascinating Reading

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