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Grain Leather Definition: What is Grain Leather?

Grain Leather Definition: What is Grain Leather?

Grain Leather Definition
Grain Leather Definition: What is Grain Leather?

Leather grain is the way the hide looks. It has a texture similar to wood grain, but it isn't really wood. One big difference between leather and wood is that you can't cut leather. With leather, there are lots of misconceptions, like the fact that brands just slap on a fake grain. Inaccurately defined leather is one of the most confusing aspects of shopping for leather goods. We're here to teach you about the difference between full grain and top grain leather, as well as the durability of each type of Grain Leather definition.

Animals have a lot of different parts that might not be as easy to see, but one of the strongest is below the hair. This part of their hide has a tight grain pattern, and leather made from here is called "full-grain" leather. In terms of durability, full-grain leather is the best. When people use it and touch it, the grains get tighter and tighter and this is what protects the leather from moisture. Over time, full-grain leather will look better and better while developing a nice patina due to all that handling.

The next best – and second strongest – is known as "top-grain" leather. The leather of the top grain is comparable to the leather of the top grain, with the exception that the top pair of millimeters are polished up to remove away flaws. The leather will have a lot more consistent surface after the outer layer is removed, but will not be as robust – and will break up much more rapidly. More like a "cookie-cutter" leather, the majority of leather wallets and purses give it its basic appearance. The leather of top-grain may be superb, but its strength and longevity are not even near to the full-grain leather strength.

Steel Horse leather is made from the best quality leather. Even the highest quality leather will have small irregularities, such as healed scrapes from brushing against cactus or barbed wires, insect bites, brands from ranchers, fatty areas, and neck wrinkles. Even though these small imperfections are natural to the leather process, they do not make our products any less high-quality. The irregularities in our products make them special - they're the natural individuality that is handcrafted into each product.

Full Grain Leather

"What is full-grain leather?" we get asked often - and the answer is simple. Full-grain leather is the top layer of cowhide that remains after everything else has been cut off. A cowhide, which starts very thick, is sliced into at least two layers - the top cut and the bottom cut. Hides are cut into three parts. The grain on the top is full and the grain definition on the bottom is called "split-grain leather." The top cut is the strongest and most valuable part of the hide.

Full-grain leather is not altered through any mechanical stretch marks, insect bites, or other natural markings on the skin that are visible after the leather has been dyed. These markings are part of what makes this type of leather luxurious and unique. If you take a close look, you can see the grain. You can even see the hairs! Naturally, to get a product that will be used for leather furniture, automotive, or other applications (such as pigmented leather, bicast leather, and synthetic leather), full-grain leather must go through a vegetable tanning process before being finished. But before that, it's a true representation of what it started as a cowhide. The majority of cowhides have markings on them which makes them undesired in the marketplace. They can only be used for basic leather goods like bags or shoes, so they are not the most desired type in the marketplace.

The Grain

The grain is the outermost layer of the hide's top. It's what you can see. The fibers in this layer are very dense, tightly woven into the external layer for the cow's protection against predators and fences. And that makes sense. After all, a cow in the wild needs a tough outer layer to contend with these things.

The Junction

The junction is where the fibers loosen and the grain definition of the leather transitions from flat to a split or suede surface.

The Split (Suede)

The split-grain in the leather is the most commonly used leather type. It is softer and loaves up more in comparison to other parts of the leather. It's also the weakest part of the hide.

The most important part, though, is what happens next.

Altering the Hide

Once the top layer of leather is altered, it is no longer considered a full-grain definition. This is where things start to get a little confusing. Once the top layer is altered, you could have what's considered "top grain" or "corrected grain," or you might end up with "genuine leather."

What are the advantages of Full Grain Leather?

Strong, durable leather match! Who cares about that. The only thing that matters is how soft it is, right? Full-grain leather, the finest quality of leather, will provide you with great comfort for many years. Incredibly breathable and absorbent, this leather also ensures that less moisture penetrates from prolonged contact.

Full-grain leather is a special type of leather because it has distinctive animal markings, giving it a unique look. Full-grain leather is much more difficult to work with than other types of leather and so its products are high-quality well-crafted materials. So you want a leather chair to look better over time? Well, natural leather is the way to go. Full-grain leather develops that glossy patina that many people love. It's the main reason people have been attracted to natural leather for so long. It's beautiful and it's aging beautifully.

Steel Horse Leather offers high-quality full-grain leather products for the best price. We're committed to matching your needs and finding the perfect bag for you, whether you need it in a hurry or not. We're confident that we've got the perfect bag for whatever you need it for, be it business, traveling, or going out on the town.

Top Grain Leather
The Vernon Backpack | Genuine Vintage Leather Minimalist Backpack

Top Grain Leather

One way to distinguish top grain leather from other types is to think of cowhide. Top grain leather definition is a thin layer of the cowhide that has been minimally altered, sanded down to hide imperfections. You may be told that it's the same as full-grain leather, but I've found that this is simply not true in many cases.

It's easy to tell the difference between these two types of leather. Full-grain leather marketers make sure you know they are selling full-grain leather and that it's different from top-grain. Top grain marketing, on the other hand, is not as much about letting you know what it is or how it differs from full-grain leather. It appears as though the hide of the animal has been sanded. The term "top grain leather" typically means that something has been done to the hide, but it's not always sanding.

One reason this matter is that sanding the leather makes it weaker. We want our bags to last a long time, so we don't want to weaken the leather. Another reason is that the leather loses some character. Full grain leather comes in its natural state - and you can see all of the imperfections on the leather surface. Full-grain leather is of much higher quality than other types of leather. It's softer, lasts longer, and has a more natural texture. The full-grain hides are scarred from barbed wire fences, but the scars are barely noticeable. Full-grain leather also allows for the marbling, variety of colors, and texture of the hide to show through.

Genuine Leather

"Genuine leather" is a term that's been used to describe many things over the years, many of which are not actually made from leather. It's become so stretched in meaning that its definition may be meaningless. The best-kept secret in the industry is that many manufacturers use synthetic material (such as faux leather) instead of genuine leather.

But fortunately, many consumers are beginning to recognize that genuine leather is not necessarily better. The majority of consumers believe that this material is the "best" or at least warrants a higher price, which is often not true.

When people talk about genuine leather, they really mean "technically leather". But think about what "leather" is: it's a hide from a cow, right? Wrong. A long time ago, the definition of genuine leather was changed to include other animal hides like those from pigs, goats, and so on. This means that "genuine leather" now just means that it doesn't have to be from a cow—it can be from one of these other animals too. If you don't believe me, take a look at these descriptions of leather. "Genuine" is used for unattractive materials, such as scraps of leather. You can turn leather scraps of pig hide into "genuine leather" by sanding down the surface, making embossed leather, and cow leather, later reformatting it into a bag, jacket, or wallet.

One other thing to note. Full-grain leather is also real leather, but just like the first time we mentioned it, not every company selling full-grain leather will call it "real" leather because they know the difference. So, how do you know which leather is the best? One easy rule of thumb is full-grain. It is the full animal hide and not sanded down or weakened in any way. This means that hide selection is also important, as is the tannery process.

If you need to split or shave down the hide, it is done from the backside. This is so that the top layer of the hide isn't weakened with full-grain leather. In any event, it's a thin layer. If you want to have different thicknesses of leather for different products, full-grain leather is the way to go. Honestly, the top layer of a hide is not weakened with full-grain leather.

Enhanced grain

Some companies may incorrectly say that top grain leather is the same as corrected or enhanced grain. That's not the case. Top grain simply refers to the topmost layer of any hide. Manufacturers have found a way to make leather more appealing by sanding imperfections off the surface, then applying a grain print; this is called enhanced grain or corrected leather. It's also called corrected grain. There are many benefits to top grain leather because it has a tight fiber structure and provides a more uniform grain at a lower price. It is also still very durable.

Full Grain Leather Bags

Weekenders and Duffle Bags

Weekenders and Duffle Bags
The Dagny Weekender | Large Leather Duffle Bag

Our Handmade Full Grain Leather Duffel bags are designed with an elegant look to stand out from the crowd. When you buy one of these luxurious bags, you can be sure that it's been stitched to perfection. We don't overlook any small detail - even when we're paying attention to the way the bag looks. We started making our leather duffle bags to create a sophisticated design with durability. The full-grain leather definition and strong construction allow for the bag to be durable and versatile enough to serve many purposes. This weekend bag has a special compartment for all your clothes and other items. It is guaranteed safe with this bag, no matter how long you are gone.

Vintage Backpacks

The Asmund Backpack | Genuine Leather Rucksack

Elegantly handcrafted, the Full Grain Leather backpacks meet your demands every day. Wearing our backpacks never felt better with sturdy straps that fit comfortably. The packs are adequate for computers and other equipment. They are custom-produced uniquely to fit your everyday requirements and are constructed of high-quality full-grain leather. They are multipurpose. Elegance and comfort mix functionality and durability. You may bring it to school, work, or outdoor journeys. The bags feature a fresh timeless style and a special appearance.

Handmade Messenger Bags

Vintage Leather Messenger Bag
The Welch Briefcase | Vintage Leather Messenger Bag

Our Full Grain Leather Messenger Bags for men are designed to be spacious and stylish. The design ensures each item is protected, and the bag can carry all your items with ease. The leather messenger bags are back! And we're getting them made by hand. With a sleek, professional look and enough room to carry your laptop and more, these will be the perfect companion for work. You can switch from shoulder bag to briefcase-style with ease, and they're available in all sorts of different colors and patterns.

Leather Tote Bags

Handcrafted Leather Tote Bag
The Taavi Tote | Handcrafted Leather Tote Bag

These bags are made of high-quality leather, which is why they are so sturdy. They can carry books and notebooks, as well as any other item. They are also capable of carrying laptops up to 15 inches. Messenger bags are produced from high-quality leather, which ensures that the leather product is dependable and durable, with a natural color that grows with time.

Differences between Full Grain Leather and Top Grain Leather

Here are five main distinctions between full-grain leather and top grain leather – and yes, they are important. Learn more about the quality and which sort of leather is ideal for you.

1. Origin
Full-grain leather originates from the top layer of the hide and includes all the natural grain definition, whereas the outer grain layer of the hide is removed from the top grain leather.

2. Quality & Cost
The best quality leather that money can purchase is full-grain leather. The leather hide originates from the top layer and contains all the original grain. Manufacturers are less expensive to buy and harder to deal with. The cost for the customer reflects this.

Leather is the highest leather grade second and has removed the outermost hide layer. The leather is thinner and manageable for the maker, which is reflected in the price of full-grain leather. However, don't be wrong, high grain leather bags are still extremely sustainable and trustworthy, like our Madison Leather Tote Bag, our woman's strong daily essential.

3. Appearance
Our full-grain leather is a natural surface that tells a story through its natural imperfections. This type of leather is special because it has natural marks, light brands on the surface, and imperfections that are all evident in the markings on some of our leather messenger bags.

The natural grain definition is removed from the top surface of top leather and removes faults and defects. The top grain leather has been printed on an imitable grain after the original grain has been sanded and has a constant look, but the skin is losing its strongest fiber. You're lucky, though, with top-grain leather, if you desire uniform.

4. Aging
As the full-grain leather matures, it burns and enhances rather than wears out, producing a greatly sought-after patina with a distinctive character that cannot be replicated easily (Such as Crazy Horse leather). The more you utilize it, the more you feel and look.

Top grain leather is applied with a finishing coat that protects against stains that would otherwise stick right into full-grain leather. However, the refinishing process of top grain leather greatly reduces the leather’s breathability and also prevents the leather from developing a natural patina over time.

5. Durability

The natural grain of full-grain leather contains the strongest fibers in the hide, making it incredibly strong and durable. It is also extremely absorbent, making it less prone to getting wet from long-term contact. If you have a bag with full-grain leather, make sure to protect it with a leather conditioner and clean it right away if it develops a stain.

The loss of sanding off the strongest fibers in the natural grain hide is one of the drawbacks of top grain leather. Because of this, delicate top grain leather can be more prone to scratching than full-grain leather, which is why it is important to properly care for it.

Price vs. Quality - Full Grain Leather or Genuine Leather

Split leather is very much needed to make cheap, mass-produced "genuine leather" products for the retail sector. At first sight, you might not be able to identify the difference between a polished leather bag and a whole grain leather bag if a specialist looks at it very closely. At first sight a fresh new object, like a handbag.

A full-grain leather bag costs around 5-10 times as much as real leather alone. This makes split leather products (genuine) considerably more desirable to both producers and buyers. Why bother buying full-grain leather?.

Since a very thin layer of leather is used on most products, split and bonded leather may be cheaper than full-grain leather and top grain leather, but it usually doesn't last more than a few years. Peeling and cracking are common problems.

You begin to witness a gorgeous skate on your leather property when you get full-grain leather. Indeed, it turns into something more lovely after two to three years of use than you started! With age, it improves. You may be confident that you have invested soundly in a valued property. It is the greatest leather money that can be bought and it can be bought throughout the previous decades.

This is also true because this leather is highly suitable for high-quality crafts. All high-quality articles are made of hand-crafted leather.

Moreover, it does not end up in a settlement after 2 years of sporadic usage, unlike real leather, or vegan leather (a creative moniker for PU leather), or even aniline and semi aniline leather. There is no turning back once you utilize a full grain leather item. You're never going to return to 'true' leather, artificial grain, or artificial leather. So, what will be your next purchase of full grain leather?

Grain Leather Definition: What is Grain Leather?
Steel Horse Leather Co.

Wrapping it up

In short, the top grain refers to the hide or the top layer. On the other hand, full-grain and enhanced grain relate to the hide's creases and look. With an untouched surface, full grain is the most natural grain. Enhanced grain is polished gently to enhance its look. All top-grain leather delivers an outstanding durability, be it full grain or enhanced grain.

In the end: do not fall into the trap of "genuine leather" goods. We propose that you discover a trustworthy supplier for full-grain items and top-grain leather products if you're seeking authentic leather products. Both are fantastic alternatives for quality and longevity, but it is vital for you to choose between the two. Top grain is generally less costly than full-grain leather and provides even better resistance to blemishes if the finish is unbroken. But if you want to invest a bit more in higher-quality, life-long leathers – and look nice – then full grain leather definition is the way to go.