What is Full Grain Leather and what makes it so special?

This is a question we sometimes ask ourselves. Many items around us are made of leather - "Genuine leather", "Real Leather" or "something else leather.

Leather is a word we like and connect to. It is a natural, warm, pleasant material and humanity has a history with it. We know and believe a leather product will be both great looking and will last us a long time. 

But how are we supposed to make sense of so many leather names? What do they mean and how do we choose the best one, so we can enjoy leather at its' best?

Well, allow us to shortly explain. It looks like nowadays not all leather is actually real leather, or the best version of it, anyway.

Full Grain Leather is what leather used to mean in the good old days.

Full Grain Leather close-up

It means that the leather is a natural as it gets. It gets to keep its' top layer, where leather fibers are vertical and close-knit. It looks beautiful, it will last longer and gain patina over time. The full-grain also means any marks on the skin will be visible, so the leather cut must be carefully chosen to avoid any defects. This is the most expensive leather, too, and for good reason.

Other leathers might have the top, full-grain layer sanded off, to remove any defects - that would be called top grain leather. This is a widely used leather in the fashion industry, as it is more versatile and fewer defects on the surface, so choosing the best pieces is no longer a problem. Most known fashion houses will use this leather. But it does come with a loss in strength compared to full-grain. This leather will not gain patina over time.

As you go lower in the layers of the leather, you can also get Suede and split leather. That is also leather, but the resilience is not by far the same. It will require a synthetic top layer, to look like leather. This is what we usually get under the name of Genuine leather or real leather.

We do hope we answered some of your questions about leather in this article and we welcome any other questions you might have!