Different Types of Leather Grains You Should Know

Different Types of Leather Grains You Should Know


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Today I wanted to talk to you about different types of leather grains. I've done a lot of research on the web, going to YouTube and on the internet. I see a lot of information about the difference between full grain leather and top grain leather.

leather fabric

Some of these videos and blogs just make people misunderstood. Here I want to talk about something I know about different leather grains. This first part of the blog I'm just going to basically cover the different types of leather.


full grain

So, at the tannery when they take a high-end it's about the original leather thick which is about three and a half four millimeters that's a full thickness of a leather hide and the hides are run through a machine under pressure. That's got a cylindrical blade, very sharp blade and the hides are pulled into the machine and they cut it thickness wise similar to veneering the log. When they separate that the suede side, it would be like the back side of the hide and another side is the top crank portion where the hair follicles were so those have been removed now this is considered full top grain.

full grain leather detail

If they haven't altered the cell structure of the leather at all, if anything's done to the surface of the leather like sanding or embossing that basically makes it not a full top grain anymore.

full grain leather

This is the most expensive raw material. Normally full top-grade leathers are usually in the top say three to five percent of the world, so there's not a lot of that material available. It's very expensive and they usually die of diabetes with enamel. Either they'll do a pure A-1 or a full antolín. A pure Hamelin is just a translucent stain used to cover the hide, so that's the full top grade.


There's also what they call the full A-1 that it's a full top grain leather. A little over selection of raw material so there's some like micro pigment on to the surface to give it some coloration of a still full natural grain now they happen what they call it hand scream. Enhanced grain is a full top grain leather but they plate the grain of the surface a little bit, they don't necessarily sand it or buff it but they do plate it so this happens to be a breading.

full top grain leather

It's got different grade textures and this being a little bit lower selection to hide where these are in the top three to five percent these would probably fall in the top 10 to 12 percent so there's more of the raw material available in the industry.

full top grain

A little less cost and a little more processing done so they can apply more micro pigments to the leather and a clear coat to make it washable and durable so this is the hand spring which is referred to as an aniline plus or also known as semi-aniline leather.


top grain leather

The next one is top grain so this starts out as a full grain but they actually go on top of the hide and they buff it or sand it down. The reason they do that is to remove the imperfections and the hide and to make the leather more even, and then they press a grain on it under each so they have a like a 20-ton press that they press a grain into it so when you look at top-grade leather cut off well on this leather but it's got a uniform great texture.

top grain leathers

These leathers are in the next 10 to 50 percent of the world. High supply may be 10 to 20 percent of the worldwide supply. They have more natural occurring imperfections worn scratches Babur nicks and other things that they conceal by sanding and embossing the grain and then they put color pigments on the surface of it so this leather is finished more.

top grain leather detail


It's technically not as breathable as the other ones but it's the most durable so split leather is the cut below the top grain and like we talked about, it basically looks like this image. It's a suede side but what they do is after its split they emboss agree on it.

split leather

Again under heat and paint pigmented up a lot and that's used in the industry with some manufacturers and non-touch areas on furniture so where you sit and touch they would generally use a full grain or a top-grade leather.

split leather2

Usually if it has a split leather on it at all it's probably going to be a top grain to the seating areas then the outside arms and the outside back of the furniture will have split leather maybe down between the seat cushions. They do that to save some cost that they can pass on to the consumer who obviously doesn't want to use it.

They split leather in a seating area, it doesn't all finish very well and it does stretch a lot so it's not recommended there but in a ton on touch area. It's fine and won’t have an issue with that if you spend a little more money, you can get to upgrade all over that might be preferable for some people.


Really, it's not real leather now, the backing of this is ground up the leather hides so when you flip it over it kind of looks like leather as compared to the real thing this has about 15 to 20 percent ground up raw material in the back depending on the quality of the bonded. Some have as low as 10% so instead of as high as 25 but anyway it's laminated with fabric and PVC so they mix this in a mixture and melodies together and then they embossed a grain on it to try to make it look like leather so you can see the texture of it comes in a variety of colors but it's really just a plastic this is not recommended for furniture.

bonded leather

Now if you buy it in a CD Gary it will peel. It's just a matter of time it might be a year there might be two years but it's going to delaminate appeal. Real leather doesn't feel bonded leather. It's not real leather, it's plastic. Now with that said some manufacturers use what they call leather match and you tend to find it generally on motion furniture more price sensitive products.

The seating areas would have a level usually a top grain and then the non-touch areas of the furniture would have a matching vinyl. Most manufacturers use a thinner grade of vinyl with a cotton backing and it's not very durable. I can tear it easy so bonded leather would be a better choice there in the non-touch areas.

Which Type is Better

You'd get real top grain leather in the seating areas then you do your bonded match on the sides and back that would be an option for you. I'd always tell you to buy a hundred percent leather if you have a choice but it is not your budget and you have to buy a leather match then see if you can get the bonded match because it's a stronger vinyl still plastic but it's better than the normal PVC vinyl.

leather type

They normally use so that's the only time I would ever probably use this. If you're going to buy leather and you need something durable, you're probably going to get in a top grade letter. There's not too many full top grade leathers that are very family friendly because the quality of the raw material dictates what they do to the finish and the full brain letters tend to be an alum died only so they're more susceptible to scratches fading body oils food and liquid absorption because of that but the trade-off is you get the real thing. It's going to build a little the patina over time from use, it's very soft and supple you're going to get to see into the leather article.

a leather furniture

You'll see the life of the animal, fat folds, neck wrinkles and you'll see a little bit of you might see manure burners tick and bite small imperfections in the leather. This shows if you get a full angle in some of that will be concealed because of the light micro pigment done on top so this gives you a little bit more serviceability and cleanability.

different leather type

Here we go to the enhanced grain leather this probably has the best of both worlds because you get some of the naturalness of the ambulance but the clean ability and serviceability of the pigment but with a better hand which is the feel and wider color range and this is a real popular leather for most people in a family room setting.

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