Leather is a timeless material that will never go out of fashion for its unrivalled quality and sustainability. It champions artisan craftsmanship as it turns the tides on style in more ways than one, making it one of the best options that offer both functionalities and build no matter the trend.
Investing in leather products is worth every penny as it can last you a lifetime, but buying the right one that suits your taste or budget depends on the grade of the leather. That’s why this article aims to dig deeper into the differences between leather grades to help you in your purchasing decisions.
1. Full Grain Leather
Coming out as the top dog in all of the leather grades, full-grain leather offers an heirloom quality that can last for generations. Its durability is not without its merit as this particular leather means it contains the intact grain of the hide, meaning it has the least amount of alterations compared to the other grades.
Since it didn’t undergo as much processing, it fashionably wears natural markings and blemishes, but it is all part of the charm. With more presence of life surrounding the leather, the more luxurious it is. The best part is that its beauty grows over time as the leather will develop its patina as it absorbs moisture and oils through the years.
2. Top Grain Leather
People say to not settle for the second-best, but top-grain leather proves that even falling behind can offer just as much beauty and reliable performance. The difference is that top-grain leather is from the top cut of the hide on the same area wherein the full-grain is split, which means it’s smoother.
Seeing as it undergoes heavy refinement as the imperfections are buffed out, some of its unique touches are lost in the process. Without the ability to absorb oil, top-grain leather will show signs of wear-and-tear over time, though it makes up for its lack of longevity with its water resistance.
3. Split Grain Leather
Often seen as part of the bottom cut, split-grain is considered as stylish leftovers since it is the part of the leather that gets shaved at the bottom. There is no presence of grains throughout the surface, giving it a suede touch that is often a sign of lesser quality.
With no natural markings to give it a distinct appearance combined with the lack of porousness, buying split-grain leather is a short-term choice as it cannot withstand the test of time. While its embossed to mimic the look of full-grain leather, it will not age as well as it seems.
The Bottom Line: Judging Leather By Its Cover
Leather is a durable and stunning material that can last you a lifetime if you invest in the right grade. With that in mind, the guide above should help you in your shopping journey and point you to the cream of the crop.
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