What Are the Different Grades of Leather?

What Are the Different Grades of Leather?

June 28, 2019

If you’re in the market for custom purses in Baton Rouge, LA, or if you’re looking for any other kind of high-quality leather product, then you probably want to know a bit about the different grades of leather before you start shopping. After all, leather products are an investment, and depending on the leather’s quality, it can last you a year or a lifetime. That being said, make sure you should put the time into knowing what you’re getting when you purchase a leather product.

When it comes to leather, there’s a nearly infinite number of grades, but here we’ll be generally categorizing them into five. So, what are the five most common grades of leather shoppers should know about? Let us give you a quick rundown.

Full grain leather

Full grain leather preserves the complete grain of the hide, and it is the only leather grade to do this. For this reason, full grain leather is the most durable of all the leather grades, and the toughest. Resistant to wear and tear, and water absorbent, full grain leather can last a lifetime. Vegetable tanned leather and distressed leather are the two most common full grain leathers.

Top grain leather

Despite its name, some top grain leather isn’t even made from the topmost layer of the hide. In comparison with full grain leather, top grain leather will have its surface sanded off and undergo more processing. It is also water resistant and tends to show more nicks. However, top grain leather is still one of the best leather grades, and it is a common choice for custom-made purses.

Split grain leather

Suede is the most well-known form of split grain leather. This grade of leather doesn’t use the hide’s grain, and for this reason, it is one of the softer grades of leather. Often used to make purses, shoes, belts and jackets, split grain leather is a favorite grade for those looking for a softer feel and aesthetic.

Genuine leather

Technically, genuine leather isn’t an actual leather grade. In fact, the term “genuine leather” came about as a marketing ploy that aimed to trick consumers. While it is still technically leather, it comes from the bottom cut of the hide and goes through heavy treatment processes. It also doesn’t contain any of the original grain.

Bonded leather

Last—and in this case, least—is bonded leather. Again, this isn’t technically a real leather grade, but rather is made up of leather leftovers (scraps, dust, plastic and glue) all bonded together, as the name implies. Bonded leather is the lowest of the low, and even faux leather and wax canvas are a better buy than this.

Now that you know your stuff, you can shop for custom purses in Baton Rouge, LA (or alligator boots or ostrich wallets or whatever else your heart desires) without getting duped. As a family-run business, we at Acadian Leather have been providing clients with only the highest-grade leather for over 25 years. Come see us today to check out our selection!

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