How Many Types of Leather Are There?

How Many Types of Leather Are There?

June 10, 2022

As a new leather enthusiast, one of your first questions will probably be, “How many types of leather are there?” The following information will help you understand the cornucopia of choices you have when choosing leather products for yourself.

Which Kinds of Leather Are Available?

You’d be surprised how many different animals manufacturers use to create leather products. You’re most likely familiar with all the beautiful cowhide products like wallets, belts, purses, coats, hats, etc. However, the cow is only one animal manufacturers use to create such products. You can also find leather products that come from the skin of:

  • Snakes
  • Ostriches
  • Kangaroos
  • Pigs
  • Deer
  • Salmon
  • Alligators

Another category of “faux” leather products exists, and the manufacturers design those products to look and feel like real animal hide. The faux product line is one reason you should be careful when shopping for genuine leather products. There is a market for faux leather products if you desire them. Otherwise, you should take the time to search for a reputable leather broker to purchase authentic products.

How Many Types of Leather Exist?

Leather can be divided into so many different categories that we could say an endless number of types exist. However, dealers generally break down leather products into five categories based on their grades. The categories are as follows:

Genuine Leather

The first thing you think of when you see the term “genuine leather” is that it must be the best quality. That’s not necessarily true. Genuine leather products are real, as they come from the hide of an animal. However, they are not always the strongest and most long-lasting. These products come from various parts of the hide and are treated with sanding and buffing processes to add uniformity. Thus, they will lose some of their strength before getting into your hands. Many wallets and belts are crafted of genuine leather.

Bonded Leather

Bonded leather is only about 90 percent leather and consists of various leather particles that manufacturers bind together with plastics and attach to fiber materials. The good part about bonded leather is that product makers can easily dye it into different colors and designs.

Split-Grain Leather

Split-grain leather comes from the lower part of the hide, and it isn’t as tight as top-grain leather. Thus, it may not last as long as top-grain, but it will most likely be gorgeous. You’ll find this type of leather in products that have been glossed or colored.

Top-Grain Leather

Top-grain leather comes from the strongest part of the hide. However, the manufacturers sand and buff a few millimeters off it to make it look better. The processes used to sand it sometimes lower its durability, but the colors and finishes can make the buffing worthwhile.

Full-Grain Leather

Full-grain leather comes from the hide’s outer layer. The manufacturer only removes the hair and nothing else. Thus, it doesn’t go through the same sanding and buffing procedures as top-grain leather. That makes it more durable and long-lasting than top-grain.

Acadian Leather has several decades of experience dealing with leather products, and a wide variety of consumers trust them. Visit them to find a wide range of regular and exotic leather products. You also have the option to call and speak to a representative.

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