LEATHER GRADE TERMINOLOGIES
"Top Grain leather? Top as in best?" is a very common question we get. With so many leather terminologies involved, you are bound to be confused about some.
In this article, we will help you better understand leather so next time you shop, you'll be a pro!
There are 4 types of leather grades, listed in accordance to quality.
Here’s a cross-section image for you to reference to.
1. FULL GRAIN
The entire hide that hasn’t been sanded or buffed out to remove marks or imperfections (Full thickness of skin)
Most expensive amongst leather grades.
Usually untreated (Aniline) – Little resistance to scratches and stains.
Full Grain leather ages with grace due to process of patina (natural darkening of leather)
2. TOP GRAIN
The top layer of the hide that has been sanded and buffed slightly to remove defects and blemishes.
Typically less expensive
Usually treated (Semi-aniline) – Greater stain resistance than Full Grain leather if the finish remains unbroken.
Most common leather grade to be used because it has a great balance between resistance to stain and comfort
3. SPLIT GRAIN
It is the bottom layer of the hide.
Less expensive compared to Top and Full Grain leather.
Has an artificial layer (usually PVC) applied to the surface of the split and is embossed with a leather grain.
Can also be labelled as genuine leather even with a PVC layer on top.
4. BONDED LEATHER
It is the lowest grade of leather, because it isn’t really leather, but just shredded leather scraps and pieces reconstituted with filler.
The cheapest amongst leather grades.
Shredded leather pieces undergo reconstitution with filler to form bonded leather.
Still can be labelled as “genuine leather” by manufacturers/sellers because it is in fact made from small pieces of genuine leather.
We hope you have a better understanding of the different leather grades now.
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Leather Treatments – Aniline, Semi Aniline, Corrected and Pigmented.