Leather in different colors

Full grain and top grain leather are popular choices for furniture and accessories. Full grain leather is made from the full hide of an animal, while top grain leather is made from the outer layer of the full hide. Each offers unique benefits depending on what you're looking for and where it will be used.

What is Full Grain Leather?

Full grain leather is considered to be the highest quality of leather. It has a tight grain pattern and is full of natural imperfections. Full grain leather will develop a unique patina over time, as well as a rich texture that improves with age. It's also extremely durable, making it ideal for high-traffic areas where it can easily handle wear and tear.

Here are some pros and cons of full grain leather that you should consider before making your purchase:

Pros of full grain leather:

• It is full of natural character and offers a unique, timeless look.

• It develops a rich patina over time that adds to its beauty.

• It's extremely durable and can handle wear and tear for years.

Cons of full grain leather:

• It is full of natural imperfections, making it difficult to find two pieces that match.

• It can be more expensive than other types of leather due to its high-quality.

What is Top Grain Leather?

Top-grain leather is made from the outer layer of a full hide. It has been sanded and buffed to remove any imperfections, making it a bit more uniform in appearance than full-grain leather. However, this also reduces its durability; top-grain leather can still last for years but may not be suitable for heavy-use areas.

Pros of Top Grain Leather:

- Has a more uniform appearance due to sanding and buffing

- Generally less expensive than full-grain leather

- Still offers good durability that can last for years

Cons of Top Grain Leather:

- Reduced durability compared to full-grain leather

- Not suitable for heavy-use areas as it may wear down faster

Suitable Uses for Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather is used in a variety of applications due to its superior durability and luxurious look. It is often seen in high-end furniture, such as sofas, chairs, and ottomans, as well as accessories like belts, wallets, handbags, and shoes. Full grain leather can also be found in car interiors and in products like equestrian saddles.

Our Arbor Trading Post leather products exclusively use full grain leather to give you a premium product that will last for generations. Our wallets, bags and other accessories are extremely durable and full of character, making them the perfect choice for daily use. Not only they will last you a lifetime, but they will also develop a unique patina over time that adds to their beauty.

Suitable Uses for Top Grain Leather

Top grain leather is a great choice for furniture and accessories that don't require heavy use or need to withstand the test of time. It can be used in items such as sofas, armchairs, wallets, belts, and handbags that won't be exposed to much wear and tear.

What is Genuine Leather?

You may have also come across the term Genuine leather. At first glance, you may think this referes to high quality. It is not necessarily true. Genuine leather is a term used to describe any type of full grain or top grain leather. It does not indicate quality - some full grain leathers are more durable than lower grade genuine leathers. Genuine leather can also refer to split leather, which is made by splitting full grain leather into two or more layers. Split leather is used in a variety of products such as bags, wallets and shoes, though it is not as durable or luxurious-looking as full grain leather.

In practice, if a manufacturer offers full grain leather products, they will make sure you know it is full grain. Similarly, top grain leather products are advertised as top grain. If you see genuine leather products, they are very likely not top grain or full grain.

In conclusion, full grain and top grain leather both offer their unique benefits. Full grain offers superior durability and a unique, timeless look that improves with age, while top grain is more affordable and offers a more uniform appearance. Genuine leather encompasses full grain and top grain leather, as well as split leather. Choose full grain if you're looking for a high-quality product that will last for years to come; top grain is suitable for applications that don't require heavy use or need to stand the test of time. Ultimately, full grain leather is the best investment for anyone looking for a premium product that will last for generations. If you're looking for full grain leather products, check out our collection from Arbor Trading Post! We offer high-quality full grain leather wallets, bags and accessories for daily use. Shop now and get free shipping on all orders!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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Our Mission

At Cheekoo's, we bring luxurious leather goods handmade using fine Italian and heritage American leather. Each item is carefully and lovingly made by expert craftsmen in beautiful Ann Arbor, MI.

Our mission is to ensure that every item you acquire from us is cherished for decades. If you are ever unsatisfied or need support for any of our items, we will be happy to make it right for you by every means possible.