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In a world full of fast tracked items, branded luxuries like leather products have lost most of its charm that it had in the past. No more do people buy leather products so they can be passed through the generations. This is mainly because of faux leather seeping in the market over the years. Lexther has come in to save most of the faux leather industry with genuine top grain leather at an unimaginable price. Moreover, these products are not made in Chinese sweatshops but in contracted warehouses that are licensed under the fair trade agreement. However, if you must know the difference between good and bad leather, this is a must read post for you!
Full Grain Leather
Full-grain leather is the outermost layer of the skin. It has excellent strength and quality due to the cross arrangement of fibers. If you look closely using a magnifying glass, you can see the individual grains. Full-grain leather is considered to be the highest quality leather.
Generally, the outer layer of skin is defective due to its direct contact with the environment. Bruises, cuts and insect bites render a significant portion of the skin unusable in product manufacturing.
The low availability combined with the high quality is what makes it the most expensive leather on the market. Full-grain leather develops a beautiful patina over time which gives the material a very vintage look.
Top Grain Leather
The defective section of the full-grain leather is sanded down using various tools and machines to remove a thin layer of the upper grains.
This leather is called corrected or top grain leather. Top grain leather has slightly less strength compared to full-grain leather. It also develops a patina over time. Top grain leather is available in significant quantities, making it less expensive compared to full-grain leather.
Genuine leather is prepared from the lowest section of the skin where all fibers are arranged in almost parallel fashion. This parallel arrangement significantly reduces the strength and wear resistance of the finished leather and is therefore considered the lowest quality of leather.
Genuine leather has no grain marks and a very smooth surface. Usually, it is pressed with an artificial texture to give it a grainy look. Genuine leather is used in low-quality products due to its low price and availability.
Identification of Leather
Accurate leather identification requires some level of expertise. Generally, full-grain leather has visible surface grains and a feel of good quality.
Top grain leather has slightly fewer grains and a smoother surface compared to full-grain. In most cases, however, it appears identical to full-grain.
Genuine leather is easily identified due to its artificial texture and highly polished surface. It has a feel of low-quality and lacks grain spots, which are the identifying characteristics of full or top grain leather.