What Is Genuine Leather? And Knowledge On Real Leather Types
Generally, found on the backside of leather watch straps, belts, or inside other leather goods, a product’s leather quality will be stamped one of three following types: Genuine leather, top-grain or full-grain leather. But what exactly are meant by genuine leather, top grain, and full grain leather? Let’s find out the meaning of these types of leather in this post of Babu.
Since a cow hide is so thick, the layers are often cut and used to make different products. And, the quality of each layer will be various.
Genuine leather doesn’t just mean that the products are made of real leather, but it is the lowest quality of all products made out of real leather. That’s why you can see some products stamped Genuine leather, but their durability is very low and easily worn after a short time of use.
If classified in accordance with the layers of leather, real leather is divided into 3 types: full-grain leather, top-leather, and split/ bicast leather.
Full-grain leather is the grade of leather that retains the natural surface of leather including all imperfections and inherent toughness of the animal skin. It is characterized by its luxurious, smooth surface and it has few, if any, flaws. It is the most popular type of leather.
It is often used for heavy-duty leather items for instance of gun holsters, belts, and briefcase. Full-grain is hard-as-nails and will develop a rich patina as it ages, looking more and more beautiful as you use it. However, because of its hardness, it is not suitable for soft items such as purses and small bags.
Full-Grain Leather bags
Top-grain leather has the second-highest leather quality of the high-end category of leather products. It is just the leather layer of Full-grain leather. It’s made by splitting a piece of full-grain leather and sanding away any imperfections in the hide and stamping a fake grain on it to make it a flawless, perfect surface. Therefore, basically, this type of leather is still durable, but not durable as Full-grain one, and suitable for the vast majority of purses for women, as well as small leather goods for men such as wallets and belts.
Products from Top-grain leather
Split/ Bicast Leather: is the grade of leather which has been removed from the Top-grain layer, and only dermis is left. Thereby, it is less durable and cheaper, and often covered with a layer of fake leather on the surface to imitate Top-grain leather.
If basing on the texture of leather to classify, we have the following types:
Bonded leather: It is made of scrap leather and other materials which are glued altogether. On average, there is only about 17% real leather. Bonded leather is like “plywood”, but instead of wood, it is made of leather.
Patent leather: leather is treated with glossy plastic surface.
There are two different ways to create this type of leather. One is top-grain leather but flip inside out which is really durable (because actually it is the backside of top-grain leather). And the other is the skin that the top-grain layer has been removed and the next is the outer surface of the skin (known as split/ bicast leather), so this type of leather is much less durable than other types of leather. Normally, suede leather is known as the second grade with low quality in the market.
See watch straps are made of Suede leather at this link: https://babuhandmadeleather.com/product-tag/suede-leather-watch-strap
Metallic leather: is covered with a layer of laminate. The inner leather layer depends on the manufacturer’s choice that may be top-grain as well as split leather.
Metallic leather handbag
If classifying leather based on the surface treatment methods, we have these following types:
Aniline (full-aniline leather/ sauvarage): the surface of leather is sprayed and dyed with aniline. Aniline is normally used for the full-grain or top-grain leather.
Pull-up Aniline: this type of leather is similar to the above; however, it is covered with one more layer of wax.
Semi-Aniline: the leather is covered with a very thin protective layer on the surface. It is a good choice if you don’t like leather with protective layer.
Pigmented: this type of leather is gone through more processes than others. It is smoothed, pigmented, embossed to create texture, and creased so that the whole leather colour will be homogeneous and flawless.
Nubuck (StoneWashed or Chaps leather): Nubuck is usually top-grain, but its grain surface is processed to make it soft and smooth. Clearly, Nubuck and Suede leather are different, but many of you may easily confuse between these two types of leather.
Saffiano Leather: Initially, Saffino leather was created by Prada brand – Italia. It is made of high quality calfskin leather and tanned by vegetation (not using chromium). “Saffiano” means a method of surface treatment of leather by stamping diagonal texture on the wax layer coated on the surface of calfskin.
These days, this diagonal texture is produced in many places; therefore, the standard is changed. Instead of wax layer, a layer of PU is used, but it is still called Saffiano. The PU coating, of course, is not high quality leather and is very popular on the market today.
Typical texture of Saffiano leather.
Besides, other definitions relating to leather such as Faux leather (fake leather), Exotic leather (tanned leather but not cowhide), Hair on leather (tanned leather that still retains the hair of animals)
Please contact Babu for more details of leather products: https://babuhandmadeleather.com