What Are The Different Types of Leather Grades

image c/o saddelbackleather.com

18 Seconds About the Leather in Your Life

I get asked a lot about what the difference between different types of leather is, and I find that I see this in the real world all the time.  What does it mean when the product says "Genuine Leather" for example?  Or how strong is suede really?    Let's take a look...

Full Grain - The most expensive, strongest, long lasting, durable, and best that money can buy.  This is because it uses all of the strong fibres and grains from the skin.  The others will imitate.

Top Grain - This is where the top layer has been shaved off and re-surfaced to act as if nothing has happened.  Companies do this to get rid of the blemishes of the skin, but it comes at the cost of losing the strongest layer of the leather.

Genuine  - Once the top layers have been cut off for the better grades of leather, the remaining layer can be resurfaced and again made to look like a proper leather.  The fibres at this layer are a lot looser and therefore weak.  Suede is also often made from this layer.
 

Bonded - You can probably tell what to expect as we get this far down the list.  Bonded leather is basically glueing together all of the dust and scraps that have been leftover.  If you are looking for any respectable longevity out of a product, please avoid this at all costs.