How to spot quality in Leather
Quality is everything when it comes to leather. It’s easy to take a costly misstep in a minefield of unfamiliar terms.
Today I’m going to give you a clear breakdown of exactly what to look for in good leather, and a translation of all the lingo. You can use this guide when you’re buying leather jackets, bags, and belts too.
Types Of Leather – Difference Between Full Grain And Top Grain
The layers of leather correspond to the layers of an animal’s skin. Think back to that skin cross-section in your high school biology textbook and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The quality of a leather garment is based chiefly on which layers it uses. Only three kinds of leather are generally considered good quality. From the top down (literally and metaphorically):
2. Top Grain Leather
This one often confuses people, and with good reason.
Below these three are the leathers I don’t recommend buying:
leather is lower quality top-grain leather that’s been heavily buffed (so it’s lost a lot of its surface) and then embossed with a fake grain.
translates to ‘the poorest quality leather we can get away with.’ It’s usually made of several layers from the very bottom of the corium (left over from making good leather), bonded together with glue. It won’t last long, and the layers are likely to come apart.
Below this isor . This consists of scraps of leather mashed into a pulp and spread over a fabric backing. It gets de-constituted and unbonded really fast. If your leather is flaking and peeling, that’s probably what you’ve got.