Knowledge is power

Knowledge is Power

Types of Leather

There are 4 different levels of quality in leather. Full Grain, Top Grain, Genuine and Bonded.

GOOD: Top Grain Leather

  • Top grain leather is produced from the top layer of a hide (typically cow hide), but is sanded and refinished to remove visual defects and blemishes. While it may not maintain its appearance and wear in nicely like full grain leather, it is just as durable.


: Full Grain Leather

  • Full grain leather is also produced from the top layer of the hide but is not sanded or refinished and shows all natural markings and grains. With aging and consistent use, this leather will appear more polished and wear in nicely.

BEST: Premium Full Grain leather

  • This full grain leather is produced from younger beef type cattle breeds. There is extra wax added in its finishing process.
  • With this extra wax added at the tannery these leathers will “burnish” or “patina” much more quickly and, because they are more supple, will both last forever and will age much more “gracefully.”

Genuine Leather: (Not so genuine after all) Made from the splits of the hides 

  • Genuine leather is usually produced from the SPLIT - remaining layers of hide after the top grain is removed to be finished into better grades. Much weaker than the top portions of the hide. Essentially a “finished split” is suede that is refinished to resemble higher quality leather. Even though it’s fairly low quality, many products like wallets and purses boast a ‘made from genuine leather’ tag.
  • Products stamped as Genuine Leather could be a higher grade but any low grades cannot be stamped as Top Grain or Full Grain.
  • Bonded genuine leather is one of the lowest grades and is made by mixing shredded leather scraps and fibers with bonding materials. Because of the way it’s made, the leather content of bonded leather can be as low as 60%. Of all types of leather, it is also the least durable and tends to shred or tear easily.



Is there really a comparison?

For most factories, the focus is on huge scale production in an effort to save money…every cent counts, so it is tempting to settle for cheaper quality materials.

We are hand-working leather-crafters who believe that small scale production is the better option. We are under no pressure to save pennies to keep million dollars in stock. Besides, with the several hours of time and effort it takes to make our bags, who would want to settle for cheap materias?