How to Recognize Types of Leather?
It is normal to get confused when all the different terms and names for leather, such as full-grain, and top-grain, are thrown around.
The part where it is most confusing is that leather, too, has different types, which all have differing qualities. After all, many people just buy a product after seeing that it is made of leather.
But being leather alone doesn’t make a product, such as a duffle bag, the highest quality. Knowing that most of the customers out there are not leather specialists, we wanted to explain in detail what means high quality and what doesn’t.
But basically, there are two types of leather that customers ought to buy to get the quality they want: full-grain and top-grain. Still, it is best to know the properties of other leather types to be able to tell them apart and not buy a disappointing product.
HIGHER QUALITY LEATHERS
We believe it is essential to state that all our products are handmade and full-grain leather. This statement is particularly crucial because full-grain leather is the highest quality leather type available. Knowing whatever is sold in our store is always of the highest quality will help customers decide better.
Full Grain Leather
As said above, full-grain leather is believed to have the best quality as it doesn’t involve any extra processing. Full-grain means that as soon as the animal hide is transformed into leather, it is directly made into whatever product is it needed to be.
This leather type is produced from the top layer of an animal’s hide and does not pose any danger to the environment as it is the most natural leather type there is. On top of all these, with full-grain leather, chemical processing is not a thing. It is non-existent.
Since no chemicals are involved in easing the processing of the leather, it retains the thickness inherited from the hide. The lack of chemicals has downsides, too.
Remaining very tough and thick might be good for the quality and durability, but this makes it harder to make full-grain leather into a bag or any other product.
Making products out of full-grain leather is even more difficult if the said product is handmade. So, the price of handmade full-grain leather products like duffle bags like the ones we make tends to be higher.
- Considering this leather type can provide all the benefits mentioned in the previous paragraphs, the price is well worth the effort.
It should be noted beforehand that the full-grain bags often have imperfections on the surface as they are not chemically processed and are made of natural skin without any additions.
Whatever may occur on the surface of a full-grain leather duffle bag, it will always have the most extended lifespan. So, there is no need to worry.
Top Grain Leather
As the name suggests, top-grain leather, too, is made using the top layer of an animal’s hide. In this regard, there is no quality difference between top-grain and full-grain. Where it differs is the chemicals.
Whereas when producing full-grain leather, no chemicals are involved, with top-grain leather, chemicals will always be used to clear off any dots, imperfections, etc., on the surface.
This kind of situation may provide top-grain leather products with a better-looking surface, but there is an inevitable drop in the overall quality. That is why top-grain leather is most commonly preferred by perfectionists or people who cannot stand uneven surfaces, which is totally fine.
As it comes with a clean face benefit, the top-grain products are often showcased and used for fashion. Plus, the chemicals used to process this leather type make it easier to transform it into bags, wallets, or anything else.
So, apart from fashion-related choices, this leather type is perfect for customers looking for higher quality leather with a slightly lower price tag. As the said drop in the quality is not dramatic, the products made using this type of leather should still have a reasonably high quality.
The real difference is the chemicals involved and being completely natural. If the customer hesitates about the harm that chemicals might bring, then top-grain leather should not be preferred.
LESSER QUALITY LEATHERS AND FAKE LEATHER
Leather doesn’t always mean high quality. So, the other types, apart from full-grain and top-grain, should not be preferred by customers looking for quality. These leather types, even though they are really leather, cannot provide even a fraction of the quality that full or top grain leather has.
Because they are either made from lower parts of an animal’s hide or outright fake, they can only be considered cheaper options that are highly likely to disappoint.
Unfortunately, although the word “genuine” means real, the name of this leather is often used to confuse customers. To avoid confusing customers, we always include full-grain in the name of our products.
If a store only mentions the word “genuine,” it is most likely that the products sold are made using the lowest quality leather. What makes genuine leather genuine is that it is still made of an animal’s hide. But, since some parts of the animal’s hide, such as the top layers, have higher quality, and other parts like the bottom layers have lower quality, being made of an animal hide doesn’t automatically guarantee quality.
In this case, as genuine leather is made using the very bottom layers of the hide, or even the scraps of animal hide, that are leftover and unused, this leather type fails to achieve consistent and long-lasting qualities.
If the priority is not just getting a leather duffle bag but getting the highest quality possible, then buying genuine leather should never even be considered. Because not only does genuine leather last for a short time, but it is also not as resilient.
Full-grain or top-grain leather can be bought with just a bit more money, and any possible disappointment regarding handmade leather bags can be avoided altogether.
Thankfully, this time, the name says everything about this leather type. Because it is literally leather bonded together. Every other quality of this leather type is the same as genuine leather. It is not durable and is made of bottom layers of the hide.
But being leather parts that are stitched together was a possibility for genuine leather. For bonded leather, it is the reality. Because being bonded is its primary feature, ways to make stitch marks disappear have been developed, so it might not be possible to tell whether a leather duffle bag is made of bonded leather just by looking.
Instead, to avoid such an inconvenience, any description provided with the bag should be carefully examined.
Pu leather is a type of imitation leather that doesn’t have the quality even the lower quality leather types have; for this reason, it is also known as “false leather” or “faux leather. What this so-called leather type is actually made of is plastic. It only looks like real leather, but it is not actually real.
Luckily, though, it is easy to tell whether the leather product is false leather or real leather. Depending on the temperature the product gives off, it can be determined. Just pressing it down with a finger should do the trick. If a feeling of cold surrounds the finger, then the so-called leather bag is fake.
Even if they are of lower quality, real leather will always give off a warm feeling since it is literally made of animal hide.
This type of leather can easily be considered a waste of money because not only will it not have any of the qualities of the leather, but it will also contaminate the environment because of its plastic nature.
This type of leather should be avoided at all costs and not be considered as a cheaper alternative to real leather. Duffle bags made of pu leather, even if they are handmade, cannot last long and may even deteriorate after little exposure to sunlight.