Types Of Leather – Grades, Cuts And Leather Identification
Most of us are just curious about leather quality and authenticity – whether the leather is pure and premium or is it artificial? How do I buy the best leather jacket with original and durable leather? To clear the wind and to ensure you buy the original premium leather goods – get insights on the types of leather and their qualities, grades, and finishes from this blog.
There are several types of leathers with their respective unique qualities. The leather is identified by the looks of its cuts, finishes, grades, type of animal, and fur. The leather is altered either during the manufacturing or finishing process. Besides, the quality of leather also depends on the type of animal hide and leather cut.
First, get yourself familiar with the term Leather Hide. It is the skin of an animal – a natural substance with unique qualities and characteristics with different benefits and purposes. A leather hide is the protective layer of an animal to their internal body safe. Moreover, it counts the furs or hair to guard the animals against exposure to heat, cold, and scratches.
A leather hide is distributed in four different layers. Each layer has its pattern and quality. These layers are:
- The Grain
- Grain and Corium Junction
- The Corium
- The Flesh
The outermost layer of leather hide or skin of an animal is the grain. It is exposed to sunlight, rain, and air. Therefore, the grain is comprised of strong, intense fibers to protect animals from exposure. It is inimitable because of its strong and smooth characteristics.
The Grain and Corium Junction:
It is a junction between the grain and corium – the tough outer layer of leather (grain) blends into the loose fibers of the corium. Corium is the desired grain layer with more and looser fibers.
The Corium Layer:
The loosened fiber layer under the grain layer is called the Corium Layer – consists mainly of collagen fibers. The Corium layer is the thickest in an animal hide and is highly recommended for producing leather.
The flesh layer includes the fats and tissues of animals. The corium and grain layer are cut to obtain the flesh. However, it is not ideal for crafting valuable leather.
Finally! The Types of Leather
There are mainly five types of leather – common ways to grade leather. Each variation has different performance and quality. Without wasting any more time, let us explore the types or grades of leather that meatpackers offer to tanneries.
As the name goes “Full-Grain Leather”; contains the outermost layer of the leather hide called the Grain. Usually, hair and furs are removed only – not buffed or sanded to avoid any imperfections in the leather. We know that the grain is composed of tight fibers, therefore, making the full-grain leather most durable, resilient, and tough. As a result, the leather type is the most expensive and appealing but least common.
The sanding and buffing process of removing imperfections dismantles the toughness and durability of the leather. The full-grain leather offer water-resistance qualities. Hence, it is the highest graded or quality leather. The most common use of full-grain leather is in furniture, shoes, and saddlery.
Upon sanding and buffing to remove the imperfections of the Full-Grain Leather, we get the Top-Grain Leather – a small degree change. Consequently, it makes the leather soft and pliant. However, the sanding makes it look more appealing but eliminates the durability and resistant qualities of the leather. Top-Grain Leather is usually good for leather wallets, leather handbags, or other bags and shoes.
Do not get yourself get overwhelmed with the word “genuine” as it is not what it means. Genuine Leather is fostered when full-grain or top-grain leather is sanded and buffed to remove all the imperfections – also known as Corrected Leather. Moreover, it is further dyed or sprayed to give an alluring look to the jacket.
As a result, the process makes the leather less durable and impermeable. The type of leather is often used to make belts, shoulder bag strips, and similar products.
Split Grain Leather – Suede:
Split Grain Leather also known as Suede is made of the lowest layer of the top-grain area of the animal/leather hide – the layer just above the flesh. Despite, being cut from the bottom of full and top-grain, the leather produced is useful.
Nevertheless, the surface of the split-grain is not as dense, resistant, and valuable as others. Therefore, it is not much as useful to foster any high-end products but add great value to those items. How does it add more value? The suede is utilized to add finishes in high-end leather products – colored, embossed, and alterations to the surface. Contributing itself to making other leather types have an attractive look!
Bonded Leather – Reconstituted Leather:
The most scrapped leather, shredded and bonded together with polyurethane or latex onto a fiber sheet forming Bonded Leather or Reconstituted Leather. The leather percentage in bonded leather is just about 10% to 90%. Often used to give color and vibrance to particular grain leather products.
Wondering how the leather jacket is red? It is either bonded leather or Suede.
How Do I Identify the Leather Type?
Now we know all the types and grades and everything needed to know about leather. The real challenge is to identify the leather type when buying a hard-wearing Motorcycle Leather Jacket. Here are the most useful methods to identify the leather type;
- The original leather is never perfect, has rough edges and an inconsistent grain pattern.
- The original leather is resilient, flexible, and soft.
- The leather should smell like leather, not like plastic or any chemical.
After all, now you know the types of leather plus the ways to identify them. Now it is time to go out and shop for the best Leather Jackets, leather backpacks, Bags, and other leather products for yourself and your family. Moreover, it is Black Friday, avail up to 50% off on all leather products with your favorite brand!