Full Grain  vs. Top Grain Leather

Full Grain vs. Top Grain Leather

Here at basäder, we only use the finest leather in our bags. Our mission is to create lifetime bags, a one-time purchase or heirloom to pass down to your children. And with this in mind, the only way to accomplish this is by using full-grain leather.
Only the best hides will be processed into full-grain leather, and we only utilize full-grain leather. The exception to this is the interior of our bags, where we sometimes utilize top-grain or suede-like leathers due to their soft outer-layer (so as not to scratch electronics).
Our bags are lifetime bags because we use “Full-Grain” leather.
Simply put, full-grain leather is the top-most part of the leather, referred to as the “grain”. The grain layer is the thickest, most durable layer. It’s a tightly knit network of collagen bundles with a host of unique properties. It’s porous yet water resistant so it breathes. It reacts and “tans” based on its surroundings, giving it a character much-like wood. Yet it is resistant to so many elements, like tearing, flexing, puncture, abrasion, fire and even fungal attacks. And further, you can enhance these properties with proper care. Full-grain leather can include deformities, like mosquito bites, bumps, scars, etc. The lives of our bovine friends are visible on this top-layer of a hide. Therefore, only the finest hides can be turned into full-grain leather, and hence it is the most expensive.
What if you have a hide peppered with mosquito bites and pock marks? Most likely this hide will be sanded down, the top-protective layer removed completely, so it can be sold as “Top-Grain”. A decent leather for furniture and bag interiors. But you end up removing the most beautiful and durable section of a hide, the top-layer.
Suede and “Genuine Leather”:
And that leaves us with Suede and Genuine Leather. We will go into this in another post or append here. But these types of leather are not suitable for bags. If you are looking at a bag with a low ticket price, chances are this is the leather used. There are so many tricks to get this type of leather to look like a full-grain leather. But they will not last very long, and the quality quickly deteriorates over time.
For now, we wanted to post the image here for reference, but we will be revisiting this topic soon. As always, contact us if you have any questions.
See some of our full-grain handmade leather bags here.
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