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Is there a difference? Full Grain Leather Vs. Top Grain Leather

Updated: Apr 23

Today I wanted to discuss the four basic types of Leather. Since the early 17th century leather has come a long way in fashion. From the lionskin cloths to high-quality industrial tanneries today. In general, today leather is divided up into this category.

The first layer of vegetable tanned leather is Full grain. The second layer is top grain, the third layer of vegetable tanned leather is split-grain leather, and fourthly is genuine or corrected bonded leather. Which has been given the term over time, "Pleather" this process of genuine leather is compounded of different synethic plastic materials such as, plastics, vinyl etc.


Vegan and Faux leather is generally a low-grade product of genuine leather. A make-up of material that does not use animal skin. With vegetable tanned leather the best quality of leather is the full-grain leather, and a good second is top grain leather.

As this process of leather, when it is removed from the animal skin, from the full-grain leather there's a thickness and the fibers from the skin of the animal are much tougher and the fibers stick up vertically. Leather fibers from other material that are horizontal are weaker and cause a quicker breakdown.


"Vegan and Faux leathers" use a syntenic plastic material like cork. Which this Synetic plastics are made up of - Polyvinyl Chloride which can easily breakdown and crack this kind of leather. Thus, causing a major difference in price and quality of the types of leather products like, purses, tote bags, leather wallets, leather belts, gloves, knife sheaths, holsters, leather pants, and boots to name a few!


Did you know? That it takes most leather tanneries around the world, two months to produce a full-size vegetable tan cow hide from one animal. While Chrome tanned leather can be easily produced in just about one day.


Here, at Michigan Custom Craftworks we get most of our leather from tanneries in Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Mexico, and Belgium.


Finally, that is all for this Leathercrafting discussion . Please leave your comments below, give us a thumbs up if you like our content. We'll see you on the next blog!


Buy Michigan, Buy Local

Michigan Custom Craftworks LLC

Joe McNally- Owner/Writer



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