Leather Types and Quality
Full Grain Leather comes from the top layer of the hide which has all of the grain and is thus, full grain. Full grain leather is the strongest and most durable leather making it the best and high quality leather. Also, since the grain is so tight, it resists moisture very well. Overtime, full grain leather will looked nicer and nicer and develop a patina from being handled.
Top Grain Leather is the second- highest quality leather, just after full grain, because it is split from the top layer of blemished hide. Top grain leather is made by splitting a piece of full-grain leather and sanding away any imperfection in the hide and stamping a fake grain on it. It does not age nicely with use and will end up looking old and worn down after time. Top grain leather is the most common type in high end leather products.
Genuine Leather is produced from the layers of the hide that remain after the top is split off for the better grades. The surface is usually painted to resemble a higher grade. Genuine leather is the third highest grade of leather. This leather usually doesn’t last long or look as nice as higher quality leather. If you are looking to buy leather that is cheap and you don’t care about quality, then genuine leather is the leather you should buy.
Bonded Leather, also called reconstituted leather or blended leather, is leftover scraps ground together with glue and resurfaced. So if you can, you should avoid leathers like bonded leathers. Bonded leather is weak, degrades quickly with use, and is difficult or impossible to repair or recondition after wear or damage.