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Types of Leather

Types of Leather

The tendencies of the modern world are constantly changing and improving. The only thing remains the same – the popularity and demand for high-quality, genuine leather. Listen, while some people replace natural leather with artificial alternatives, real leather fans are in to opt for the best quality 100% leather. What is your choice?

Maybe, you need a new purse, bag, watchband or any other item. Premium quality Horween leather products offered at olpr. will be your best decision. Personalized items with individual engraving and other customized details are offered by an experienced and highly professional company. No matter what product you want to buy, you should be aware of the types of leather available on the market.

Certain differences in daily care, durability and overall look will take place. So, it means you need to investigate different types of leather before opting for a single one.

You will also be interested: leather journal

Full Grain Leather

Quick fact! There are over 10 various leather grades that become the material for quality and fashionable items. Full-grain is one of the most expensive leather types but, at the same time, it is one of the most quality ones. The main specification of leather is the process of its processing. The material is taken from the top layer of the hide, right below the hair.

An important thing that remains is natural grain, which is widely appreciated. The leather is not rugged, but the authentic touch of the material is preserved. What is important? Full-grain leather is considered to be ultimately durable and water/scratch-resistant.

Additionally, these features presuppose a high demand for a practical and sturdy material, which is also valued by its natural appearance. Have you noticed scars or scratches? They are all-natural, and every piece of it is unique.

Top Grain Leather

While full-grain leather is the leader of sales and ranking, top-grain material just follows it. Why is it like this? It is simple: top grain is made of full-grain leather, by sanding and buffing it with the abrasive wheel.

As a result, you get a perfect surface without any defects or imperfections. Then, the leather is embossed with a special grain pattern, which looks exceptionally natural. Besides, such material is covered with a transparent resin topcoat, which is applied in a matte or high gloss finish.

Is it less quality? Surely, no; the top grain is considered to be a high-quality leather, while handcrafted items made of it are ultimately appreciated on the market. So, what you actually get is quality full-grain leather at most of its cheaper alternative. Besides, comparing these two types, you may notice that top grain is more stain-resistant, pliable and soft.

Split Leather

Another leather type that is widely spread and popular on the modern market is called a split. It is made from the inner layer of the hide. The surface gets covered with an artificial layer, necessary buffing, and sanding. A grain pattern and polymer coating are applied to the top of the material.

At important process takes place at the stage, when chemicals are applied, as they can restore the original durability and strength of the hide. Why is split still popular? It is soft and thin. These factors contribute to their lower cost but higher appreciation for those, who work with handmade items. It is much easier to work with, especially when it comes to tiny details.  

Bonded Leather

Bonded, blended and reconstituted are different names for the same leather type. Listen! The most important feature of the item is the use of organic leather leftovers for the production of other items. Different leftovers, which are bonded and shredded together with latex or polyurethane onto a fiber sheet, are used to produce bonded. The degrees of organic leather may vary within the mix, ranging from 10% up to 90%.

It means that durability, texture and similar qualities of leather may vary greatly. Traditionally, manufacturers finish the product with a texture and a firm coating, so the item looks realistic and lasts longer.

Other Types of Leather You May Come Across

While the environment-friendly, natural and authentic leather is frequently expensive, it is necessary to take other options into account:


The leather is tanned using animal brains or a range of other fatty materials. What you receive is a suede-like, supple hide, which is frequently smoked. Consequently, water-resistant and soft material is obtained.


Originally, deerskin is water-resistant and sturdy due to the dense and thorny environments deer live in. However, currently, deerskin leather is made from hides of deer, bred on the special farms. Bad news: the skin of such deer is frequently not that sturdy, strong and durable.

Patent Leather

The main specification of this leather is an ultimately high-gloss finish that is frequently covered with a plastic coating. The material is used mainly for fashionable items that require super gloss.

Russia Leather

This leather type is made from bark-tanned cow and calfskin. There is a specific step, which helps to distinguish this leather type: birch oil is applied in order to add to the flexibility, durability, and water-resistance of the piece. 

How to Spot Fake Leather

Are you at the crossroad with many options to choose from and no decision yet? Relax and take it easy. The only task is to opt for the desired leather and avoid fake skins. Preferably, you should choose leather made in the USA as it is considered to be at least technologically correct. Follow certain principles to prevent the purchase of fake or artificial leather:
  • Avoid monotonous and uniform patters.
  • Look for color variation when you bend or fold leather;
  • Check the conditioner for penetration into the leather. Real leather will not soak with the conditioner.
These are simple but important steps to differentiate real, genuine leather from its cheap alternative. Purchase items from dependable platforms and companies like olpr., the quality, and professionalism of which have been approved by years.

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