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Full Grain leather is the highest quality grade of leather - yes, higher than Top Grain leather, which is often mistakenly assumed to be the “top” quality leather.
The difference between Full Grain and Top Grain leather is actually quite important. Here are 3 main distinctions of Full Grain leather:
1. Full Grain leather comes from the top layer of the hide.
(Again with the “top” confusion - don’t blame us. We didn’t name it.). This layer of the hide includes ALL of the natural grain (ah, there we go; that’s why it’s called Full Grain). Full Grain leather is expensive for manufacturers to buy and more difficult to work with. (This is one reason why Full Grain leather will cost you more than Top Grain leather - Top Grain is thinner and more pliable for the manufacturer.)
2. The natural surface of Full Grain leather is unique.
It tells a story and reveals natural imperfections, marks, and even light brands in the surface. Full Grain leather is extremely strong and durable, as the natural grain contains the strongest fibers in the hide. While strong and durable, Full Grain leather remains extremely breathable, resulting in less moisture from prolonged contact.
3. One more word: character.
As Full Grain leather ages, rather than wearing out, it burnishes and beautifies, developing a much sought-after patina and unique character that cannot be easily duplicated. Truly, the more you use it, the better it looks and feels.
Bottom line: Full Grain leather is the highest quality leather money can buy. If you’re considering investing in Top Grain versus Full Grain, it’s worth knowing the differences in durability and the natural aging process.
It’s true in people and it’s true in leather: “You can say a lot of things, you can do a lot of things, but you can’t fake character.”