Top grain leather
Top grain leather is actually full grain that has been buffed back of any imperfections. It’s still high quality but isn’t quite as durable as full grain. It is a bit more elastic in how it shapes to use. Depending on what you’re using it for, top grain can be more suitable than full grain. We use a lot of full-grain leather, but where it suits the product better (for characteristics such as weight, handfeel and flexibility), we choose top grain.
Technically, Genuine Leather is leather that has some extra layer of treatment to it, but not so much that it’s classified as ‘coated leather’ or ‘painted leather’. However, this term seems to have been hijacked by marketers who prefer to say ‘genuine’ instead of ‘cheap’. This could be the split leather that’s the layer below top and full grain, which is has less memory and doesn’t hold its shape as well. Or, it could be bonded leather, which is basically the scraps that get rolled into new sheets, almost like particle board with wood. These types of leathers are reasonable enough for some things, but not for carry goods.
So, while ‘genuine leather’ is real leather, it’s generally of a cheaper quality than the rest.
If you’ve noticed we tend not to use the terms full grain or top grain in our descriptions any more, this is simply because we always strive to be as precise and accurate in the language we use, and we can’t say we use one type of leather, 100% of the time. Instead, we prioritize the leather most suited to the product we’re making. A lot of the time it’s full grain. Other times, top grain. And sometimes, a combination of the two. But we never use anything less.
TANNING. WITH VEGETABLES OR CHROME?
The basic perception out there is ‘vegetable tanned = good, chrome tanned = bad’. But, like most basic perceptions, the answer is more complex than that.