Full Grain Leather vs. Genuine Leather

When we talk about "Genuine Leather", it is worth looking at it from a different perspective, delving into the web, what it really means. Leather is one of the most beautiful natural materials, and human love for skin has lasted for centuries. Leather connoisseurs who are fascinated by leather are the proud owners of high-quality leather products

However, when you're new to the world of leather, buying leather goods can be like tossing a coin. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. What is grain leather really? And what is "real skin"? There are so many leather types and types of leather nowadays that making a purchasing decision can be quite confusing!

What is real leather really?

When we see tags like "real skin" don't get fooled. In fact, this label only informs that the product is made, partially or entirely, of animal skin

Perhaps the answer may be that the "Genuine Leather" label ensures that a product contains genuine leather. Is it really enough? When we ask a good craftsman or leather lover, the answer is "No"!

The tag "Genuine Leather" is a term that is grossly abused by the retail industry. And many times when we buy a genuine leather item from a reputable brand, it sometimes fails. The "Genuine Leather" label will never tell us whether the leather used is of a lower or higher quality. For this reason, not all types of leather are strong and durable. And even when you buy products at a bargain price, you may find that it doesn't last three to four years. For one simple reason. You may find that the materials used for your wallet were of poor quality.

When we read more and more about good leather, we will notice that most brands or stores will not tell us what kind of leather a given wallet or purse is made of. They won't be able to tell how thick the skin is. In fact, it can be said that the genuine leather label will not provide us with any information

When we go back a few decades back, the term real leather did not have as bad a reputation as it does today. It was a sign of authenticity and high quality. So has more changed?

Let's look at it this way. Looking back at the last two decades, our consumption of leather goods (and generally speaking) has increased many times over. Unfortunately, this has the effect that cost has often taken precedence over quality

In today's world, where immediate satisfaction and "value" for money are valued, most "genuine leather" products have used poor quality leather as well as poor manufacturing techniques.

Now that the world is flooded with inferior products, the "genuine leather" label has been weakened. But when you're looking for genuine, high-quality leather, you should avoid the genuine leather label. In 9 out of 10 cases, such products were made of split leather, the cheapest in terms of quality and price of genuine leather. When choosing products, pay attention to Full Grain Leather or corrected grain leather. Less than 10% of leather goods worldwide are made from these types of leather. This should give you a hint of their exclusivity. They may seem expensive in the short term, but they will remain reliably by your side for decades to come.

Understanding the class of the skin is essential

So that we can know the difference between high-quality leather and the rest, remember that there are two types of leather. Namely - grain leather and split leather. Regardless of what animal it comes from

Both species come from exactly the same skin. What distinguishes the two species is what part of the skin is made of. Tanning - the process of turning leather into leather - also matters, but we'll talk about that in another post. One thing at a time!

What is whole grain leather?

Full grain leather includes "Grain" and Corium. This grain gives the skin strength, beauty and character. Grain leather is used to produce very durable, highly sought-after leather products.

This is it ? Is grain leather the only distinguishing feature of grain leather? Yes. There is nothing so sophisticated and complicated about this skin. Grain leather is the least processed and most natural form. And thus the most accessible and expensive form of leather

The most important feature of grain leather is that unique markings can be seen; no two skins are the same. Minor scars, insect bites and skin folds acquired by the animal during its lifetime may appear on most skins.

We are convinced that each of the skins tells its own unique story. Moreover, a very important aspect is that it does not affect the quality and durability of leather products.

What is split leather?

During the whole process, the leather is "divided" into several layers after the top layer with the grain is put into use. For example, to make a solid 8mm field belt, all grain leather is used. On the other hand, for the production of other leather products, such as bags and wallets, all grain leather will not be used

One of the reasons leather products made of full grain leather will not last very long is that leather with a thickness of 0.5–0.8 mm is used.


There is now a strong demand for the split production of low-cost, mass-produced "genuine leather" items for the retail industry. At first glance, at a completely new product, let's say a handbag, we cannot distinguish split leather from grain leather. Unless there's an expert with us.

A bag that is made of grain leather will cost 5-10 times more than genuine leather / grain leather. And this makes split leather products more attractive to both producers and customers.

So why buy grain leather? Split leather can be cheaper than full-grain leather and full-grain leather, but usually does not last more than 1-3 years of daily use, especially since a very thin layer of leather is used on most products. Flaking and cracking are common problems.

Over time, we will notice the beauty of the patina on our bag or wallet. And thus, after 2-3 years of use, it turns into something more beautiful than at the beginning. In this case, we can be sure that we have made a wise purchase. Full grain leather is the best grade that money can buy and can last for decades if cared for.

Leave a comment