Leather grades

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A Guide to Wallet Leather Grades. Whats Good and Bad?

Leather grades

An Overview Guide to type of Leather & Leather Grades

As someone who says he knows what makes a good wallet I’ve spent very little time on what constitutes “good” leather. In fact, for a while, the idea of good vs. bad leather really didn’t come into the equation. But things have steadily changed and it’s taken both a few bad leather wallets along with a few amazing ones to see this. With my learning cap on I set out to learn what makes good leather, and the technical know-how behind the process it goes through to become different grades. Let’s take a look at these different leather grades starting from best to worst!

The Very Best: Full Grain Leather

Full Grain is the best and most expensive leather. The “full-grain” part refers to the fact the leather has been practically untouched, with no marks been removed or worked out. This makes the leather naturally thicker, and while many think full-grain is less attractive because of this the full grain provides character, uniqueness while allowing for strength and longevity.

Not Quite the Top: Top-Grain Leather

Although its name states otherwise “Top-Grain” Leather is the second best leather on our list. This leather has any imperfections removed making it thinner, easier to work with and arguably more attractive. This leather is the most commonly seen in luxury good.

The Very Misleading: ”Genuine” Leather

I was shocked when I first found out my beloved Genuine leather was a big fat phoney. I don’t know about you but I just assumed that Genuine Leather was near the top. But in actual fact, it actually comes in second last (or 4th below Suede which I didn’t mention). Genuine Leather has had an artificial grain applied to its surface. This makes it poorer quality while the “genuine” looking features such as a leather pattern or imprints are faked as well as an artificial natural smell. Misleading, to say the least.

The Rock Bottom: Bonded Leather

Luckily not many wallets are made from this shit. If you ever see a wallet that seems too cheap to be true then its properly made from Bonded Leather. Made from the scraps pieces of old leather shredded together, and mushed back into what resembles a leather-like material. It’s cheap, dirty and made using un-organic processes. Give Bonded Leather a miss.