What is Full Grain Leather?

What is full grain leather

The most exquisite and the most expensive leather accessories are made from full grain leather. This is the premium kind of leather most of us are after. Or at least should be after. It offers maximum durability, and, as the time goes by, it ages beautifully. However, finding full grain leather goods is sometimes quite tricky because it is difficult to identify them. In addition, this leather is also exceptionally rare. Therefore, we have decided to offer you a little guide. Here we will explain what is full grain leather and how you can identify it correctly. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into.

[Good Read: The Difference Between Top Grain Leather and Bonded Leather]

How is full grain leather made?

How is full grain leather made

Full grain leather refers to the animal’s upper skin level – the one just below the hair. That is the strongest and the most durable part of an animal’s hide.

During the leather-making process, the main difference between full grain and other types of leather is the sanding part. Unlike other leather forms, the manufacturer will not sand the full grain one. The point is to leave it as natural as it can be, so that it keeps its durability.

If the animal skin has a few markings, like scars, that can only add to the leather’s authenticity. Those markings are proof that the animal existed somewhere in the world, and that the material comes from nature.

The hides can also contain moles and discoloration. That also adds a touch of class to the final product. Nevertheless, some manufacturers still avoid slightly damaged hides.

If you want to make full grain leather, it should be perfect and without any corrections. Therefore, it’s pretty obvious that the process is time-consuming, because there are no shortcuts.

What can you use it for?

What can you use it for 

This type of leather is firm and more natural looking. However, when you use it to make handbags, belts, briefcases, and boots, it proves to be a fantastic choice. Due to the fact that it did not go through the sanding process, the fibers visible and strong. Therefore, the products made from this type of leather can last you a lifetime.

In addition, such a leather also develops a wonderful patina over time. Although some people do not appreciate these changes on their products, in reality the patina actually proves leather’s quality.

As leather ages, the patina spreads and changes the product’s color. Therefore, if you buy a full grain leather briefcase or a handbag today, it will look even more beautiful ten or more years from now.

How to identify full grain leather?

Before buying a full grain leather product, it is vital to do a few simple checks. First of all, this type of leather is substantially more expensive than the other lower-quality ones such as top-grain or the notorious genuine leather. Therefore, if the price seems suspiciously low, it’s very possible that it’s not the one you are looking for.

Secondly, you should visually examine it, as it will have visible grains which you can clearly see. So, if it’s too even with no “flaws”, then it’s not what you are looking for. You should be looking for some scars or scratches. If you even passed your finger with a nail softly over the full grain leather bag, it should get marked. And if nothing happens, than you are looking at some inferior handbag that receives several layers of coating to protect it from the world. And that’s not what you want.

How to maintain full grain leather goods?

How to maintain full grain leather goods

If you want a high-quality product, but also would not like it to be scared or scratches too much, you will need to consider investing some money into leather conditioner. It’s important to note that body lotions and creams work just as beautifully. Full grain leather absorbs balsam or other conditioner that fills the small pores and/or scars with cream and helps it heal with time. Just like the real skin of a human being.

Still, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend a significant amount of money on it. Natural products such as extra virgin olive oil could be a perfect natural coating, adding some moisture and protection at the same time. All you have to do is rub it into the product and let it seep into the pores.

Full grain leather is low maintenance in general, but you still need to take care of it properly if you want it to last you a lifetime. The most important part is keeping it away from too much water and then too much sun. Therefore, you should never leave this type of leather near a radiator. In addition, if you spill something over it, or you get caught in the rain, do not use a hair dryer on it. It could damage the leather and make it dry and stiff.


Well, it should clear some misconceptions about what is full grain leather. Remember, it’s not the same as “top quality” or “genuine” leather. It’s the whole different deal which is worth investing into. Either way, if you read this far, you should check out our awesome leather bags for men and women! Most of our products are made from the mentioned leather and will serve you to the fullest.

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