When you’re looking to purchase leather goods, you want to buy the best quality for the best price. That is sort of a given. Most luxury leather goods are made of top grain leather, which is the second-highest quality leather on the market today. With it you will get an attractive finish that’s both soft and pliable, which is why it is most often used in the making of purses, wallets, and other small leather goods. But what is top grain leather? Let’s look into it in a slightly greater detail without getting too technical.
[Good Read: The Difference Between Top Grain and Full Grain Leather]
What Is Top Grain Leather?
Top grain leather is made by removing the outermost part of the hide by sanding it off. This helps to hide any imperfections or irregularities in the hide’s surface that would otherwise make it the final leather undesirable.
Because the surface layer has been removed, the leather takes to dye and treatment well and can be uniformly turned into any number of colors through a dying process. Additionally, you can stamp textures, artificial grains, and faux finishes in top grain leather, including ostrich, snake, alligator, or other types of prints.
However, stamping textures and other similar finishes are usually applied to the split leather, the lower part of the hide after it’s been split into two (you can read about split leather here). It’s less expensive and needs more treatment in general.
Top grain leather gives you a consistent appearance throughout the product, and it is quite durable. It is very easy to work with and has an attractive finish following the manufacturing process, making top grain leather very desirable for most leather luxury goods.
Even though you lose some of the leather’s natural finish during treatment, you can add it back or any number of prints to customize the top grain leather’s look and feel. You get a very high-quality product for your money when you use top grain leather, making it a happy medium between genuine leather and full grain leather.
While there are many benefits to using top grain leather, there are some downsides to using it as well. The sanding and buffing processes can remove some of the leather hide’s strength and durability. Too, its breathability declines, and it may get brittle and crack over time if not cared for properly.
However, the disadvantages mentioned are merely the theoretical ones. It is still the top-notch material whose benefits highly outweigh the potential disadvantages. The cracking of the leather happens to the poorest quality bonded leather products. You can check out the differences between the top grain and bonded leathers here.
How to Care of Top Grain Leather
While some wear and tear are natural with any leather product, you will want to be sure to properly care for your top grain leather to maximize its lifespan. When you are not using your leather product, simply store it in a cool and dry place and treat it with a leather conditioner at least a few times a year. Leather is a natural material, and just like human’s skin, it can be treated to maintain and even restore some of its beautiful traits even after using it for years.
The Final Say
Top grain leather is a great choice when compared with genuine and full grain leathers. It’s easy to work with, and it surely is nearly as durable and exclusive as full grain leather, but less expensive. No wonder why the majority of high quality luxury leather products are made out of it.
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