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The first layer that is sliced/split off the rawhide is called Full Grain
leather. That is the highest quality grade of leather and the part that
is the most durable since it actually had to protect the animal from
all the elements. It is also the most expensive part of the hide, that
is what we use to create our beautiful DiLoroleather wallets, pen sleeves, watch cases,
or our high-end briefcases and handbags, just to give you a few
examples. This part of the leather will develop a beautiful patina over
time and it will only become more beautiful with age. However, this part
of the leather will also show 'imperfections' such as healed scars,
insect bites, wrinkles, veining, etc. all of which are natural
characteristics of Full Grain Leather, and that's exactly what gives it that unique, one-of-a-kind look.
The second layer will be the Top Grainleather,
also known as Embossed Corrected-grain leather, which is still good
quality leather. It does not have the same characteristics and
uniqueness that the Full Grain leather has. In most
cases this layer has had an artificial grain applied to its surface
since it has been sanded and buffed to take away imperfections. With the
top layer removed, the Full Grain leather will have a more uniform finish, but it won't be as durable.
Genuine leather is typically a split grain or bonded material also known under the general term Genuine Leather.
It is created from the fibrous part of the hide left once the top-grain
of the rawhide has been separated, or split from the hide. Split or Genuine leather usually has an artificial layer applied to the surface and is embossed with a leather grain (bycast leather). Split leather is also used to create suede.
The strongest suede is usually made from 'grain' splits (that have the
grain completely removed) or from the 'flesh' split that has been shaved
to the desired thickness. Suede is "fuzzy" on both sides and it had its
moments of fame depending on the fashion trends.
Last and in this case, least, Bonded leather. Made from
leftover scrap pieces of leather that are shredded to a pulp. These
shreds are then bonded together using polyurethane or latex on top of a
fiber sheet. There’s no way of telling the level of organic leather
material versus chemical, unless the manufacturer tells you which is
very unlikely. It’s obviously very cheap, so it is popular in furniture
upholstery and other commercial uses.
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