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Full Grain Leather vs Genuine Leather, which one is the best for me?

January 30, 2018

Full Grain Leather vs Genuine Leather, which one is the best for me? Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Full Grain, Top Grain,  Genuine Leather or Split Leather?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Full Grain, Top Grain,  Genuine Leather or Split Leather? 

      - Which one is the best quality?
      - Which one lasts the longest?
      - Most importantly - which one should I buy

      Generally, leather is sold in these four forms:

        - Full-grain leather
        - Top-grain leather
        - Genuine leather
        - Split leather
        - Bonded leather

        Leather hides (rawhide) have to be sliced/split because a hide is generally too thick (between 6 - 10 mm) to be used in almost any type of manufacturing. They are usually sliced to get about 4-5 layers out of them. Here are the five different layers or types of leather with a brief description and their unique characteristics.

        Full Grain Leather

        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 DiLoro leather 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.

        Top Grain Leather

        The next layer will be the Top Grain leather, 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.

        Split Leather aka Genuine Leather

        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.

        Bonded Leather

        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.


        DiLoro Leather products are made from the highest quality Full Grain Leather, the strongest and the most durable leather. For some articles we may also use Top Grain Leather, this is usually done when an even, more uniform look is required for the product.

        Every DiLoro leather product comes with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and is backed by our manufacturer's warranty which you can get extended for an additional year at no charge, simply register your product on our website >>> Warranty Registration





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