5 Different Types of Leather You Should Know

5 Different Types of Leather You Should Know

There are many different dazzling types of leather in this world.

We don’t have the time or space to talk about all of them, but we want to give you a start to understanding the world of leather through this short but informative guide to leather types based on manufacturing style.

Full-Grain Leather

Full-grain leather is at the top of the food chain, so to speak. It is considered the most high quality leather due to its not being sanded or buffed, resulting in a single layer with the full thickness of the skin. This leather is also stronger and more durable because of its intact properties. However, it can be too rigid or too thick for some delicate styles. Some satchels and other sturdy bags are made of this material.

Top-Grain Leather

This is the most common type of leather used in products such as handbags. It is second in quality, due to the removal of its split layer. It is thinner and more workable than full-grain leather, which often makes it preferable in the eyes of handbag manufacturer. Top grain leather has a smooth finish coat added. The smoother feel and the finish prevent stains from sinking deep into the leather.


The unique napped surface of suede is created from the underside of the skin. It is created from split leather, which, after taking away the top layer, leaves behind the drop split. The textured feel of suede is really what sets it apart. Unfortunately, suede absorbs liquid very easily. Nubuck, on the other hand, is very similar to suede but more durable, as it is made of top-grain leather that has been lightly sanded. Both suede and nubuck are often used on handbags and shoes.

Corrected-Grain/“Genuine” Leather

This is artificial grain that has had a leather-like stamp and dyes applied to it in order to make it appear more natural. All the imperfections have been sanded off, and the leather look of it is due to embossing of the pattern. Most corrected-grain leather is sold as pigmented leather because the solid pigment hides corrections and imperfections. In terms of quality, this is definitely lower-level leather, but it is still used quite frequently on handbags and shoes.

Bonded Leather

Finally, the lowest rung on the leather ladder is bonded leather. It is made of shredded leftover scrap pieces of leather that are bonded together with polyurethane or latex. This type of leather is very cheap and thus used in a variety of contexts, such as on the overstuffed couch in Uncle Mickey's TV den, but you wouldn't want a handbag made out of it. Depending on how much leather is actually in it, the smell will be affected.

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