The different Types of Leather
Full Grain Leather
Full-grain leather simply means that the hair is removed and the hide goes immediately into the tanning process. All of the oil-absorbing properties and original characteristics of the leather remain intact. The leather will patina and endure over time. Full grain leather will have marks, brands, and imperfections such as fat wrinkles and scars. They do not wear out, they wear in. You will find lots of variation not only in color, but also in grain pattern due to it being completely natural. This leather is also referred to as aniline dyed leather and has been dyed all the way through the hide. Full grain leather is the best cuts of leather available and may be more expensive. These leathers are thicker and harder to handle, harder to tuft, and harder to stitch so labor costs go up. If you want a leather that looks better the longer you have it, and that will last a lifetime… Full-grain leather is for you.
Top-Grain leather is probably the most used leather, and is used where a pristine look is desired. The leather is named top grain because the very top layer is sanded, buffed or shaved off. This makes the hide uniformed and removes any imperfections such as brands fat wrinkles or scars. Top-grain leather is referred to as “Simi aniline dyed” leather. These leathers have a protective finish that seals the pores of the hide and makes it highly resistant to stains and scratches. Top-grain leathers will have a uniform color and an embossed grain pattern that is even throughout the hide. This leather will not patina overtime and will look relatively the same as time passes.
Suede and Nubuck Leathers
Suede and Nubuck possess a broadly soft, velvety texture and nappy finish that contrasts with the smoothness of traditional leather. Suede is made by taking leather cut from the softer and more pliable lower layers of the hide and then sanding the inner surface. The suede’s fibers are loosened further. They become raised as a result of the sanding, giving the leather a velvet-like, napped finish. Suede and Nubucks can be a bit more difficult to clean. A suede brush can be used light amounts of water. It has also been common to rub suede and Nubuck with an eraser to remove stains.