Learn more about full-grain leather in this article, including its definition, production process, applications, and proper maintenance.
Full-grain leather is a great choice if you want to spend money on durable, high-quality leather goods. The most durable and character-rich leather is full-grain leather. After the hair is plucked out and the material is tanned, it is the entire animal’s hide.
A brief explanation of full-grain leather and the reasons we believe it to be the best option is given below.
What is Full-grain Leather?
Full grain refers to the strongest and most durable part of the hide of an animal, which is just below the hair and has not been sanded, buffed, or snuffed (as opposed to corrected grain) which means it displays the more natural characteristics of leather.
As the grain surface is left intact before applying the surface coating, the leather has more fiber strength and durability and as it ages, it will develop a patina over time.
Full-grain leather frequently has an aniline finish, which stains or dyes the leather while still letting the natural grain show through. This delicate finish allows the leather to continue to breathe, unlike other types of leather, which are sanded down and given a thicker finish coat.
Where Does Full Grain Leather Come From?
Full-grain leather comes from the layer of skin just under the hair and is made from the outermost layer of the hide which means it’s more durable as the structure of the fibers is much more tightly interlinked.
Goats, pigs, sheep, and even more unusual creatures like alligators, ostriches, and kangaroos can all produce full-grain leather. The most popular skin for making leather, though, is cowhide. The only source of the full-grain leather used in any of the products on our website is cowhides.
How is Full Grain Leather Made?
There are usually 3 stages to creating full-grain leather: Preparation, Tanning, and Crusting.
The hide is divided into horizontal layers after having been completely cut, cleaned, and treated. For use on various kinds of leather products, this is where we get different cuts of leather, such as full-grain and suede materials.
After that, the hide is limed and delimed to further remove any grease or proteins that the initial cleaning process missed. In order to facilitate the tanning process, some leathers will also undergo bleaching.
After that, the hide is tanned. This changes the hide from its more natural state into a stable material suitable for clothing and leather goods.
After being crusted, previously tanned hides are thinned, moisturized, and tanned once more. At this stage of the process, some shinier leathers might be oiled or glazed; full-grain leather won’t typically receive these treatments.
Pros of Full-grain Leather
- Durability: The main benefit of using full-grain leather is its durability. For heavy-duty items like full-grain leather bags and belts, the cut’s tightly-knit fibers make it the ideal material.
- Water Resistance: More water-resistant than some other leathers is full grain leather. Because of its grain, it can absorb moisture from conditioners (or just bad weather) without suffering serious harm or deformation.
- Natural Look: Those who enjoy classic, high-quality products will be drawn to it by its lovely, natural appearance. A gift of high-quality full-grain leather to yourself or a loved one is definitely worthwhile due to the fine texture’s attractive appearance on real leather goods.
- Built to Last: In contrast to imitation leather, full-grain leather is durable. A good real leather bag will often last for decades if well maintained.
Cons of Full-grain Leather
- Imperfections: This is one of the appealing aspects of full-grain leather for most people since it gives your product a completely unique appearance. Full-grain leather, however, may not be as desirable as top-grain leather for some people due to its flaws.
- Price: Full-grain leather can cost more than faux leather. When you know that your full-grain leather product will last for many years, the price may not be as much of an issue as it once was. Many people view real leather goods as investments.
How to Maintain Full-Grain Leather?
Full-grain leather requires little upkeep. In order to prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt with our bags, we actually advise simply wiping your bag down with a cloth every so often. How full-grain leather is stored is the most crucial aspect of maintenance.
Never use a hair dryer on or next to any leather product because these actions can dry out the leather. Another suggestion for keeping leather soft is to keep it in a controlled environment with a humidity level of between 40 and 50 percent so that it can retain its necessary moisture.
A great way to maintain the caliber of your product is to use one of the many cleaning, waterproofing, or conditioning products for leather that are available online.
Even though it’s nice to accept the natural aging and changes that occur with leather, you may want to invest in a good leather cleaning product and/or conditioner (extra virgin olive oil works well as a conditioning alternative) to keep the leather soft and supple.
As you would when moisturizing your face, simply rub the product into the leather’s surface to allow it to penetrate the pores. Additionally, this prevents the leather from drying out and stiffening.
Please note: it is advised that you always patch test a new leather care product on an inconspicuous area of the leather before applying it all over, as some products may alter the color of the leather in a way you are not happy with.
Conclusion: Full-Grain Leather
The strongest and most durable part of the hide of an animal is just below the hair. The grain pattern in this part of the hide is very tight, and the leather made from here is called “full-grain” leather.
Here is our guide to the best full-grain leather bags in our collection because we adore premium leather goods and, of course, don’t want to keep them all to ourselves.
Is Full-Grain Leather the Highest Quality?
Full-grain leather is the highest quality of leather you can find. The hide’s outermost layer has not been polished or sanded to smooth out flaws. Full-grain leather is prized for its natural grain and texture, which gives it a distinct appearance and patina that changes over time.
Why is Full Grain Leather More Expensive?
This is because all of the natural characteristics of the leather remain intact – from pores to scars and bug bites to natural folds in the skin. Additionally, it is the strongest. Due to these characteristics, full grain is the most expensive leather grade.
How Long Does Full Grain Leather Last?
Full-grain leather is extremely durable and typically lasts 5 times longer than fabric. Full-grain leather can last decades with proper maintenance and use.
Does Full Grain Leather Crack?
The toughest and longest-lasting component of the hide is full-grain leather. The natural surface of the hide can be preserved because it is made from the top layer of the hide. Besides the fact that it will not crack, peel or tear; there are other benefits to choosing this quality leather over others.