Leather – Grain by Grain

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Knowledge never hurt anyone and when it comes to your precious handmade leather bag, there’s no such thing as too much knowledge. Keeping that in mind, we at Antidote Store are here to take you over the nuances of the leather trade. Once you’ve set your heart and hands on a leather product, it will be good for you to get to know the make and build of it. This will give you not only an acute sense of taste but will also help you groom your bag more efficiently. Leather basically comes in 4 forms depending on it’s grain ie the texture of the surface.

  1. Full-grain:

This type of leather has a untempered surface that has not been smoothed over or buffed up to remove the imperfections (or natural marks) that are present on the surface of the hide. The grain retains it’s natural properties which allows for better fiber strength and greater durability. The leather also has greater aeration, thus resulting in less moisture absorption from prolonged contact. Over-time full-grain leather forms a benign layer over it which extends it’s lifetime.

  1. Top-grain:

This type of leather is most commonly used in making high-end leather products and is the second-highest quality used across the market. The “split” layer or top layer of the hide is ground away , which makes it thinner and more ductile than the full-grain leather. Its surface is processed, treated and a finishing coat is added which results in a more shiny and plastic feel. The surface breathes less and therefore it does not develop a natural patina ie a benign coating over time. It is usually costs less but from a consumer stand point it has a greater resistance to stains than full-grain leather.

  1. Corrected-grain:

This type of leather is one that is formed once an artificial grain applied to the original surface of the hide due to commercial or production reasons. The hides that are used to create corrected leather are usually the ones that fail to meet the standards set for use in creating treated and processed leather. The scars, tears and bumps in the hide are buffed or ground off, and an extra coating of artificial grain is embossed onto the surface and then treated with stain or dyes. Usually corrected-grain leather is used to make pigmented leather as the solid pigment helps cover any faults or imperfections.

  1. Split:

Hides are mostly made of 3 layers namely epidermis, grain and corium. Sometimes hides are often too thick for direct use and so they have to be split layerwise through the corium before preocessing. Split leather is created once the fibrous part of the hide which is left after the top-grain of the rawhide has been sliced away from it. After the slicing procedure, an artifical layer is applied to the surface of the split and embossed with leather grain. This type of leather is mostly used to create suede products. Knowing your leather bag inside out will not only pay dividends in style but will help you to increase its life. Feel the grain of leather and understand what goes into making it a masterpiece.


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