ULTIMATE Guide To Leather Full Grain Vs Top Grain Vs Genuine Types Grades

Carl: All right, gentlemen. Today, we’re talking about leather. Leather is a luxury material use in a wide variety of men’s goods from bags to shoes to belts to gloves. In today’s post, I want to talk about leather types, I want to talk about leather quality, I want to talk about leather finishes, so you can go out there and make an informed buying decision. Are you ready, guys? Let’s get into it. So, first off let’s talk about leather quality. Leather quality is determined by the overall durability of it and the lack of blemishes. Those two things right there are going to oftentimes determine whether it’s a first grade, second grade, third grade, or fourth grade quality leather. So, let’s talk about first grade quality leather. This is going to come from the lower back of the animal and only makes up 13% of the hide. First grade leather has all the qualities manufacturers want for their higher end pieces and it only makes up a small portion of the animal.

ULTIMATE Guide To Leather Full Grain Vs Top Grain Vs Genuine Types Grades Photo Gallery



So, that’s why it commands such a high price. Next up, we’ve got second grade leather and it’s very close to first grade leather, but actually makes up 30% of the hide and we’re going to see in and around the buttocks and the middle back of the animal. And what’s interesting about this is this is what we start to see mostly with bags, we’re going to see a lot with jackets. The same also with third grade leather, it starts to go lower into the rib area and this is, again, 32% of the hide. So, between second grade and third grade, we see about 62% of the hide being available. Now, let’s talk about fourth grade leather. Fourth grade leather makes up about 25% of the hide and it’s the part of the animal in and around the leg area, in and around the neck and the head. It’s going to be something that is going to need a lot of work. But, where can you use it, guys? On the outsole of shoes actually. You can take that leather you can layer it you can actually treat it, it actually becomes something almost different than leather in a sense that when you treat it in a way that it becomes waterproof, it doesn’t have to have the malleability, but it can still be used. Now, let’s talk about leather types out there. You’re going to hear full grain, you’re going to hear top grain, and you’re going to hear genuine leather.

Now, to understand this, let’s look at the layers. So, when we hear the word full grain, what they’re talking about here is this is made up of the grain and the junction of the grain in the corium. And depending on where the cut comes from during the tanning process they actually separate the layer and they use various parts here, but usually that top part is going to be some of the most sought after. Now, the top grain is actually going to be right where the junction is at, so basically the grain has been removed off of the top grain and it’s over in the junction where it starts and then goes into the corium. Now, when we hear things that are known as genuine leather, of course, they are leather, but they’re mostly made up of the corium. Now, guys, I want to stress with the various types of leather, one isn’t necessarily inferior or superior to the other. It depends on the purpose of the leather. Now, let’s talk about leather finishing. So, I’m going to really simplify this, but after the tanning process that are going to go in there and basically make it so that the leather it doesn’t rot, it doesn’t fall apart, it becomes much more durable can deal with the environment and in some cases they start to introduce dyes. Let’s talk about that finishing process. So, one of the easiest things they do is they actually go over with a very thin plastic coating and that right there if they like the color of the leather underneath that would all – that’s all they will have to do. The best analogy I can think of is a cake.

If you were to bake a chocolate cake just a simple white material coming from flour, the flour is white, but when you add the chocolate flavoring the chocolate colors it basically makes it brown. In the same way with the leather, we’ve got that natural let’s say light tan color, but when they – they actually are in the tanning process and the finishing process, you can actually coat it with a color and then put another layer over it which is the protective layer. All right. Now, let’s talk about leather thicknesses and they’re going to range from 1 oz which is about .4 mm to 14 oz which is about 5.56 mm. And, let me simply start off with a pair of dress shoes here to explain where we’re going to see that wide variety in thicknesses of the leather. So, the inside lining of these high-end dress shoes right here used a very thin layer of leather. This to me is a great sign of quality dress shoes. Why? Because that extra layer that they took the time to put in there is going to absorb the sweat and that right there is going to protect the outer upper sole of the shoe. So, this outer sole this upper sole part right here, this is going to be about 3 to 5 oz. Understand once you get past 6 oz it becomes a lot less malleable and something that would be much harder to break in the shoe.

Now, the 14 oz, where are we going to see that? On the outsole of the shoe and this is formed by multiple layers, it doesn’t have to be one thick 14 oz cut. That would actually be pretty rare. This one looks like to be about 12. This pair right here, yeah, that looks to be about 14 and you can definitely see some of the layers in here. Now, gloves. We’re oftentimes – and I haven’t really talked about all the different animals you’re going to see out there, but kid, we’re going to see swine basically pig. We’re going to see also calf. What they want to be 3 oz right here and they want to be going for something that s going to be very soft not necessarily as durable, but these aren’t work gloves. These are nice gloves that I can wear in the cold winter. And also, you’ll notice these are navy in color. So, getting back to the treatments, they probably actually treated I would think just the upper layer of these pair of gloves here. Now, when it comes to belts, 8 oz on this right here.

I can see that this is double layer of leather, so they probably went with maybe two 5 oz right here and then on the inside they’re going to have a material in here. Some companies and I’ve seen some companies actually use metal in here. Now, I haven’t really talked about any exotics like ostrich or reptiles or anything like that. So, this actually leather, but it’s made to look like an exotic. Now, animals like these, this is buffalo right here and this is going to be actually a very thick material. And buffalo is interesting especially people don’t like to polish the buffalo, they want to actually show where this came from. Things like these could command a higher price because they’re coming from more of an exotic material. All right. Now, let’s talk about jackets. So, 3 to 4 oz, we’re going to see usually in suede lighter weight jackets, but in heavier weight jackets, 5 to 6 oz. This one right here I can tell it’s been treated to become softer, but it’s a very thick leather right here. For durability and protection, you want to go for like 6 to 7 oz.

And you can feel that thickness of the leather when compared to a lighter weight material like this. All right, gents. So, a lot in this post. I’m going to link in the description of this post to other posts in which I talk about how to take care of your leather. I go into a lot more detail about leather and you’ve probably seen throughout this those infographic images. Guys, I’m linking to that infographic, again, down in the description. Keep it take it, please. I’ve got so many great resources for you over at this style blog. We’ve got premium courses, so if you’re interested in taking your style to the next level with help with coaching I’ve got that available for you as well. Guys, at this style blog I’ve really tried to create something so that you can become the man you know yourself to be. Guys, I appreciate you. I appreciate everything we built here at this style blog and I will see you in the next post, right? All right, guys.

Take care. Manny: You’re at event where there’s so much success around you and there’s so many people at your level as far as your own peers and whatnot. You can grow with one another as well as learn from the successes and mistakes of other people who already have inspired you. Derek: The lectures are great, but the best part is connecting in the conversations whether it’s around the food truck or just mingling at – on the sidelines on the bar getting to connect with some of the guys you’ve been reading on my blog and shaking their hands and getting to know these genuine people.

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