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Different Types of Leather and their Usage

Different Types of Leather: Usage and Buying Guide For Leather

Different Types of Leather and their Usage 

Leather is a very diverse and versatile material that is known for its durability and timeless look. But not all leather are same, there is a wide range of leathers available in the market, differing in terms of manufacturing method, texture, quality, price, and overall appearance. It is crucial to identify the various leather types and make an informed purchase decision.

Let's explore the various types of leather and their characteristics in this blog. By the end of this blog, you will be able to tell the difference between different types of leather and their unique characteristics. 

1. Full-Grain Leather:

Different Types of Leather and their Usage -Full grain leather

Full-grain leather is the finest quality of leather and is the most top-graded leather. It is derived from the top layer of the animal skin and hence it has a natural grainy texture it also retains the natural grain, markings, and imperfections of the skin making its texture very unique and one of a kind.

Due to its high quality and demand, full-grain leather products are expensive and premium.

Manufacturing of Full-grain leather: 

This leather is made from the top layer of the animal skin by removing hair and then tanning it using natural or synthetic methods. This leather is made by retaining the imperfections and they are not buffed or sanded.

Usage of Full Grain Leather: 

Full Grain leather is known for its durability and natural texture. This type of leather is more resistant to wear and tear than other types of leather and it develops a rich patina over time with usage. Due to this property, it is mainly used for manufacturing premium leather bags, shoes, jackets, furniture, and other accessories.

Buying Guide for Full Grain Leather: 

Full grain leather being a high-grade and premium leather is expensive. Make sure to buy from a reputed seller to be sure of the genuineness. Expect the full-grain leather to be uneven and imperfect in texture and look for the natural smell of leather to be sure of its authenticity.

2. Top-Grain Leather:

Different Types of Leather and their Usage -Top Grain leather

Top Grain leather is considered the second highest grade of leather. While making the top-grain leather, the leather hide is sanded and buffed to get rid of imperfections and marks. This makes the top-grain leather more smoother and flexible as compared to full-grain leather. Top grain leather is known for its durability, and strength and also retains the natural grainy texture.

Top-grain leather is more expensive than most other types of leather like bonded and suede leather but it is still an affordable option as compared to full-grain leather.  

Usage of Top Grain Leather: 

This leather is widely used for handbags and other fashion accessories, furniture, seat covers, and car interiors. Due to its durability, it is also used for making sports accessories like gloves and footballs.

Buying Guide for Top Grain Leather: 

While purchasing top grain leather, make sure to check the leather texture, and look for the leather smell as it is a great way to check the authenticity of leather. Consider your intended use before buying top-grain leather as it is expensive compared to other leather types.

Consider the level of maintenance you are willing to undertake as the top-grain leather requires regular conditioning and proper storage to keep it in good condition.

3. Corrected Leather:

Different Types of Leather and their Usage -Corrected Leather

Corrected leather is also known as genuine leather and is made by treating the leather hide with chemicals and sanding off or buffing the leather to give it a smooth and uniform texture. It also undergoes a dying process and is stamped or embossed to give it the final desired texture.  

Usage of Corrected Leather: 

It is used where durability and affordability both are required, such as in fashion accessories, furniture, and footwear. Corrected leather is a great choice for affordable options and also provides versatile textures and colors.

Buying Guide for Corrected Leather: 

While genuine leather products are affordable alternatives to full-grain leather products but still cost a good amount of money so make sure to buy from reputed brands or sellers and look for labels indicating the grade and type of leather. Check for the leather grade and your intended use before making the buying decision.

4. Split Leather:

Different Types of Leather and their Usage -Split Leather

Split leather is made from the lower or bottom layer of the leather hide. In the leather-making process, the leather hide is split and the top layer is used to make the Top grain leather and the bottom layer is used to make the split leather. This layer of leather is less durable and thinner, hence the split leather is much affordable and less priced.

Usage of Split Leather: 

Split leather is very affordable and hence it is used in a variety of products like shoes, jackets, furniture, etc. It gives a smooth and uniform texture look which is ideal for many people.

Buying Guide for Split Leather: 

While purchasing split leather goods keep in mind that split leather is made from the thin and lowest layer of leather and hence it is not very durable. If your intended use does not involve rough usage then you can consider buying split leather goods.

Make sure to check the labels for more information on the type of leather before making a purchase. Split leather also requires moderate to low maintenance and are also budget friendly alternative of full-grain leather.

5. Bonded Leather:

Different Types of Leather and their Usage  -Bonded leather

Bonded leather is made from the leftover scraps of the leather by finely shredding and bonding the leather scraps together using polyurethane or latex on top of a fiber sheet. Bonded leather is often dyed with color and embossed to give it the desired texture. The percentage of original grains in bonded leather is quite low and hence this leather is less durable and considered the lowest grade of leather.

Usage of Bonded Leather: 

Like any other leather type, bonded leather is also used to make furniture, and fashion accessories like handbags and jackets but this leather is not very durable and long-lasting.

Buying Guide for Bonded Leather: 

Since the bonded leather is the lowest grade of leather, it is also very affordable but make sure to buy this kind of leather in articles where rough usage or durability is not intended. Consider buying bonded leather goods when affordability and short-term use is desired.

6. Faux Leather:

Different Types of Leather and their Usage -Faux Leather

Faux leather is an artificial type of leather that does not include animal hide. Rather it is usually made from synthetic materials like polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is a vegan alternative to original leather and it is made to mimic the appearance of original leather.

Faux leather is versatile and can be used in manufacturing various products including clothing, leather footwear, furniture, fashion accessories, etc. It is often chosen for its affordability and ease of maintenance compared to real leather.

Also Check : Guide on How to Dye Leather

How to Choose the Perfect Type of Leather?

What are the Different Types of Leather: Usage and Buying Guide

Here are a few tips to consider before choosing the perfect leather for your needs and requirements.

  • For choosing the perfect type of leather make sure to consider your intended use as there are many grades and types of leather which are suitable for different uses. Where durability is required, you can consider paying extra and choosing full-grain or top-grain leather.
  • Understand the different types of leather first and then make an informed decision.
  • Make sure to consider the price factor as the full grain or top grain leather is very expensive while split, bonded, and faux leather are affordable options.
  • Check the texture and feel of leather to meet your preference before buying as leather is available in different textures and colours as well.
  • If you are still unsure then you can take advice from any leather expert like a reliable retailer, craftsman, or leather professional on the type of leather suitable for your needs.  

 Also check : How to Remove Ink Stains from Leather


Understanding the different types of leather allows the consumer to make an informed decision while purchasing leather products. There are various grades and qualities of leather available in the market which range from expensive to pocket-friendly options.

We hope our informative blog can help you differentiate between different leather types and to assess which type is suitable for you.Keeping your needs, leather qualities, and price aspects in mind can help you choose the perfect leather variant for your use.

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