A Guide For Leather Shopping
At some point you've probably asked someone or had someone ask you, "is that real leather?"
Real. Leather. What does that even mean?
We've created a handy little guide to help take some of the mystery out of shopping for real leather goods.
Let's start with something we've all seen, usually stamped on the underside of a leather belt you just purchased at a department store: Genuine Leather.
Sounds legit! Well it IS leather, but don't be fooled, "genuine leather" is the lowest grade of leather that you can purchase. This type of leather is made up of the lower quality leather that remains after the good stuff is stripped away, which is then bonded together with glue and then painted.
If low price is your objective, this is the stuff for you. Just don't expect it to be handed down through the generations as an heirloom as these pieces tend to fall apart after some use.
The next step up is what is called Top Grain Leather. This is solid middle-of-the-road leather and what is commonly used for mass-produced designer handbags.
This type of leather is made by taking high grade hides, splitting them, sanding away any imperfections and then stamping them with a faux leather grain.
The benefit of this type of leather is that all items made with it will have a uniform color and stain resistance. The downside is that these products are not designed to last and your pieces will need to be replaced after some wear.
The highest grade of leather is labeled Full Grain Leather. This stuff is the best of the best because it is the natural hide, as-is, with its natural imperfections and toughness. In fact, this is the type of leather commonly used for weapon holsters and other heavy duty applications.
If you're looking to invest in an item that is built to last, something that can be handed down to your children and children's children, this is what you should be shopping for.
I hope this helps you understand your real leather options the next time you're in the market for a leather item. And if you're looking for some of that Full Grain Leather be sure to shop our site, we only use full-grain bison leather to make our pieces!