What is Full Grain Leather and why does everyone want to have it?

Hoi An Real Leather - Da Bao Real Leather: Full Grain Leather bag in progress - in leather factory.

Our customers often ask us if our leather bags are made of full grain leather. What is that, you ask? Exactly. There is a lot of confusion out there as to what full grain leather really means.
This is why we'd like to explain the different types of leather our craftsmen use to create not only our popular bags and backpacks, but also our belts and wallets.

In regards of animal hides, most of our products are made of buffalo leather. But some bags are also made of cow leather. It's usually the softer, bendy bags that are easy to fold. Here you can read more about how you can spot the difference.

Full grain leather bags

Customers who know a bit about leather, are keen to get their hands on full grain leather bags and backpacks. Full grain leather is a hide that has not been sanded. It's usually taken from the top grain part of an animal hide which is the upmost part, right underneath the hair. If left in its natural state - unsanded and without being altered in any other way - then we're talking about full grain leather. It's the best leather type you can get. It's thick due to its dense fibers and therefore extremely durable. It ages beautifully, developing wrinkles in a unique way.

What is sanded leather?

As I've just mentioned the 'unsanded' state of the full grain leather: Sanding makes the hide thinner and therefore weaker. It's losing its strength and firmness. However, sanding or buffing removes inconsistencies within the hide, to make it look more even, which is the look that producers want to achieve for more elegant and classic  bag designs.

What is top grain leather?

The name top grain leather in itself only means it's taken from the top layer of the skin. But if a salesperson tells you he is selling top grain leather, the leather was usually altered and is not full grain anymore. Shop owners offering full grain leather - they make sure they'll tell you.

And we at Da Bao? We do offer full grain leather bags and backpacks. And we're no exception: We're talking about it proudly 🙂 But we also store goods made of more even looking sanded or otherwise altered leather, from buffalo and especially from cow leather, for elegant purses and small backpacks.

You can also find suede leather products in our shop. We'll tell you all about suede leather in our next blog post.

As you can go way into detail when it comes to leather types and quality, note that in this blog post we were only able to scratch the surface. Feel free to do additional research on leather types you're interested in.

But first, click through the gallery below and don't be shy: Really zoom in to see the stratches and unique characteristics of each full grain leather hide.

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