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Article: Full Grain Leather vs Top Grain Leather - Things You Must Know!

Full Grain Leather vs Top Grain Leather - Things You Must Know!

Full Grain Leather vs Top Grain Leather - Things You Must Know!

Going for leather shopping and coming across a variety of options is definitely confusing. In such situation any one will end up buying item labeled as genuine leather. But hold on, this so called ‘genuine leather’ thing is merely a fancy term to baffle you.

Assuming that you’d prefer high quality leather in any case, we’re about to explore high-quality leather types. These types – full-grain and top-grain – are one of the most used and sought after.

For the amateur, spotting the difference between the two is kind of impossible. It is their finishing only that may help us to differentiate. Let’s look a bit deeper and get to know them together.

What is Full Grain Leather?

Let’s start from the basic. Full-grain leather is the highest quality leather made from the skin of the animal that is neither buffed nor sanded. Since it doesn’t go under any processing whatsoever, it stays the strongest and most durable.

Due to preserving the original scars and marks of the animal’s skin, it is quite different from other types. The very markings and impressions increase the beauty of the final product. Along with visual appeal, this leather is known for its steadfast longevity.

What is Top Grain Leather?

After full-grain leather, top grain leather comes second in terms of usage and quality. Unlike full-grain, it goes through some sanding and buffing that comes with its pros and cons. No doubt, it will make the look some extra pretty and blemish-free but splitting will deprive it some of its strength and durability.

However, final finishing coat kind of protects the freshness and makes it appear more stylish instead of a plain look.

Major Differences Between Full Grain Leather vs Top Grain Leather

Knowing the difference between the two is tricky. But let’s not complicate this anymore. We’ll go through the different facts to help ease things for you. 


If we talk about the source, both come from the animals though they’re the different layers of the hide. Full-grain is actually the upper layer with all the natural grains. However top-grain leather has its one outer layer removed.


The moment you lay your eyes on a full leather bag, you will naturally become attracted to its uniqueness. The natural marks, color, and everything from top to bottom will enchant you. Even the brand name is perfectly curated to make the experience even more eye-pleasing.

As you know by now, in top grain leather, the outer part removal is a must. Due to which, many essential and strong fibers are lost. In order to compensate for the loss, grains are added to the leather. This gives the leather a very shiny finishing look with no marks or imperfections.


Time is unconventionally really kind to full-grain leather. The overall texture of it becomes more unique and eye-catching with the passage of time. All we have to say is the more time your leather bag spends with you, the more high quality it will become. It gives strong vibes of being ageless, but only the original one. Though, its duplication isn’t easy anyway.

A finishing coat is done on the top grain leather. It helps reduce the harm, stains, and marks on the leather. However, compared to full-grain leather, this type  won’t furnish or beautify with time.


It is no-brainer that full-grain is the top-quality leather. Extracted from the hide’s best part, its life is increased. Moreover, it ages like a fine wine. It will definitely give you a high-class feel and will make you appear glamorous and classy at all times.

The second best leather after full-grain is the top grain. Even though it is made from the outermost hide, it still provides a refreshing look. This leather is thin comparatively. However, numerous top grain leather products are durable, reliable, and stylish despite all this.

Full Grain Leather vs Top Grain Leather: Which is Better?

Now that you know all the differences let’s discuss which one is better choice. Because in the end, we want the best thing for ourselves. To make this worrisome decision easier, keep on reading.

  • Full-grain is next level durable that can last for an extended time and still will be as good as new. But the top grain loses its strength gradually, and might become shabby.
  • The former is extremely expensive, and not everyone can afford to buy it. On the other hand, top grain is relatively cheap with elegant looks.
  • Full grain leather is heavier than the other type. The products made from it such as suitcases, handbags, and luxury items, are heavier than usual leather in the market.

Well, as per our analysis, full-grain is clearly ahead of the game. With that said, your preference does matter a lot. Would you prefer quality or longevity? Style or budget-friendly product? Decide for yourself, and let our comprehensive guide help you in final decision.


Is full grain leather waterproof?

Both types of leather are waterproof. It is because they are manufactured from the hide of animals.

Is full grain leather from animals?

Full-grain (and top-grain too) leather is usually obtained from animals such as kangaroo, pigs, cows, etc. Only the faux or artificial leather isn’t bagged from animals.

Is top grain leather real leather?

Yes, top-grain (just like full-grain) is real leather. In it, imitated grains are embedded to give the leather a more refined look.


This article covered everything you need to know about full-grain and top-grain leather. Before buying a leather bag, knowing your preferences makes the final decision easy for you. We do hope that this article has given you clarity about the high quality types of leather.

You want to buy a handbag, luxury goods, or a simple wallet. It’s always best to know your options and limitations before adding a new item to your cart. And now, you know everything about the best quality leathers, so don’t hesitate and buy the product of your choice.

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