A Complete Guide on Full-Grain Leather

Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather promises the best quality as well as exceptionality as one could imagine. Leather experts say that no two full grain leather products carry the same signature markings.

They grow their own unique characters which in turn, earn ultimate appreciation from the admirers. 

What is full grain leather?

Full grain leather comes from the top layer of the hide that lies right beneath the hair. The  grain pattern goes super tight at this segment of the hide and hence, the title ‘full grain’ comes into effect.

This compactness naturally averts any damage because of moisture. This is, in fact, the only real or genuine leather but the term is barely applied due to its essential flawed connotations.

Full grain leather does not undergo sanding, snuffing or buffing which causes alterations to the hide. It holds on to the grain layer together with the original texture and surface which over time, develops patina.

In fact, very little alteration takes place in its processing except for pulling out the hair. It involves no grain print on the natural surface of the hide. Unlike low cost artificial leather, full grain pledges extra strength and endurance as the top part remains untouched prior to laying out the surface coating.

Undoubtedly, this is the strongest and most durable segment of the hide as it is meant to guard against all kinds of exterior forces including insect bites, cuts, crashes and scratches.

However, these ostensible natural spots or blemishes are often considered as marks of honor as it denotes the premium class of the most pricey leather. This is why an individual full grain furniture or footwear takes on an exclusive appearance that resembles no other leather products.

Full grain leather must be top grade as it does not cover up the imperfections.

One must remember that only the highest quality rawhide can finally be processed into the full grain leather.

What is full grain leather used for?

Full grain leather is the tightest and mightiest of all grades and naturally resists moisture intrusion the best. Because of durability, it is used for a wide variety of sophisticated products. Most notably, full grain leather contributes to the making of high-end furniture and bags.

Manufacturers also save it for fashioning exclusive footwear items. Besides, wallets, dress belts, briefcases, weapon holsters and utility belts are some other leather merchandise in this segment. People opt for full grain due to its essential heavy duty and long lasting properties.

How do you protect full grain leather?

Light touch and mild cleaning products show the magic in full. If you are not gentle in its handling, it will warp, fade or peel in ugly manner. Lets’ jump into the list of dos and don’ts right now.

What you should do:

  • Dust with a dry or a damp cloth such as cotton towel and sponge to drive out grime and dirt buildups.
  • You may also use a mild hand soap and warm water solution to clean it up.
  • In case the leather runs dry, you can opt for a polish with a little amount of extra virgin olive oil. Judicious use of perfect leather cream and conditioners can maintain its essential suppleness and waterproof properties.
  • If it soaks in water, gently rub with a dry cotton cloth. Then place it in a breezy setting.

What you should not do:

  • Do not use harsh chemicals as they may damage it beyond repairment. The color, strength and texture may experience irrecoverable changes. No detergent, cleaning sprays should make it anywhere near leather objects.
  • Never go hard while polishing or rubbing its surface. It does more harm than good to its durability and look.
  • Heat and water are irreversible enemies of leather. So do not take it to the swimming pool or beach and also never abandon it in the parked car in the sun as you are heading to somewhere else.
  • Water spills lead to smudges or stains if you let it sit for a while. So take immediate action by wiping it out. Besides, leather cream can take care of scratches as you use a soft cloth to apply it on the marks until it vanishes.

What is patina on full grain leather?

Full grain leather lovers desperately crave for patina. This is the individual markings and features that curve out on the surface of the product. Bodily oil, moisture, external temperature and several other factors help develop it. Exposure to these outer elements gradually lends an elegant personality to the leather product.

Patina obviously certifies the finest character of the leather with signature marks of natural ageing. It brings in a glossy richness with freckled character that is subject to close inspection. Daily wear and tear leads to its formation. If you have an old leather bag or a pair of gloves, you may want to check it out right now.

It always tells an exclusive story that matches no other. The weathered look of leather is highly regarded and considered as a treasure. People will naturally notice its fullness of beauty and uncommonness. Patina is the legacy of ageing and declining in age does not necessarily cast the shadow of death on the top class full grain products. No weaknesses or or worsening conditions take hold of leather in case it develops patina very well.

We should mention that only the highest class of leather gives forth patina. All leather products do not naturally develop it. Inferior quality items, emanating from nominal bi-cast or economical bonded leather, may patina in the slightest form and often you may not even detect it at all. 

What is leather grain?

Leather grain denotes structural formation and outlook of the hide. This is what actually gives them an individual style or nature.

Many industry insiders point out a striking similarity between leather grain and wood grain which suggests a pattern of fibres seen in a cut surface of wood. The longitudinal arrangement of wood fibers results from wood grain.

Which animal hide is most used for full grain leather?

Cowhide is the biggest source of full grain leather. Its large size and availability makes it an ideal choice for all kinds of leather products. But we should not forget the contribution of mink, sheep, goats, pigs, alligators, ostriches and kangaroos as well.

Which animal hides are suitable for full grain leather?

Full grain leather is sourced from cattle, calves, lambs, pigs, goats, sheep and some other wild animals such as zebras, bison, alligators, elephants, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, ostriches and kangaroos.

Especially, deerskin offers the strength similar to that of cowhide with a softer as well as lighter feel. Extremely supple and amazingly smooth deerskin is used not only in greater fashion wear including coats, jackets, handbags and gloves. Its softness grows exponentially as the years roll by.

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