Full Grain Leather vs Top Grain Leather: Choose The Best One

full grain leather vs top grain leather

We all are choosy when it comes to buying accessories or purchasing anything. It is because we want to get our hands-on an excellent deal that offers value for money for as long as one can think of. Buying accessories like a leather bag involves a prerequisite; to look for robustness and durability of the bag, and that’s why we are so keen to pit Full Grain Leather vs Top Grain Leather.

Any layman like us who has not acquired much knowledge about the what and how's of leather quality always feels that all leather consists of the same standards of polishing, designing, and procuring the end product. However, there is a significant and vital difference between full grain and top grain leather. While surfing through the internet or a retail store to equip yourself with a styling leather bag, you must identify the differences to make the right choice and purchase an acclaimed quality leather bag.

‘Genuine Leather’ isn’t the dynamite quality you are looking for, especially when scrolling through several e-commerce sites on the internet with the intent to buy a solid leather bag for your travel purposes or everyday use. In their product description, any retail store or leather-products selling website mentions whether the leather type is Full Grain or Top-Grain. These are the two top luxury types of leather available and employed by the manufacturers to develop furniture, belts, bags, etc.

In Top vs full grain leather, let’s determine which leather has the propitiating quality and understand each of these types of leather.


What is Top-Grain Leather?

It is no mystery that leather is procured from animals and the procedure succeeding the extraction of the skin from a cowhide differs for each leather type. You should know that animals bear marks and scars on their skin due to all kinds of fighting, infection, bugs, etc. Hence, the top-grain leather does not have this top-coat to make the leather look clean and luxurious.

Shaving the topcoat in the making of top-grain leather leads to removing the thick layer that is the sole reason behind the longevity of leather products. However, Top-Grain Leather is still the second-best option. If you wonder how Top-Grain Leather could be a good option if it involves transforming it into a thin layer, remember that we are more comfortable carrying bags that are easy to manage and light.

Animal Skin is thick, and to create leather bags, manufacturers have to make it manageable. Also, products that have a more refined appearance are preferred by most of us. To give a faux impression of snakeskin, the hand workers work on giving intricate patterns and texture to the natural top layer of the product. It is how Top-Grain Leather becomes the most bought leather quality.


What is Full-Grain Leather?

If you feel the leather splitting process might hamper the quality and durability of the leather bag you have been eyeing for so long, then Full-Grain Leather is a suitable match for you. Unlike Top-Grain Leather, Full-Grain Leather does not involve any shaving or splitting process. The animal hide is used in its raw form with all its imperfection to develop a fine quality leather bag.

The entire technique of developing Full-Grain Leather involves obtaining hide from the highest quality animal. The whole thick coat (Except the hair) is employed in the tanning process to form several leather products. It is one of the reasons why Full-Grain Leather is so expensive as the original layer with the enriching properties of durability helps keep the bag intact for a very long time.

Now that we have ramified both the Grain Leather types, it’s time to pit top grain vs full grain leather and measure their differences to get a final verdict on which leather type outweighs the other one.


Also Read: Complete Guide To Buy Leather Bags


Full Grain Leather vs Top Grain Leather: Finding the perfect Leather

For a long time, leather products have set a benchmark for all other quality, and it has constantly been surpassing the expectation related to longevity and look. There is no doubt that we always have high regard for products that contain leather. To a layman, a touch of leather is just about right to spend a fortune. However, it is essential to be wary of specific facts associated with different leather types and how they can prove to be long-lasting products for you. They would be your partners to carry the belongings on much-awaited weekend getaways or your prosaic professional needs. It is a must to determine the prime and top-notch leather quality bags.

Here are a few substantial factors that would help determine the best leather type; Full-Grain or Top-Grain Leather.

Life Span

The synonym to Leather bag is a long life span and robust durability. If you prefer leather over other products that are tagged as faux leather quality. In that case, you are a person who is meticulous while choosing items rather than just getting accessibility to anything at a lower price. The value of money is the top priority for you, and that’s why Full-Grain Leather would be a perfect option for your travel bag needs.

Since Full-Grain Leather consists of the raw and unshaved hide of animal skin, it has a more enduring nature than other leather products. However, you should know that Full-Grain leather is easy to stain, so be mindful and maintain the bag with the necessary equipment and cleaners like a leather conditioner to keep the leather shine intact.


Appearance always matters, especially when you want to carry your leather bag in style. In this case, both Full and Top Grain leather are perfect. On the one hand, a Full-Grain leather is an animal’s tale to tell through the raw visibility of the imperfections of the bag through the scars. On the other hand, Top-Grain leather is uniform and refined in its appearance as all the scars and natural grain has been removed before the tanning process to give the leather an exquisite look.


As mentioned above in the blog, Full-Grain Leathers are challenging to work with since they are thick and raw and do not involve shaving or leather splitting. Hence, it significantly increases the manufacturing cost. It is easier for an artisan to work on a Top-Grain Leather since it is thin and easy to manage.

So if you are willing to buy a Full-Grain Leather Bag be ready to pay a king’s ransom for it. Not all animal skin could be used to develop full-Grain leather products. Hence, it would be a more expensive option than top-grain leather.

The Aging process

Leather which is thicker and involves a lesser process of splitting would always offer better quality as it ages. Full-Grain Leather would become more brawny with time compared to Top-Grain leather because the natural oil and properties of the animal skin remain intact in the leather. If the animal had been alive, its skin would become more rugged with time and not dainty. One could say that full-grain leather is similar to an old wine, which provides a better experience and taste as it ages old.


Also Read: Essential Tips To Maintain Leather Quality


In a Nutshell: The Final Call

Both Top and Full Grain leather bags would be the best option while you are on the lookout to purchase a leather travel bag or essential daily bag. However, in the game between Full Grain vs Top Grain Leather, Full Grain will always win the race due to the process of keeping its natural elements intact.

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