Full grain leather vs genuine leather | Cicero Leather

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Full grain leather vs genuine leather

Majority of men must love leather because of its beautiful natural look, the durability and high class it bears. Leather is varied in types and can be faked easily nowadays. Therefore, having good knowledge about types of leather will help you identify and choose the best leather goods for yourself. In the market currently, there are two definitions of leather that may confuse you a lot which are full grain leather vs genuine leather. So What is full grain leather? and  What is genuine leather ? Let’s learn about the difference between these two types of leather.

What is genuine leather?

Genuine leather is a confusing name for many people. Genuine leather is understood as leather that is made partly or completely with natural animal hide.

Full grain leather vs genuine leather
Full grain leather vs genuine leather

Genuine leather if comprehended literally indicates real leather. The term is to emphasize the material that is real, not made of plastic or rexine or other man-made materials. However, nowadays, people refer genuine leather to a misleading term to make you buy products. For some leather aficionado, they will say that the genuine leather is normally not good quality leather. They are just to deceive people’s mind when it comes to choosing leather. This kind of leather never states where the leather comes from.

Back a few decades ago, genuine leather did not have this notoriously bad reputation. Over time, with the increase of commercialization and consumption of leather goods, there are more and more traders want to make great benefits from leather products’ sale, they start reducing cost of manufacturing and bring out the lower quality products for faster sales.

It resulted in a lot of low grade leather products with poor production techniques. Then the vendors started to label such leather as genuine leather to mislead consumer’s minds. That’s why genuine leather becomes a diluted term over the past years.

If you are looking for a good leather product these days, you might want to avoid the products with only a ‘genuine leather’ tag. Ninety percent of such products are made with split leather, the cheapest real leather with respect to its quality and cost. There should be clearer details of the resources the leather come from or you had better take a look at full grain or top grain leather goods.

Products Genuine Leather is Commonly Used For

Since genuine leather is almost a catch-all term for anything that’s not a higher grade, it can be used in a wide selection of products. Leather Wallet, handbags, briefcases and shoes – these are all products that may be made with genuine leather.

Products Genuine Leather
Products Genuine Leather

What does unite this diversity of products, though, is the lower quality. These are not items that you’ll find in high-end retailers. Instead, these will be in department stores, the lower-priced shoes in the shoe department, and mall kiosks.

What Are The Advantages Of Genuine Leather?

Price and the leather look and feel are the main advantages of going for genuine leather. If you can’t, or don’t want to, invest in a high-end leather purchase but still have the “look”, genuine leather is a suitable alternative.

It’s also simple to maintain. Even though it’s not going to last long, you can help extend its life and look with basic care. Properly cared for, it will still last several years. If you don’t know how to care for leather, let us guide you.

What Are The Disadvantages of Genuine Leather?

As we’ve clarified, genuine leather hardly means good leather. With time it tends to get stretch marks. Even though it looks good to start with, the appearance is going to start to degenerate. During warmer weather, this leather might make you feel a bit sweaty and hot.

Another potential disadvantage of this type of leather only applies to those who haven’t read this article. The misleading name of this material can sometimes lead to unscrupulous vendors overcharging for it. Innocent, less-knowledgeable buyers may be duped into thinking this is a better leather.

How To Care For Genuine Leather

Genuine leather is quite easy to maintain and care as it requires a simple wipe down by use of a damp cloth.  This is a task you can perform regularly or even daily if you’re in a dry, dusty area. Just be sure the cloth is only damp, not wet.

Polishing is another step you can take to care for your genuine leather products. Many polishes have moisturizing elements. Be sure to shop around and check reviews to see what the best choices are. You can also use a conditioner or cream on your genuine leather products. It helps keep them from cracking or drying out. The products will not shine but will become protected.

And here is how to restore cracking leather that we will guide if the product from leather is broken.

What is full grain leather?

Full grain leather is the least-processed and naturally made leather type. This kind of leather is considered the best and highest quality of all types of leather.

Full grain leather consists of two parts which are the “grain” and the ‘corium”. The grain of leather brings aesthetic looks and character to leather. Goods that are made from full grain leather are very durable and long-lasting and normally are the preferred ones to seek after.

What is full grain leather?
What is full grain leather?

What is distinctive about full grain leather? It is simply because of the natural process of making this leather. Leather makers won’t mix the hides with any other materials so as to remain the intrinsic quality and look of natural leather. The imperfections and natural scars on full grain leather’s surface will not be removed to obtain smooth look. Everything is kept for its instinct.
You can recognize full grain leather by looking at its unique markings. There are no two hides which are the same. There are small scars, bites or folds as you might see on animals’ skin.
Full grain leather goods are said to be looking better and nicer over time. This kind of leather is the best quality leather so far and most expensive in all types of leather.

While full-grain leather is widely used in manufacturing heavy-duty items such as weapon holsters and utility belts, it is also used for furniture, dress shoes, work boots, dress belts, briefcases, duffel bags, leather wallets and many others. The durability and toughness of this leather make it suitable for goods that see heavy and rough use and require long-lasting performance.

Advantages of Full-grain Leather

The properties of full grain leather which make it so valuable include the natural beauty of the animal hide that shows every scratch and defect. Being tough and hardy, full-grain leather is ideal for elegant furniture and bags that will last for many years. It will develop a rich patina as it ages, lending it a beauty that is much sought after by aficionados.

Disadvantages of Full grain Leather

Full grain leather is more costly than other kinds of leather. It is harder for craftsmen to work with, making it more expensive to produce. The hardness of the full-grain leather makes is unsuitable for products requiring supple and flexible leather. It is not as resistant to stains as some other leathers. Because of the natural defects and surface distortions on the animal hide, it is not very consistent.

Disadvantages of Full-grain Leather
Disadvantages of Full-grain Leather

How to Care for Full-grain Leather

In order to maintain your full-grain leather product so it will last many years without damage, you should care for it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some tips to keep in mind when caring for full-grain leather are that minor scuffs can be removed from oiled full-grain leather by rubbing the area with a moistened finger. A damp cloth can be used for wiping areas which require more intensive cleaning.

Tips for you: 3 Care Tips For Full Grain Leather Wallet

As with any leather product, never use heat to dry the item if it gets wet, as drying it too fast can lead to cracking. Instead, allow it to dry at room temperature. After it dries, applying conditioner or another appropriate leather care protect will keep the leather clean and prevent overdrying.

Full grain leather vs genuine leather- Price and quality?

In this day and age, split leather seems to be in high demand for mass production of “genuine leather” for retail industry. For a normal consumer, especially one with little understanding of leather, it will be hard to tell the difference between well-finished split leather bag or leather wallet and a full grain leather bag or leather wallet. This is time to take a closer look at these two items.

A full grain leather item will cost much more than a genuine leather good because of the gap in cost of materials. Normally the price gap is 5-10 times. This is why split leather that is called “genuine leather” is more appealing to manufacturers and customers.

However, of course with the difference in material resources, price range and other quality, split “genuine leather’ goods do not last long, estimated only within 1-3 years of daily use. During the time of using this kind of leather, it is often likely to see peeling and cracking areas on the leather.

As time goes by, you will see the patina appear on the surface of the leather if you get a full grain leather good. After 2-3 years of use, you will realize that full grain leather turns to look better and nicer. On the opposite, “genuine leather” with low grade cannot show such beautiful patina over time. Nowadays, all high quality handmade leather goods are produced using full grain leather.

Once you fall in love with full grain leather, you won’t easily or you will never go back to genuine leather at all.

So, if you have done comparing full grain leather vs genuine leather, it’s time to find out which one to go for. Consider what is important for you and make up your mind.

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