Things to Know about Leather

First, let's talk about the types of leather and the words used to describe the leather used.

Several types of leather are commonly used in various applications:

Full Grain Leather: This is the highest quality leather, made from the top layer of the hide, and retains the natural grain and imperfections. We use full grain leather in all of our bags unless we state that it is a Nubuck hide which is defined below. We value the natural patina and imperfections that give each design a unique story.

Top Grain Leather: Similar to full grain but with some of the outer layers removed, making it slightly more uniform in appearance. 

Genuine Leather: Made from the layers that remain after the top layers have been removed. While it's real leather, it's not as high-quality as full grain or top grain. This term is often confusing and some makers will mistakenly use it when they really mean "real leather".  You'll find the cheaper bags will be labeled "genuine leather" which should not be confused with top grain, real leather.

Bonded Leather: This is made from scraps of leather that are bonded together with adhesives. It's less durable and of lower quality compared to other types of leather. We never use bonded leather.

Split Leather: The inner layers of the hide are used to create split leather. It's often used in suede production or as a backing material for other types of leather.

Nubuck Leather: This is top grain leather that has been buffed to give it a soft, velvety texture similar to suede. Nubuck has an amazing feel but can be harder to find so I'm always excited about using it when I can.

Vegetable Tanned Leather:  Vegetable tanned leather is a traditional method of tanning leather using natural tannins found in plant sources, such as tree bark. This process is environmentally friendly and results in leather that is firm, durable, and develops a rich patina over time. Vegetable-tanned leather tends to be stiffer initially but softens with use and exposure to oils from the skin. We use veg tanned leather for some items when a thicker and firmer leather is needed.

For information on the origins of leather, please see the this page from the Hide House which is our primary source of leather