The first important distinction: Full Grain leather Vs. Split leather, what is the difference?
The grain of leather is the upper part of the skin of an animal. The image (fig. 1) shows how the skin, very thick, is divided into two or more layers; the top one is precisely what is called "grain", is the more durable and high quality part of the skin. The underside is called the Split.
However, speaking of top grain leather in general way is wrong; we have to make a second important distinction:
- Top-grain leather: leather whose surface has not been altered in any way, except that for the hair removal. The natural signs like scrapes or stretch marks are visible and in fact they are considered the signature of a prized skin. Only 10-15% of the entire raw leather can be finished in this way because of the quality needed.
- Corrected grain: leather whose surface has been covered with some kind of finishing. Once the surface is uniform, it is usually printed in a pattern that recreates the natural grain such as the famous Madras printing (or dollar).