What is Top Grain Leather?

Published : 09/07/2016 11:42:52
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Top Grain Leather: how to recognize it

Top Grain Leather is the finest quality of leather, and it is also known as “pieno fiore” or “mezzo fiore”. The term “full grain leather” is attributed exclusively to the outermost layer of the animal’s hide, the one which is basically covered with fur. Once the hair is removed, the hide is tanned after screening from a specialist, which includes ensuring that the thickness is uniform. To be full grain, pores must be well visible in the leather. This is a fairly simple examination, even for those who aren’t experts in the field and simply want to be sure of what they are buying.

Top Grain Leather

Top grain leather pieces: imperfect, but extremely fine

Contrary to what people might think, full grain leather pieces do not present a smooth and homogeneous surface, but are instead characterized by a more or less pronounced roughness, which varies with their different parts as well as with the marks of the grain. In addition, since the animals tend to wound themselves in the enclosures, the leather must present scarring, have a natural appearance, and it must not look polished or smoothed out. Because of this, a leather that is too uniform and which displays a grain that is the same all around is almost certainly not full grain. Full grain leather, among other things, must always carry a certificate to guarantee that it is genuine. To the touch, the excellence of the leather can be recognized by its softness and silk-smooth feel.

Basically unalterable

Durability through time is another aspect which defines quality in leather. Breathability is high, and hence there is no buildup of humidity from prolonged contact with the body. This leather is well suited for many uses such as, for example, manufacturing of handbags, sofas and armchairs; it can be cleaned very easily using a cloth moistened with lukewarm water and a neutral soap, or a detergent specific for leather.

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