15 Apr 2013
April 15, 2013

Learn About Leather

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There is no set standard for grading leather so there is much confusion and blurring of lines in the leather business. Leather is made from the hide of a cow. The cowhide has four layers — epidermis, grain, corium and flesh. Leathers are made from the grain and the corium.

Full-grain leather is from the outermost layer of cowhide — the grain. The epidermis (living skin cells) and the hair are removed, but there is no buffing, sanding or refinishing done. You see the full grain layer, including any natural blemishes, like scars, scratches, insect bites, etc. As it ages, it develops a natural patina, or sheen. It’s strong and durable, because an animal’s outer layer of hide is its most durable.

Top-grain leather is the same as full-grain leather, according to the Leather Research Laboratory in the United States, although some people do refer to leather with minor refinishing as top-grain leather.

Corrected grain leather has the grain layer’s blemishes partially removed by buffing. It’s then covered with a printed, artificial grain finish. Most of the leather produced worldwide is corrected grain leather.

Split leather is leather from the middle of a thicker layer of a hide’s corium (the layer below the grain layer). Although it’s real leather, it’s not as strong or as durable and is used in non stress areas, because its fibres grow in a different direction. It is also printed with an artificial grain finish. Very often split leather is used on backs and sides of sofas to economize.

Bonded leather is not really leather at all. It’s made from leftover scraps of leather that are ground up as shavings (much like a Chicken McNugget), then sprayed onto a polyurethane (plastic) with glue and resurfaced. It behaves like plastic and so it doesn’t breathe like leather, warm up to your body temperature, or develop a patina with age.

SHARING: I do not claim all posts to be my own…I post the sites they are from if the source is known.

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