What is all this talk about Grain with Leather Furniture?

This can be one of the most mystifying things when looking for leather furniture but it does not have to be. It’s actually a very simple concept, when it’s explained:

Top Grain Leather Sofa at LeatherGroups.com

Top Grain Leather Sofa at LeatherGroups.com

Cowhides are often too thick to use, so they’re split into two layers that result in a few different types of leather. When leather is split the resulting cuts are:

Top Grain Leather refers to the surface layer when leather is split. This is the strongest most supple part of the hide.

  • Full Grain leather is leather from surface layer that is not mechanically altered. Natural grain and markings are left intact.
  • Corrected leathers can be produced from the top grain surface layer as well. These leathers have had natural markings lightly sanded, or buffed and are embossed with a uniform grain finish.

“Splits” or “Split Leather” is used to refer to the lower, fibrous layer of the hide once the top grain surface layer has been removed. Splits are generally stiffer and less suitable for seating areas where flexibility is necessary. On some Leather Furniture splits will be used on areas of furniture that you don’t touch. Splits are also used to create suede.