How to Choose the Best Leather for Your Bag
We’re curious, how do you go about buying your leather bags? When asked, several individuals suggested making selections based on the price, the storage, the colour or the size. What if we tell you that the most important feature is often overlooked?
The first thing one should look out for when browsing any leather product is the quality.
To invest in a product that is meant to last you years, you need it to be more than just a fashion accessory or a storage unit. When choosing leather, it is always beneficial to know the difference between full grain, top grain, and genuine leather - the three most common types of leather offered in the market. We’ve broken them down for you to understand the differences!
Full Grain Leather: Full grain leather is made of the highest quality hide. It does not go through a sanding process, i.e., to buff out natural grains from the surface, diminishing its natural look. Full grain leather retains the natural look, revealing the raw texture of the animal hide. Bags made of full grain leather are of the highest quality.
Top Grain Leather: This leather is made with the hide left after the top surface is used. The surface is usually painted to hide the flaws and make the texture look more appealing. However, the quality is slightly inferior and less durable when compared to full grain leather.
Genuine Leather: The sanding process is applied to genuine leather to wash away some of the natural looks. Genuine leather is often mistaken to be high grade, top quality leather but actually, it is inferior to full grain and top grain leather. You can identify cheaper leather by peering closely. Often, low quality leather will have a bluish appearance in the middle. If you see that, you know it is inferior and can crack or tear early.
Comparing the three most common types of leather, full grain leather is most durable and requires the least maintenance. This is because it is constructed with the hide just below the hair, retaining more of the leather’s natural characteristics. Since the grain is untouched, the leather has more fibre and strength that stays intact over time. There’s a subtle aniline finish that allows the leather to breathe. The natural blemishes on untreated leather change colour over time, adding to their value over the years. Sanded down leather has a thicker finish that does not last as long. Although full grain leather comes from goats, sheep, pigs, ostriches and kangaroos, the more commonly used hide to make leather bags are cows.
Now that you have a better understanding of distinguishing the quality of the leather, let’s take a look at how to take care of it. At Hides, we have a serious passion for leather products, and love to share our knowledge and expertise gathered over the years. We’ve put together some information on how to take care of your full grain leather products!
Full grain leather is coated with a finish that makes it low maintenance. All you have to do is wipe it down with a cloth to keep it free of dust and dirt. You can use extra virgin olive oil, beeswax or spray (found at various leather boutiques or department stores) to condition the surface, keeping it soft and supple.
Store your full grain leather bag carefully in a place that is neither too humid nor too dry. A moderately humid environment allows it to retain its essential moisture.
Don’t keep your full grain leather bag near a radiator or a hairdryer. They can dry out the leather.
You can apply leather polish to protect it from everyday dust and grease.
Please remember that leather is never 100% waterproof. If you handle them with care, your leather bag can last you decades.
Full Grain Leather Products at Hides Canada
At Hides, we love to share our knowledge and our passion with you. As an independently owned Canadian leather brand based out of Toronto, ON, we have taken the time to understand and appreciate the characteristics of leather. We only offer the highest quality of full grain leather products that age with grace. These products are designed to withstand daily wear and tear while providing exceptional luxury. We have perfected our products over the years, combining high-quality with durability and lifetime warranty. Be sure to take a look at our bags, backpacks, handbags, briefcases, and a wide range of accessories!