Full Grain Leather: A Simple Guide to Quality Leather

Published February 26, 2021
Full Grain Leather Handbag

Full grain leather handbags are highly cherished, top-notch fashion desirables. When you purchase a full grain leather handbag, you are making a long-term investment.

Full Grain Leather Handbags

The leather quality of a full grain leather handbag is the biggest selling point for this leather grade. It is also the strongest and most durable leather available.

What Is Full Grain Leather?

Full grain leather is the highest grade of leather you can buy. Full grain leather is the hide that is just below the hairline. It is the most natural and appealing leather since the grain surface is completely intact.

Full Grain Leather Characteristics

Your full grain leather handbag will display a smooth surface. Some collectors carry a magnifying glass with them to make sure the telltale signs of handbag quality leather can be viewed. You should be able to see how natural the leather is with the pores and even hair follicles visible.

Other indicators of full grain leather quality include:

  • Fat wrinkles and aging lines
  • Growth lines in the hide and scars
  • Difference in the grain texture from natural growth
full grain leather characteristics

Full Grain Leather Ages With Patina Coloration

As your full grain leather handbag ages, the coloration will also age and develop what is known as a patina. The patina coloring is highly prized by handbag collectors and non-collectors for its richly burnished look.

Dyed Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather is a luxury high-quality leather that can be dyed with aniline dyes. The aniline dyes allow the leather grain to remain natural, and no coating is used on top of the dye.

What Is Top Grain Leather?

Top grain leather is the second best leather. The outer layer of the cowhide is removed to reveal the top grain leather. This means that the top grain leather isn't as thick as full grain. The top grain is more pliable in manufacturing uses, but it is also cheaper than full grain leather.

Top Grain Leather Characteristics

The top surface of the top grain leather is removed, usually by sanding it. The purpose of this is to remove all the imperfections from the hide. This process removes the natural grain that is found in full grain leather.

Faux Leather Grain

To compensate for this loss, the top grain leather is embossed with a faux leather grain. This ensures the top grain leather when turned into a handbag will have a uniform appearance, unlike its full grain cousin.

Protective Coating

If you like your leather purse to develop a patina, then you need to stick with the full grain leather. You'll find with a top grain leather the leather has a protective coating. This coating will prevent your handbag from developing a patina.

Care and Maintenance of Full Grain Leather Handbag

The good news is full grain leather doesn't require a lot of maintenance. However, you want to take care of your full grain leather handbag since it will last for decades. There will be spills, scratches, dirt, and grime. You can clean these off your handbag immediately to avoid permanent stains.

How to Clean Your Full Grain Leather Handbag

The first thing you want to do is avoid leather soaps and cleaners made for saddles and boots. A better option for your handbag is a microfiber soft cloth, and a mild liquid hand soap mixed with warm water.

  1. You don't want to saturate your handbag, so just dip the cloth into the soapy water and then wring it out so you only use a damp cloth.
  2. It doesn't take much effort to rub the stain clean by using gentle circular motions.
  3. When the area is clean, dry it with a clean dry cloth.
  4. Let your purse dry.
  5. You will use a leather conditioner to keep the leather soft and waterproof.
  6. Use another soft dry cloth and work a small dab of the leather conditioner into the leather handbag.
  7. Allow your handbag to dry before using it.
Cleaning wallet with soapy water

Find Full Grain Leather Handbags

You can find quite a few full grain leather handbags. These handbags are considered high-end luxury and carry a higher price tag. Some of the full grain leather handbags include Ellington, Cuyana, and Rockcow.

Guide for Full Grain Leather Handbags

A guide for full grain leather handbags provides you with information for your leather handbag purchases. A full grain leather handbag is a valued investment that will last for decades and beyond.

Full Grain Leather: A Simple Guide to Quality Leather