6 Different Types of Leather Grades

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Women own about 20 pairs of shoes on average. Chances are that some of those shoes are made of leather.

You may own other leather goods as well, such as purses, belts, or wallets. Even couches and other furniture items can be made of leather.

How do you know if you are buying the right type of leather? Are you spending more than you should on a product that won't hold up?

Once you know the basic information about the types of leather options available, you'll be able to make smarter buying decisions. Here are the main types of leather that you need to know about before making a purchase.

How to Distinguish Between Different Types of Leather

Not all leather is created equal and there are many factors that make a certain type of leather better or worse than other types available.

You will most commonly find leather made from cow, goat, lamb, or sheep, but there are other animals that leather is made from.

Another option you can shop for faux leather, which is not really leather at all but is instead materials formed together to mimic the appearance of real leather.

Part of the reason that different types of leather exist is due to how the leather is made. Depending on which part of the animal the skin comes from, the leather could be a different style.

One of the big things that must be considered when you're shopping for leather goods is the grade of leather. This is how you can determine what type of leather the product is made from and whether or not you are getting your money's worth.

Main Types of Leather Based on Leather Grades

These are the four main leather grades that you will find. Full-grain leather is considered the highest grade and bonded leather is the lowest grade.

You'll commonly find top grain leather and split leather, but they may go by other names and may not always be the same quality depending on the brand.

Top Grain: leather that is corrected or amended in any way

Split Leather: leather that is split from the grain at grain junction (also called genuine leather)

Bonded Leather: shredded leather straps with fillers reconstituted and embossed in a coating

Full-Grain: leather with the entire grain intact, include protected, aniline, and semi-aniline

What About Nubuck or Suede Leathers?

Both nubuck and suede are still considered leather, but they are softer than a traditional leather would be.

Typically used for footwear or accessories, these options are fuzzier due to being modified.

The top layer of the material is sanded off to remove the rough outside and give these two types of leather their look and feel.

Creating Custom Leather Goods

With any type of product you buy made of leather, you may choose to make it your own after purchase. Whether you are looking for a specific look or want something more specific, customization is always an option.

You can use leather goods as an accessory, such as keychains or belts, or you can choose a leather item that is the main focus. Choosing the right type of leather for you is one way to get the look you want, but there are other ways to personalize a leather good.

Consider getting leather engraving services to make the leather more unique to you. You can choose this option for leather items you plan to give as gifts as well.

Choosing the Right Type of Leather

Now that you've got more information about the types of leather out there, you can make better decisions the next time you need to buy a leather good.

Pay attention to the leather grade first and foremost, but also consider what you plan to use the item for. If the leather material is for daily use, you may want to choose a higher grade.

If you're looking for more tips to save money while shopping for the leather materials or clothing items you need, check out the rest of our website for more articles like this one. Visit the Lifestyle section of the Frugal Finance Blog to learn more about the best types of leather footwear and clothing for frugal fashion that's fab!

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