Top Grain Leather: Characteristics, Types, and Tests

Leather is a long-lasting and popular material for the production of shoes, accessories, bags, clothing, and other items. Because of its inexpensive price and excellent, smooth surface, top grain leather is one of the most well-known varieties. This book will be valuable for anybody interested in leathercraft or simply looking to purchase a high-quality top-grain product. 

Definition of top grain leather

Top-grain leather is made from the top layer of the animal's skin, but unlike full-grain leather, it has a surface that has been rubbed, sanded, and typically given a monophonic glossy finish. Special pressing equipment is used to create the "grain" surface. The degree of "grains" determines the type of top-grain leather.

While less expensive than full-grain leather, top-grain leather is more expensive than split and bonded leather. Top-grain leather is technically corrected-grain leather since its surface has been thoroughly treated. A type of corrected-grain leather makes up the top grain substance.

The Leather Honey brand is an excellent cleaning solution for anyone who has discolored or badly dirty top grain leather products. It quickly removes dirt and grime, resulting in a superb repair job.

Top grain leather applications

Top-grain leather is used to make clothing, shoes, accessories, and furniture upholstery.

As a result, top grain items are low-cost yet feature highly "expensive" leather. These goods can differ widely in terms of their comfort level, breathability, look, and quality (while breathing quality is usually lower than full-grains).

Patina is not applied to this leather kind.

In certain situations, it can preserve its original appearance for a very long period, yet many artisans consider that top-grain is less durable than full-grain. This is most certainly true on average, although well-crafted and treated top-grain leather may also be highly durable.

Full-grain leather versus top-grain leather

The cost is the only other distinction between top grain and full grain leather. Top-grain items are the best option if you're on a low budget and want to get a natural leather accessory. It is far superior to split or glued leather. Especially if you're not looking for patina on leather.

Fashionistas favor full-grain leather because it is more elastic and supple - it keeps its shape. It also "breathes" better. The top grain leather is sanded and does not retain its form. The bottom layer of an animal's skin, which degrades quickly and is susceptible to damage from water, is used to make top grains.

The strongest section of the animal leather is without a doubt beneath the hairline. This is due to the abundance of fiber in the region. This means that it also offers dependable moisture protection. Full-grain leather is produced in this region. Despite the more expensive manufacturing procedure compared to top grain leather, reputable fashion firms choose this particular leather kind.

Full-grain leather products are strong and have a beautiful copper color (the best material for creating leather bags and briefcases for men). Of course, unlike top grains, such leather is the most costly. Top-grain leather has a polished surface, which is the primary distinction between these two varieties of leather. This leather will be more polished because the top layer has been removed. It also implies that top-grain leather is less long-lasting. Because it is of lower quality, it is typically used to embellish basic purses and wallets.

Top grain leather vs. bonded leather

Top grain leather contains imperfections that are sanded and polished at first. However, it is not processed differently. As a result, the top grains are soft and appear natural. Following the chemical treatment, corrected grain leather is another sort of top grain leather. This leather is incredibly durable yet not particularly supple.

Top grain leather is frequently confused with bonded leather. However, bonded leather includes a trace of natural animal skin. It's like calling pressed wood "natural wood," even if it's manufactured from scraps and sawdust. Bonded leather is manufactured from polyurethane and fused leather fragments. That is why top-grain and bonded leather should never be confused.

Is top grain leather prone to peeling?

The peeling of high grain leather goods is an intriguing phenomenon. Although all full grains are top grain leather kinds, not all top grains are full grains. If you don't want your leather items to peel quickly, get full grain and top grain leather. If the item is made of split top grain leather, the sides may peel. Before purchasing an expensive top-grain accessory or item of apparel, conduct a few tests.

Real top grain leather is being tested.

Most individuals are unable to distinguish between genuine and fake top grain leather. Artificial leather is not always of low quality. Artificial vegan leather has shown time and time again that it can surpass top-grain leather.

Natural leather, on the other hand, is always more durable and has a wonderfully smooth surface that cannot be duplicated. So make an informed decision.

How can you identify natural top grain leather? On one side, it has a porous structure and a smooth surface. The side with more smoothness is polished when there are lots of natural pores. Such leather is created from low-quality basic materials. Natural pores are substantially reduced. Embossing is used to create a pattern that resembles the natural surface of animal skin. The top grains must be colored.

How should top grain leather items be cared for?

Suede and nubuck are top grain leather variations. All varieties of polished top-grain leather lack water-repellency, hence clothing made from this material shouldn't be worn in rainy conditions. This leather has a distinct hairline.

The Leather Honey brand is an excellent cleaning solution for anyone who has discolored or badly dirty top grain leather products. It quickly removes dirt and grime, resulting in a superb repair job.

If top grain leather shoes are necessary, protect them with water-repellent products before leaving the house.

Following are some pointers for maintaining top grains:

  1. Never use water or soapy cleaners to clean such shoes or garments.
  2. Only a new stain or dirt can be removed with all of the cleaning solutions. You may bid them farewell if it has been more than an hour since you last cleaned top-grain goods.
  3. Dry cleaning is an option. To clean suede and nubuck shoes or clothing, use specially developed brushes.
  4. To give the leather a natural appearance after removing stains and grime, brush it again. Some patches may remain oily; in this instance, sandpaper should be used to clean them.


Top grain leather items are reasonably priced. They are of good quality and appear natural even without patina. Choose natural materials that have an appropriate label and manufacturer's certificate. Top grain leather items should not be overlooked because they are supple and long-lasting.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

1 of 3

You May Also Like

Shop All Regina leather bags for women and ladies | Free Shipping and Save 10% on First Order, Coupon Code: NEW10

Contact Us