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Leather and Its Variations

Leather and Its Variations

You may have purchased leather goods and wondered why some products lasted longer than others. Here, you will learn about full-grain, top-grain, genuine leather, suede, bi-cast leather, bonded leather, and faux leather.

There is a global industry based on manufacturing leather goods. A segment of the leather goods industry may begin with ranchers. Farm animals are bred, raised, grazed, branded for ownership identification, and sold to feedlots. While in the limited space of feedlots, livestock gains weight quickly and is then sold to meatpacking facilities to be slaughtered for the food industry.

Leather tanneries purchase the skin of the slaughtered livestock from slaughterhouses and process them into leather through tanning. Crafters purchase leathers from resellers who make bulk purchases from leather tanneries. Crafters may create custom-made genuine leather furniture Toronto ON.


Leather is made of animal skin. Grain is the top outer layer of animal skin, under the hair or fur.

The highest quality leather is called full-grain leather because the grain is not altered; only the hair is removed, making it very durable, thick, and natural.

Next in quality is top-grain leather because the outer layer of the leather has been removed through sanding, having created a thinner, softer, uniform grain, with a coating applied for durability.

Both genuine leather and suede are made from split leather, the skin beneath the top grain. A grain embossed layer is added to create genuine leather, whereas the skin is shaved to create suede.

Bi-cast leather is made from polyurethane and a thin leather layer and is not durable.

And finally, bonded leather is made from polyurethane and shredded leather scraps pressed onto a backing sheet. It may crack, flake, and peel.

Faux Leather

Faux leather, leatherette, or artificial leather is synthetic leather, including PU, PVC, and Vegan leather.

PU leather is made from polyurethane, while PVC leather is made from polyvinyl chloride. PVC leather is more durable than PU leather, and both are made to resemble leather.

Vegan leather is faux leather that may be plant-based. It is thin and may or may not be blended with PU or PVC.

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