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Full- or Top-Grain Leather – What’s the Difference?

by | May 15, 2019

When searching for the perfect leather furniture for the living room, you might be looking for the most refined or the most durable material. An effective method of choosing the right leather sofa for the house is by knowing the difference between full- and top-grain leather. Continue reading to learn more about these two types of leather, and which types work best depending on your needs.

Full-Grain Leather

Full-grain leather is the highest quality leather material you can get for your sofa. If the epidermis and the first few layers of a hide have no blemishes, then the hair is removed, and the hide is treated with vegetable dye. The leather does not receive any further treatment, so it retains its natural look. In addition, the material retains its oil-absorbing properties and original features, so it develops patina over time.   

Top-Grain Leather

Despite its use in luxury items, top-grain leather is the second highest quality of leather your sofa can have. Much like full-grain leather, this material is also the animal’s epidermis, treated with dye. However, the top layer is sanded, shaved, or buffed off to remove any imperfections. This process gives the leather a more refined look. It also prepares the surface to a variety of finishes and makes it more flexible for any use.

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Leather Attributes to Consider

Both full-grain and top-grain leather have different attributes and differences that make them the best choice depending on what you are looking for in your furniture.

  • Cost and Quality. Full-grain leather is harder to work with and has more natural features, making it more expensive. Top-grain leather is thinner, easier to handle, and has a smoother look, but is also more affordable.
  • Durability. The natural features in full-grain leather make it more durable to regular handling, wear, and moisture. The additional treatment of full grain makes the material thinner, but also more fragile.
  • Appearance. A full-grain leather sofa will have more texture and marks, but also has more imperfections. Meanwhile, after the sanding or buffing process, the top-grain leather sofa receives an imitation grain that is more even and consistent.  
  • Aging. Full-grain leather tends to develop patina over continued use and age, while its top grain counterpart uses a protective finish coat against stains.

Looking to add luxury and comfort with leather furniture? Heritage House Furniture has both full- and top-grain leather furniture for your living room.

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No matter your needs, Heritage House Furniture has the sofa, living room set, or entire room you need to furnish your home to your ultimate comfort. Browse our website, stop by our showroom at your earliest convenience, or contact us today for more information about our comprehensive selection of home furnishings.