Types of Leather Fabric

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Types of Leather Fabric
Leather also comes from sheep and goat skin. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Leather is a strong flexible material made from the tanning of animal rawhide and skin. There are four main types of leather: full grain, split, top grain and corrected grain. Each leather material is made differently and looks different in appearance. Leather material is used for making furniture, handbags, wallets, gloves, shoes and jackets.

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Top Grain Leather

Top grain leather comes from the upper layer of animal hide and is almost always buffed out from animal markings and dipped in dye to add colour. Top grain leather has a plastic-like feel and is cold to touch, depending on the air temperature. On really hot days, it becomes warm to the touch. This leather is used to make furniture because it tends to be easier to clean when liquids are accidentally spilt, and is durable.

Spilt Leather

Split leather comes from the fibrous part of the animal hide and is usually buffed out, dyed and sueded to make suede fabric. This leather is typically soft and fuzzy, like velvet to the touch on both sides, and is usually fairly thin in width. It is used for making clothing, shoes, furniture, handbags, hats and wallets.

Corrected Grain

Corrected grain comes from the lower sections of hide and is buffed from any animal markings and imperfections. An artificial grain is used to fill in any imperfections to give the leather an even appearances. Sometimes it is dyed with colour to help hide imperfections as well. This leather is fuzzy-feeling on one side and smooth on the other. Corrected grain leather is used to make furniture and clothing, as well, because it is also durable and easy to clean.

Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather comes from the upper section of cow hide, although other animal hides can sometimes be used. The hide is not buffed out, so animal markings such as scars, can be seen. Most full grain leathers are left in their natural state with the grains left in place. This leather tends to be one of the softest and most durable of all the leathers. Full grain leather is used to make sofas, chairs, wallets, jackets, shoes and gloves. It is known to soften in texture and look better in appearance over time. However, it is difficult to clean when something spills on it.

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