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What are the 4 types of leather?

Hi everyone,

I am in the market for a new leather jacket and have been doing some research on the different types of leather. I have heard that there are four main types of leather, but I am not quite sure what they are or what the differences are between them.

I want to make an informed decision when purchasing my leather jacket, so I would really appreciate it if someone could explain the four types of leather and what makes them unique. Are there certain types that are more durable or of higher quality? Any information or personal experiences with these different types of leather would be really helpful.

Thank you in advance for your help!

All Replies


Hi there,

I have bought leather jackets before and I can tell you that there are mainly four types of leather, namely full-grain, top-grain, genuine leather, and bonded leather.

Full-grain leather is the highest quality of leather and it is made from the outermost layer of the animal hide. This leather is very durable and has a natural texture that is resistant to moisture and dirt. I personally prefer full-grain leather jackets because they age really well with time and usage.

Top-grain leather is another high-quality leather that has a smooth and polished surface. It is made by removing the natural texture of the full-grain leather and then adding artificial textures. Top-grain leather jackets are less expensive compared to full-grain leather jackets and are often used in fashion apparels.

Genuine leather is made from the lower layers of the animal hide and is not as durable as full or top-grain leather. This type of leather is not my personal preference because it tends to wear out easily and does not age as well as full-grain leather.

Bonded leather is the lowest quality of leather and is made by grinding up leather scraps and bonding them together with plastic or rubber. Bonded leather jackets are inexpensive, but the quality is compromised, so they don't last very long.

I hope this helps you make an informed decision when purchasing your new leather jacket.



I'm happy to share my personal experience and knowledge with the different types of leather.

Full-grain leather has become my personal favourite, as I'm very fond of the natural texture it offers due to the use of the uppermost layer of the hide. It holds up well over time and can look even better with age. Full-grain leather is also highly resistant to damage and scratches, which makes it a favorable choice for me.

Whilst top-grain leather also has some good qualities like durability, smooth texture and resistance to stains, it loses its natural texture due to the removal of the top layer. If you are looking for a more refined and smooth finish leather jacket, top-grain leather is a great option.

I have had a bit of experience with genuine leather. Whilst it's marketed as pure leather, it's actually made of leftover scraps of lower quality hide. The good news is that it is more affordable compared to the top-grain and full-grain leather, but it's not as durable and can peel or crack quite easily.

Lastly, bonded leather, also commonly known as faux leather, is made of scraps bonded together and coated with a layer of polyurethane or any other similar material. It is also the most affordable leather option on the market. However, the quality is often very poor and it is prone to damage and can't last very long.

In conclusion, it’s no doubt that full-grain and top-grain leather jackets might be more expensive but given their quality, I think they're worth their price tags. Genuine leather is a more affordable option but doesn't have the durability like full-grain leather. For budget-friendly options, you could consider going for top-grain leather or bonded leather as alternatives.


Hey there,

As someone who has worked with different types of leather in the past, I can provide some insight into the four main types of leather. Full-grain leather is the highest quality leather and it is often used in luxury goods such as high-end jackets, bags, and wallets. This type of leather is very durable and gets better with age. The natural markings of the animal hide give it a unique rugged texture and this makes it very popular for outdoor clothing.

On the other hand, top-grain leather is also a high-quality leather and it has a smooth surface which is achieved by removing the upper layer. It is often used in fashion and is a common choice for leather jackets or car seats. The downside to top-grain leather is that it is not as strong as full-grain leather and it is more prone to wear and tear.

Genuine leather, on the other hand, is comprised of leftover scraps of lower-quality hides. It is much less expensive than full or top-grain leather, but it is not as durable and tends to crack and peel after long-term wear.

Lastly, bonded leather is made by combining leftover scraps of hide with adhesive to create a more affordable material that looks like real leather. Unfortunately, it is not as strong as genuine or top-grain leather and it is often bonded to a fabric backing to provide more support.

So in summary, full-grain and top-grain leather are great choices for a leather jacket, but you will pay more for the quality. Genuine leather is less durable and lower quality, while bonded leather is a cheap alternative that you should avoid for a leather jacket.


Hello there,

As someone who has owned a wide range of leather products, I believe that the type of leather one chooses should be based on the intended use of the product.

Full-grain leather is the highest quality leather available. In addition to its natural texture, durability, and resistance to wear and tear, it is perfect for heavy-duty leather products such as boots and motorcycle jackets. For outerwear, full-grain leather jackets are my favorite because they offer ultimate protection and comfort.

Top-grain leather, on the other hand, is less expensive and still has a smooth and polished appearance. This type of leather is often used in furniture, car interiors, and fashion accessories. However, it's not as durable as full-grain leather and may not last as long.

Genuine leather is made from the leftover scraps of lower-quality hides. Although it is more affordable than full-grain and top-grain leather, it is not as resilient and can be prone to tearing and cracking. Personally, I wouldn't recommend it for heavy-duty use like motorcycle jackets or boots.

Lastly, bonded leather is the most economical option, and it's commonly used in furniture. However, it's not durable, and it tends to peel, crack, and fade over time. I find that it’s not suitable for long-term use and is often best used for temporary purposes that don't require durability.

In conclusion, full-grain leather is the highest quality, top-grain leather is a good alternative when full-grain is too expensive, genuine leather may not be as good in quality as real leather, and bonded leather is the most affordable option, although I wouldn’t recommend it for items of high use. Choose the type of leather that fits your intended use and budget.


Hi there,

I’m also happy to provide my personal experience with the different types of leather. I think the key to choosing the right leather for your jacket is understanding how it’s going to be used and the look you’re going for.

Full-grain leather is the most expensive and top-quality leather on the market. It’s characterized by the natural texture of the hide and is very durable. However, If you’re looking for a more refined, cleaner look, then top-grain leather is a good option. I’ve found that this type of leather is ideal for more formal occasions and events because of its smooth finish.

Genuine leather, in my opinion, is a lower-quality leather and tends to be much cheaper than full-grain and top-grain leather. While it has the benefits of true leather and can be made into products like jackets and shoes, it can be susceptible to cracking and other wear and tear. I’ve found that it is not suitable for items of high use.

Bonded leather, on the other hand, is a broad category of man-made leather substitutes created from scraps. Although it’s not true leather, it pairs well with fabric and cheaper jackets are often made with bonded leather. However, the quality of these jackets is low, and personally, I would recommend staying away from them.

In conclusion, it’s important to consider how your jacket will be used, I found that full-grain leather is an excellent choice for durability and a natural feel, while top-grain leather offers a more refined look. Genuine leather is more affordable, but also has some disadvantages and bonded leather is simply a cheap alternative.

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