Corrected vs. Full Grain Leather: Which is Best?
Two of the most common terms you’ll hear when comparing belts are “full grain” and “corrected grain” leather.
These refer to different types of leather. Both are usually made from cowhide, but each is finished and treated in a different way:
- Full grain leather is largely untreated, with only a dyeing process to change the color of the leather. This type of leather retains the natural texture and feel of cowhide, giving it a rich, deep feel and a soft texture that feels comfortable and luxurious.
- Corrected grain leather is leather from below the surface layer of the animal’s skin. Like human skin, which is made up of multiple layers, corrected grain leather comes from a sub layer of the cow skin. This type of leather is usually sanded and buffed to give it a texture, and it doesn’t have the softness of full grain leather.
Top grain leather is another term you’ll see frequently when reading about belts, especially casual belts designed to be worn with jeans. This type of leather comes from the top layer of the cow’s skin, but usually isn’t quite as soft as full grain leather. It’s a great compromise, since top grain leather is usually cheaper and more durable than softer full grain leather.
If you’re shopping for a belt, make sure it’s made from either top grain leather or full grain leather. While corrected grain leather belts are usually cheaper to purchase, they’ll develop wrinkles and creases faster than their more natural alternatives, meaning your belt could look great for six months before aging quickly.
Invest in a good quality full grain or top grain leather belt, on the other hand, and you’ll have a valuable accessory that you can keep for life.
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