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:

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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