Full grain leather or split leather: What is the difference?
- Home Improvement
- December 9, 2022
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Do you want to buy leather furniture? What a great idea! These pieces of furniture with such a particular charm contain a real character and are real decorative elements in an interior. However, it can sometimes be difficult to make a choice since there are different types of leather. Between full grain leather and split leather, how to differentiate them? We are here to help you so that leather has no more secrets for you.
Before starting, a little reminder of what leather is. This material is obtained by using the dermis of the animal. It has two parts: the inner and outer face. The flower side, which is the hair side, has a rather smooth surface while the rind side, which is the flesh side, is a little rougher. The two therefore do not look the same and should not be confused. We will explain everything to you.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FULL-GRAIN LEATHER
The flower represents the top of the skin, in other words, the surface of the dermis where the hairs are implanted. It generally provides high quality leather that multiplies the advantages. Zoom on the full-grain leather that has pride of place in our interiors!
THE GRAIN SIDE: THE BEST OF LEATHER
Full-grain leather is a leather texture that has therefore preserved the upper part of the dermis as well as the hair follicle of the animal. This part of the skin contains denser fibers and makes it possible to extract the finest leathers. The grain, which is this external part of the dermis “hair side”, offers a certain resistance and durability to the leather. We then speak of “full grain leather” when we use its full thickness and retain its natural appearance.
FULL-GRAIN LEATHER: HOW TO RECOGNIZE IT?
Full-grain leather is recognizable as it is natural leather, which has kept the upper surface of the animal’s skin intact. It therefore generally displays the natural grain of the skin, as well as all its irregularities, such as natural wrinkles, scratches, hollows, scratches or even scars. Alongside this, due to its natural quality, full-grain leather also logically retains all the qualities of the skin, namely its suppleness and its resistance.
To be certain that your furniture is not split leather but indeed grain leather, be sure to observe its details closely. A grain of leather piece of furniture should have some natural flaws. Be careful, however, since some manufacturers and manufacturers are able to reproduce the appearance of grain leather. Only small holes and cavities cannot be reproduced by machines and will allow you to recognize real full-grain leather for sure.
Note that there is also the corrected grain which is a part of the leather between the grain and the split slightly sanded to give a uniform and more homogeneous appearance to the leather. However, this finish causes the leather to lose its natural appearance, its touch as well as some of its qualities such as its extreme durability and its hold over time.
FULL-GRAIN LEATHER: ALL ITS POSSIBILITIES
There are several varieties and finishes of full-grain leather. This can be tinted or just waterproofed. You can find full-grain aniline leather, which is leather extracted from a skin whose full thickness has been retained and which displays very few defects. Only a slight transparent finish is used to keep the original appearance of the leather. As a general rule, these leathers are of high quality and retain a very particular authentic appearance. There is also full-grain leather with a pigmented finish. Here the rendering is a little less natural but the opaque finish makes it possible to have a leather that is well protected and very easy to maintain. A print finish is also possible on this type of leather. This process makes it possible to give it relief: lizard, crocodile, ostrich or grained printing… the leather can take several forms,
The “grain of leather” is often the most sought after because it is the most qualitative leather. This upper part of the skin is in fact more noble, more permeable and more supple. Coming from the layer of the skin where the fibers are the densest, this type of leather has great qualities of resistance and durability. We also particularly like its unique appearance where the roughness and the natural grain of the skin make each product authentic. Its soft and pleasant texture is also very appreciable.
- Resistant and durable
- Natural and authentic
- Soft feel
Since nothing is ever perfect, full-grain leather can also have some drawbacks. As it is top-of-the-range leather with high quality, its price is logically more expensive than split leather, which is a little less noble. It should also be taken into account that leather is a material that requires greater care than other materials. Although it is solid and resistant, its natural character can make it more sensitive, especially to the sun.
- More expensive than split leather
- More sensitive to the sun
- Requires regular maintenance
THE INTEREST OF SPLIT LEATHER
If the flower is particularly sought after, the split leather is not left out! It has many qualities that appeal to a multitude of interiors. Let’s go for a little overview of the particularities of split leather!
THE FLESH SIDE: ZOOM ON SPLIT LEATHER
The leather crust designates the inner layer of the dermis, that is to say its “flesh side”. It is obtained by splitting thick leather into two sheets. This process notably allows manufacturers to double the usable skin surface. Split leather is widely used in the manufacture of furniture and comes to dress many seats: chair, stool or armchair. Go for examples here.
SPLIT LEATHER: WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
As the rind comes from the underside of the skin, its properties are therefore different from those of the flower. This is why split leather does not look the same as full grain leather. It will no longer have the appearance of smooth leather but on the contrary will display a certain stiffness. Split leather is more “raw” and less soft than grain.
If you wish to purchase leather furniture, be sure to check the labeling of the product so as not to confuse the words “leather” and “split leather”. These two types of leather can sometimes resemble each other through the imitation of the grain by the manufacturers.
WHEN THE SPLIT LEATHER IMITATES THE FLOWER
The split leather is usually coated with varnish or polyurethane and printed to imitate full-grain leather. As the crust is a leather is originally more sensitive, it requires a protective layer by the application of nutritive agents. A grain is then added by printing plates which can restore the appearance of the flower. The crust can also be transformed into suede or suede. We then speak of “velvet split” when the fibrous appearance of the leather is preserved.
This leather finish has undeniable advantages. Its main advantage is its price. It is indeed much less expensive than full grain leather. If you have a moderate budget but want to treat yourself to a nice leather chair, an armchair or a sofa, then split leather can be a good alternative. Especially since well maintained, it can be just as aesthetic as full-grain leather. Another advantage, and not the least, is its ease of maintenance.
- More affordable than full-grain leather
- Easy to maintain
Like grain leather, split leather has advantages and disadvantages. It is generally less flexible than the flower. It will also generally be stiffer and its touch will be a little less soft than full-grain leather.
- Thinner and stiffer
- Less soft touch
FULL-GRAIN LEATHER OR SPLIT LEATHER: HOW TO CHOOSE?
Now that you know the main differences between full-grain leather and split leather, here are our final tips to help you choose your future leather furniture.
SELECT THE TYPE OF LEATHER ACCORDING TO YOUR BUDGET
Price is one of the main differences between grain and split leather. If you want to go for high-end leather then we advise you to opt for full grain leather. For more moderate budgets, split leather makes it possible to have attractive leather furniture at an affordable price. Leather remains a material considered as noble, whether it comes from the grain or from the crust.
CHOOSE YOUR LEATHER FURNITURE ACCORDING TO THE DESIRED STYLE
As we have seen, the two types of leather do not have the same rendering. If you are looking to give a highly natural side to your industrial or vintage style interior, with aged and patinated effect furniture, then full grain leather is ideal. It will give character to your decor and give it an authentic appearance with experience. The softness and suppleness of the flower allow it to blend in particularly well with cozy interiors and bring them a real touch of comfort. Although it is stiffer and less soft than grain, split leather also fits into all types of interiors. It is found in particular in contemporary decorations that love its appearance. Leather chairs will be ideal in this style of decoration, accompanying a pretty table in wood. Additionally, as we have seen, some split leathers can also very convincingly mimic full-grain leather while being more affordable.
LEATHERS THAT RELY ON THEIR RESISTANCE
As we saw earlier in the article, full-grain leather is generally denser and therefore more robust than split leather, which is generally thinner. Full-grain leather will nevertheless require more regular maintenance than split leather if you want to keep its original resistance. However, most split leather models can also be of very good quality and surprisingly durable! So have fun! Whether you want a split leather chair or a leather armchair, you are bound to find a model that will stand the test of time!
WHAT MAINTENANCE FOR YOUR LEATHER FURNITURE?
Maintenance can also be an important criterion when buying leather furniture. Overall, leather is rather easy to maintain. But of course, full-grain leather can be more susceptible to wear compared to split leather. It is therefore necessary to take care of it! Indeed, where various moisturizing products will have to be used at some point to hydrate the grain, the maintenance of the split leather is generally done simply with a sponge, soapy water and the use of a soft cloth. clean and dry to wipe off. This can therefore be a significant point when looking for furniture that is rather easy to maintain!