Put simply, top grain leather is the outer portion of the cow skin. The top grain is what you see when you look at a cow. It is the most attractive, durable, strongest portion of the cowhide. Similar to our own skin, you see natural lines, pebbling (grain) and hair follicles on the top grain leather.
How is top grain leather different from full grain leather?
Click here to learn How top grain leather is different from full grain leather
How is top grain leather different from split leather?
The top grain leather is different than split leather due to its natural characteristics. The cow skin is thick, and the tannery will cut layers from the skin. The outer layer is the top grain portion. The under layers are called splits, as they are split from the top grain. The split layers do not have any natural characteristics such as lines (grain) or hair follicle, are not as durable and do not age well.
How is top grain leather different from Bicast leather?
Top grain leather as described above is different than bicast leather because bicast leather is a split leather, that has a pigmented polyurethane coating applied to the surface. This coating does not age well and can peel and flake off. It is a lesser cost to produce than top grain leather.
How is top grain leather different from Bonded leather?
Top grain is the most durable best-looking outer portion of the cow hide, as described above. Top grain leather is different than bonded leather, because bonded is an accumulation of leather pieces that are further ground up, spread out flat, then coated with pigmented polyurethane (plastic). It costs less than producing top grain leather. If you have ever heard of leather that is pealing, it is the polyurethane coating that is pealing. Unfortunately, some stores will say it is real leather, but it is not.
How is top grain leather different from Married leather?
Above we learned that top grain leather is the best. Some manufacturers will lower the cost of their furniture by using married leather. This is the process of using top grain leather where the body touches such as the top of the seats, front of the backrest, tops of the arms. Everywhere else, they use vinyl, or bonded or bicast. They call this 100% leather, but it is not. The different surfaces will age differently causing differences in coloration.
Why is top grain leather best suited for furniture?
Top grain leather is the best to use on furniture because of its beauty, soft feel, and durability. Leather will last up to 5 times longer than synthetic fabric. Leather, with a protective finish, will not show scratches, stains and fading from sunlight. Leather as a natural material will last longer and feel better than synthetic fabric, split or bicast or bonded leather.
Be sure to learn how to buy the best leather sofa that is made in America. In addition to the above top grain information, click here for additional leather information
or here for Characteristics of Quality Leather.