What is Top Grain Leather 

Top grain leather is the outermost layer or "top cut" from a cowhide.  While top grain leather is the same cut from the hide as full grain, it requires alterations to the skin beyond the removal of hair.  Typically, due to the presence of excessive natural markings, or blemishes, the leather's surface is "corrected" through very fine mechanical sanding.  Once the skin surface is uniform the leather hide is tanned, finished, and embossed with large metal rollers that add a skin texture to the leather - most commonly a natrual or pebble grain texture.  A large variety of these leathers are available at Leather Hide Store. 

So, what is top grain leather used for?  The controlled, uniform nature of the leather makes it the most popular choice for most furniture, auto, or other leathercraft applications.  It is especially common for high traffic applications such as seating.  During the finishing process, a protective topcoat is applied to the leather, which provides protection against staining and "wear and tear."  The consistency, durability and price make top grain leathers make it very attractive for most upholstery applications.  See our full grain leather page for a list of the different top grain and full grain leather we offer in our collection.

machine showing how leather is split into top grain and suede


cross-section of the layers of cowhide and how top grain is made