What is Top Grain Leather?

Top Grain leather comes from the outer side of a hide. It is usually identified by a distinct reddish-brown color. It is a lightweight grade, which makes it ideal for high-quality accessories and outdoor wear. The name top grain leather comes from the part of the animal where the outer layers are removed, allowing the inner core to be exposed. This richer coloring gives top grain leather its distinguished look and is popular with high-end accessories.

Natural Look and Finish

Top grain leather has a natural finish that wears naturally, giving it a dull look with noticeable stains. This is one of the reasons why top grain is frequently used in low-end fashion accessories such as purses and wallets. On the other hand, top-grain leather as the second-highest leather grade has the outermost layer of the hides removed and is typically characterized by a brownish-red color.


The price of top grain leather will generally be Higher than other and if you are looking for a durable, good-looking piece of footwear, it is best to opt for genuine leather footwear, rather than fake leather. Genuine leather has undergone a more extensive tanning process than fake ones, resulting in deeper colors, more distinct marks, and a striking difference in appearance. Moreover, the shoe may have been well cared for during manufacturing and will have low levels of spots, wrinkles, and imperfections. If you want a less expensive option but still have the same high-quality look and feel then you should choose faux top grain leather.

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As mentioned above, Top grain leathers are less durable than full-grain leathers, which have had their outermost layer stripped. This results in a lower density and strength. In addition, the full-grain leathers will have a coarser exterior texture. These types of materials are more susceptible to cracking and the cracking can spread into the next layer, creating unsightly holes.

Top grain leather may also suffer from the problem of stretching. The leather will not have its outermost layer stretched evenly and instead will experience what is known as ‘grainy spot’ where the cuticles of the hide to come into contact with the surface of the skin. This can cause cracking and a lumpy appearance. It is advisable to purchase a high-quality piece of footwear with a good leather upper from a reputable supplier.

The highest quality full-grain leather comes from cattle called Soan cows. These cows are kept on farms in the countryside and are bred to be the most luxurious of all top grain leather types. Their hide contains many natural oils that make them so soft and luxurious.

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