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Leather Lowdown: Full Grain vs. Top Grain vs. Genuine


It's common to see "genuine leather" used to describe the grade of material on a particular good. However, a "genuine leather" label is usually not good news. In fact, it typically signifies the worst possible quality of leather.

"Genuine leather" is mostly used as a catch-all phrase to convey that the product is technically "leather," while blurring the lines between it and the grades of leather above it. Unfortunately, many consumers are misled by the term "genuine leather" and proactively seek it out.

If quality is important to you, "full grain" is the best option, followed by "top grain." Full grain, which comes from the top layer of the hide and includes all of the natural grain, is the highest quality of leather in the world. Top grain leather, meanwhile, has the outermost layer of the hide removed. Both are superior to "genuine leather," but only full grain leather can promise a lifetime of beauty and durability.


Full grain leather tends to display a natural variance to its pattern and color. Because of this, no two full grain leather articles are exactly the same. Each tells its own unique story. Lower grade leathers, meanwhile, are often more uniform in color due to corrections that have to be applied to achieve the desired aesthetic.


The way full grain leather ages might be its most popular characteristic. Rather than wearing out, it burnishes and gracefully beautifies with time. The more it's used, the better and more refined it looks.


Full grain leather is the most durable of these grades as it comprises the strongest fibers in the hide. It's also more breathable, eliminating moisture more readily, and is less susceptible to staining than top grain or genuine leather.


Full grain leather is widely regarded as the grade that looks, feels, and smells the best. Coupled with its quality, full grain leather is also the most sought after and expensive.

THE GIST; watch out for products labeled "genuine leather," or that just say "leather" with no qualifier. You may end up disappointed in their quality, appearance, and performance.

Top grain leather is still a decent option as a cheaper alterative to full grain leather that might not age as well or last as long, but offers more quality than "genuine leather."

But full grain leather, if you're willing to invest in it, should service you for life and look the best doing it.

The LUMAZI Difference

We use only full grain leather, the highest quality of leather there is. What's more, we source our leather from only the finest tanneries in Europe and North America. We treat our leather with oil wax for a spectacular finish and lasting durability. LUMAZI products only look better with age, gradually achieving the aforementioned patina premium leather is coveted for.

Precision hand-crafting, stainless steel machined buttons, free shipping, and our lifetime warranty are the coup degrâce, rounding out the LUMAZI experience you won't get anywhere else.