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Types of Leather?

Is there a difference between full-grain leather and top-grain leather? What is better? What type is used in Scott motorcycle jackets, like the 141 or 641? 

Gail on 11/30/06 at 11:08 AM

These are terms used for leather that basically mean the same thing in regards to leather. These terms are used for high quality graded leather. Both the naked cowhide leather style 141 and the Steerhide leather in style 641 are high quality graded hides. The naked cowhide leather does not have a finish applied to the leather when it is tanned. The leather has a softer hand and a duller appaerance. Without a finish applied to the leather, the natural oils of the skin can surface to condition the leather. The Steerhide leather does have a finish a more rigid hand and a shiney appearnce. Both leathers are 3 oz. wt. and 1.2-1.4 mm in thickness. Gail

packardbill on 11/30/06 at 11:57 AM

Gail, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't "full grain" refer to leather that has not been "sanded" smooth and still has the "hair cells" which leavea the leather with a slight pebbly finish? Bill

Gail on 12/01/06 at 09:52 AM

Hi Bill, Full grain means the leather hide has not been split to produce lighter weight leather from one leather hide. A pebble effect is a process done at the tannery in the finishing of the hide for the pebble appearance and is not the hairs left on the hide. Gail

Jason_Schott on 12/01/06 at 09:53 AM

We use "full grain" and "top grain" interchangeably.  Both of them represent the outermost layer of the hides with all of their natural character and strength.  In every case of which I am aware, an animals outermost layer of skin is the strongest part.  It must be this way to protect it from the elements.  Similarly, since this layer is subjected to the elements, it is that much more difficult to find acceptable skins to be used in our jackets.  Some companies will take the hides, roll them with immense pressure to smooth out all of the grain, and then emboss them with a plate that simulates the grain of the animal.  Unfortunately, it always looks a little too perfect that way.    The pebbled effect about which you speak is created my milling the leather, or tumbling it in a large drum.  Milling helps to soften up the leather.  Our naked leather has the softness of milled leather without the pebbled effect because of the carefully formulated chemicals applied to the hides during the tanning process. 

reginald on 02/03/07 at 10:39 AM

most harley jackets and other custom made jackets use grained cowhides, it looks like natural skin pattern, but it could just be top quality imprint.
this is really intriguing!
does it make any difference to the longevity of the leather? harley jackets are pretty expensive too.

reginald on 02/03/07 at 10:40 AM

HD used to use smooth cowhide, like the shovelhead model, but they start to use grained and lighter leather more and mroe often

copsunited on 02/03/07 at 10:00 PM

Seldom, if ever ,anymore, are hides "imprinted" for garments. the process requires several extra steps and is really not worth the cost.

Garment Quality leather like for use in motorcycle jackets are skivved from the fatter parts of hides. They are split down to 1.0 to 1.8 for some garments. Anything in the vicinity of 1.3 to 1.6 is desireable for jackets and leggings such as motorcycle products. Most hide handlers are experienced and can see immediatley the value of the hide in the number of cuts they can get from a hide. Some hides are huge being 24 to 36 square feet some are even bigger. It takes a practiced eye to spot the flaws and be able to side step a bid on bad hides. Hides are tanned all over the world with various methods and acids or even tree bark or animal fats or brains. Italy, Nicaraauga, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Canada, Bolivia, Argentina etc. Mexican leather is horrible from my experiences and resembles wet cardboard when moist. Honduran is great for such things as purses etc. Argentina produces a high quality leather and has in fact become a leader in the manufacture of English style saddles. Great quality and not expensive. Again..stay the heck away from Mexican saddles if you are so inclined to ride horse.

I have had the pleasure of seeing touching, feeling,smelling, and owning  a lot of Schott leather and I can tell you..it is wonderful. Each jacket is matched in texture and luster and thickness of cut. You just don't find that quality in many other jackets.

I am NOT a salesman for Schott and have nothing to do with the company. I merely tell it like it is. Geno

reginald on 02/09/07 at 07:16 PM

hi mtds:

im a member of the schott forum, just want know know how you are getting along with your 118? are you weraring it yet? or preserved as a treasure? my quesiton is, despite all the readings form various websites, i still cannot visualise naked cowhide, as opposed to cowhide. some website have sample close up shots of so called naked cowhide, they say naked cowhide keeps the natural grain, which are hair pores, but gail said, and it is true, that sometimes the grain pattens are printed on them. i have two harley jackets, they are all cowhides and all have grains. but, schott products rarely have grains. should i conclude my harleys are a) imprinted grain? b)they are in fact naked cowhide? or c) schott's leathers are somehow flattend? or d) schott uses better hide than harley?

the reason i need to know about my harley hide type is when i need to condition and clean it, what should i use, just in case they are naked cowhide.

reg

 

Gail on 02/14/07 at 12:31 PM

Dear Reg, I cannot comment on your Harley jackets and whar type of leather was used in them. I can only provide you information on our jackets and our leather. Your style 651 is our steerhide leather, our naked cowhide would have the same appearance except it would be duller in appearance and would have a softer hand to the leather. Jason as posted the best description of these leathers for you in his earlier posting. Gail

reginald on 02/20/07 at 05:13 PM

metal zipper saws leather!!!
any jacket equipped with metal zippers risk damaging to the leather, especially in the cuff and sleeves area, by rubbing against the zipper, it's almost like a saw cutting a piece of wood.

i have put my hands in my jacket pockets once or twice, when i took them out, i found my cuff and any area that was in touch with the zipper got scratch marks!!!
are these scratches serious? like, if i consistantly rub a piece of leather against a zipper, will it eventually be cut to halve?
reg

treeman on 11/03/15 at 05:09 AM

Jason_Schott wrote:

We use "full grain" and "top grain" interchangeably.  Both of them represent the outermost layer of the hides with all of their natural character and strength.  In every case of which I am aware, an animals outermost layer of skin is the strongest part.  It must be this way to protect it from the elements.  Similarly, since this layer is subjected to the elements, it is that much more difficult to find acceptable skins to be used in our jackets.  Some companies will take the hides, roll them with immense pressure to smooth out all of the grain, and then emboss them with a plate that simulates the grain of the animal.  Unfortunately, it always looks a little too perfect that way.    The pebbled effect about which you speak is created my milling the leather, or tumbling it in a large drum.  Milling helps to soften up the leather.  Our naked leather has the softness of milled leather without the pebbled effect because of the carefully formulated chemicals applied to the hides during the tanning process. 

 

treeman on 11/03/15 at 05:11 AM

treeman wrote:
Jason_Schott wrote:

We use "full grain" and "top grain" interchangeably.  Both of them represent the outermost layer of the hides with all of their natural character and strength.  In every case of which I am aware, an animals outermost layer of skin is the strongest part.  It must be this way to protect it from the elements.  Similarly, since this layer is subjected to the elements, it is that much more difficult to find acceptable skins to be used in our jackets.  Some companies will take the hides, roll them with immense pressure to smooth out all of the grain, and then emboss them with a plate that simulates the grain of the animal.  Unfortunately, it always looks a little too perfect that way.    The pebbled effect about which you speak is created my milling the leather, or tumbling it in a large drum.  Milling helps to soften up the leather.  Our naked leather has the softness of milled leather without the pebbled effect because of the carefully formulated chemicals applied to the hides during the tanning process. 

 


Full grain and top grain interchangeably ? This does not sound correct.

Mh54480 on 01/22/19 at 04:50 PM

I agree there is a difference.  full grain is the outermost layer and strongest includes all the natural markings.  top grain has been sanded down and buffed away to hide imperfections.  

Moris258 on 08/20/20 at 09:15 AM

You have already received a complete answer to your question, so I can only advise where to find even more information  about full-grain leather. https://leather-toolkits.com/types-of-leather/full-grain-leather/ When choosing the type of skin, you also need to know its benefits and how to take care for it.

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