The Scoop on High-End Leather

What's the scoop? Whether you're new here or have been around awhile, here are some nifty things for you to expect from your leather experience!

When you choose to invest in high quality leather goods, you should expect more than just form and function - you should expect quality. Buyer beware; not all leather is created equal! There are four main types of leather in the market;

This is the strongest leather on the market. It also holds the richest character and in our opinion is the most beautiful. No sanding or buffing is done to this type of leather, which gives it its strength. It also leaves the natural imperfections; the real pattern of the grain, bug bites, scars, etc. It is more than just a piece of leather. It has a history, a story.

- Maintains all the character of the hide (stretch marks, scars, brands etc)  - Strongest leather available - the top layer has the tightest and finest fibers

- Will continue to tell a story; no grain correction allows for absorption of oils allowing for sought after patina


Top Grain is so close but yet so far! Top grain utilizes the same section of the hide that Full Grain does, however, the very top layer is sanded/buffed to remove those "imperfections" we really love around here. With the added aesthetic "benefit" of blemish-free leather, there is a loss of strength and durability.

- Removes most of the "imperfections" of the hide

- More uniform  in look of hide

- Sanding of the top layer results in loss of some of the fine fibers, resulting in a loss of strength


Genuine Leather is a corrected grain; it can be taken from any layer of the hide but is treated (think sanded or buffed) to create a completely uniform surface that is then dyed or even spray painted. Genuine is often stamped or embossed to look more like Full Grain leather. This may be the most common type of leather, but the correction and printing of the grain leaves it with reduced strength and longevity.

- Taken from any layer of the hide

- Treated, sanded or buffed to complete uniformity

- Artificial leather grain painted or embossed on the hide

- Correction leads to a loss of authentic leather feel and smell

This is your chicken nugget or hot dog of leather grades. Leather scraps get shredded, then bonded together. These mixtures can contain anywhere from 10%-90% of actual leather material. Wow!

- Shredded leather scrap bonded together

- Makes use of leather waste

- Low cost, substantially weaker and chips with time

- Bonded mixtures can contain anywhere from 10% - 90% of actual leather material

Once you know how to spot high end leather goods you'll notice that full grain leather is not only stronger and more durable, it is also an excellent storyteller. Full grain leather goods will show off more and more as time goes on; developing a rich patina full of character and authenticity.

Customers often ask us how to take care of their investments, and we honestly feel like one of the best ways to do that is by consistent use! Every time you touch one of our leather wallets, or use our bags or journals, the oils from your skin are absorbed into the fibers of the leathers. This not only keeps the leather from drying out, it also starts the process of patina… a crowd pleaser! 

Past that, we are also huge fans of Chamberlain’s Leather Milk. It is the only leather care product that we sell, and we use it regularly. Yes, use will help that piece out - however the leather milk will rejuvenate and condition those leather goods in a way that will keep them around for generations.

So many of our team members around here have used their Holtz Leather products for years, so we know they last and continue to look great. We never get tired of seeing how these heirloom items have aged! 

Do you have a favorite Holtz Leather good? We’d love to help you show it off! Send us a photo with a brief description of your favorite features to customercare@holtzleather.com, and you may just win a special gift on us. 

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