* Full Grain Leather
Every Top Grain Leather has some kinds of markings such as scars, insect bites, wrinkles, veining which are natural characteristics of genuine leather. If there are few blemishes in the leather it can be referred to as “Full Grain Leather”. Only approximately 5 percent of all upholstery leathers produced worldwide can be selected as full grain leather. Full Grain Leather is the best quality leather available. Full Grain Leather refers to hides that have not been sanded, buffed, or snuffed (as opposed to corrected grain) to remove imperfections (or natural marks) on the surface of the hide. The grain remains allowing the fiber strength and durability. The grain also has breathability, resulting in less moisture from prolonged contact. Rather than wearing out, it will develop a patina over time. Full grain leather is often seen as the most authentic type of leather because it maintains all of the texture from the original cowhide.
Advantages of Full Grain Leather is a smooth and luxrious surface and disadvantages include a more expensive price tag and the need to gradually "break in" the product before wearing for long periods of time.
Full Grain Leathers are typically available in two finish types: analine and semi-aniline.
* Corrected Grain Leather
Top Grain Leather with a little bit too much blemishes and markings to be selected as Full Grain Leather is known as Corrected Grain Leather. As the name indicates Corrected Grain Leather has had the surface grain partially removed due to the fact that the tannery has deemed that the hide has too many natural hallmarks on the surface. The tannery will 'correct' the surface and then apply a simulated grain to the surface after the pigmented finish is applied.
Of the various types of corrections, the most common is to sand down, and remove some of the natural grain and then emboss a consistent graining pattern. Another type of correction is to lightly buff the hide to remove the peaks and valleys of the grain. This improves the durability of the surface. When produced by a tannery experienced in the manufacture of leather for upholstery, Corrected Grain Leather can be expected to give excellent service.
There are different grades of Corrected Grain Leather depending on the degree of correction. The less corrected the better. However, there is no standard grade. Every tannery has its own way of grading. Some starts from 100(lowest) to 700(highest) while others start 5,000(lowest) to 1000(highest), etc. Therefore, it is important to deal with the reputable dealers.
Most Corrected Grain Leather is used to make pigmented leather as the solid pigment helps hide the corrections or imperfections. However, best Corrected Grain Leather with minimal blemishes can be bought as semi-analine finish type as well.
Generally speaking Corrected Grain Leathers are more durable than Full Grain Leather(Please refer to the next chapter -Aniline vs Pigmented)
-Updated January 25, 2013