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Leather

Leather has been utilized for centuries. It has been used for items ranging from clothing and jewelry to furniture and footwear. Leather comes in a variety of different types, colors and forms.

Types

Leather is sold in four types: full grain, top grain, corrected grain and split. Full-grain leather is leather that has not been sanded, buffed or "snuffed" to remove imperfections from the surface. Full-grain leather is breathable. It will also develop a patina over time. High-quality furniture and footwear are often made from full-grain leather.

Top-grain leather is the most common type of leather used in high-end leather products. It is thinner and more pliable than full-grain leather. It has been sanded, and a finishing coat has been added to the surface resulting in a plastic feel with a less breathability. It will not develop a patina. It is typically less expensive and more resistant to staining.

Corrected-grain leather has an artificial grain applied to the surface. Imperfections are sanded, and an artificial grain is impressed into the surface.

Split leather is created from the fibrous part of the hide that is left once the top grain has been separated from the hide. Splits are also used to create suede. Suede is "fuzzy" on both sides.

Colors

Leather comes in a variety of colors today. It comes in natural colors, naturally dyed colors and even metallic.

Forms

Leather comes in many different forms. It comes in cords, lace, suede, strips and sheets. Each type comes in a range of sizes, widths and finishes.

What to Pair It With

Leather is great with pearls, stones, metal or by itself, and knotted. It can be fringe, cut or layered. It can be dressed up or down. Leather is so versatile, which is why it's been used for centuries.