Leather is a natural product and as such, bares all hallmarks of its origin. Unique and individual markings may appear on a hide and should not be considered as defects. Instead, they give leather a unique identity, which enhances its natural beauty and characteristics
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Correct grain is where the leathers surface has been corrected to remove the above natural markings. This is done when there is an abundance of marks that cause the hide to look damaged or unsightly, and so the marks are removed.
The process in which this is done can slightly differ depending upon the amount and depth of the marks. When the scuffs and scratches aren't too severe the hide can be buffed (with a type of sander) and then have a pigment applied to the surface. The light buffing reduces the marks and then the pigmented coating covers them. When the marks have some depth to them they need filled before they can be concealed. This is done by spreading a flexible paste (Heavy Filler) over the surface of the leather and then sanding it down. A pigmented coating is then applied to the surface as before.
Corrected grain leather falls under the category of 'pigmented leather' on our leather types web page.
NOTE: Because the surface is buffed the leather loses its natural grain pattern and so, an artificial grain pattern is then embossed into the leather.
Full grain leather is where the natural markings are minimal and so the leather can be dyed or lightly pigmented without the need for buffing. The natural markings on a hide should in no way affect the strength and durability of the leather as they are mainly superficial. The exclusive selection of hides for full grain leather means that they have a premium price over other leather types.
Full Grain Leather Types: Aniline, Semi-aniline, pull up, oily/waxy pull up
The majority of leather used for upholstery in the car & home is pigmented leather. This is because, in the field, a cow can get caught on barbed wire, rub against thorn bushes, and get cut by other animal’s horns. In addition to this, cows are often bitten by insects, parasites, ticks, and lice, all of which result in markings on the hide.
The majority of hides available for tanning are in such a condition that the surface needs to be 'corrected' before it is suitable or visually acceptable for upholstery. Only a small percentage of hides have few marks and are in good enough condition to be left untouched. So full grain leather, is therefore more expensive. Simply, it’s a numbers game, there are fewer full grain leathers available, and so, supply & demand dictates that they be charged at a premium price.