Leather is the skin or hide of an animal, that is tanned making it more durable, then used to make clothing and other items such as wallets, leather jackets, gloves, horse saddles and messenger bags.
The most common animal used to make leather is the cow.
Other common animal hides include lamb, deer, elk, sheep, pig, buffalo, goat, ostrich, kangaroo, snake and alligator.
Below you will find complete answers to the most common leather questions.
There are five different leather grades: full grain, top grain, split grain, genuine leather and bonded leather. [Read More...]
Distressed leather, also known as Pull Up leather, is a full grain, aniline dyed oiled leather. When distressed, the oils cause the colouring to migrate and become lighter in the distressed areas. [Read More...]
What is Full Grain Leather
Full grain leather is a piece of leather that has the full, complete grain of the hide intact. [Read More...]
What is Top Grain Leather
Unlike full grain leather, in top grain leather, the complete grain of the hide is not intact. [Read More...]
Full Grain vs Top Grain Leather
Both full grain and top grain leather come from the the top split of the hide.
Full grain leather is more durable and resistant to wear. Sample of leather full grain leather is vegetable tanned and distressed leather.
A typical top grain leather will have its surface buffed and sanded, both sides, then the leather surface will be further pigmented.
This processing will leave the top grain leather devoid of scarring, blemishes, etc. that you see in a full grain leather, and the surface of the top grain leather will be smooth and uniform. [Read More...]
What is Genuine Leather
Genuine leather is a made up marketing term used to deceive the general public.
Genuine leather is the bottom of barrel of leather grades. Well, technically there is still bonded leather at the very bottom, but genuine leather is definitely swimming very close to the bottom. [Read More...]
What is Bonded Leather
Bonded leather is glue, leather dust, scraps, plastic, vinyl and all bond together. Bonded leather is the lowest grade of leather used to make inexpensive items.
Genuine Leather vs. Bonded Leather
Neither genuine leather or bonded leather contain the valuable grain portion of the hide. Both are created from the bottom split of the hide. Both genuine and bonded leather are heavily augmented and processed. The main difference between the two, genuine leather is 100% leather (lower quality) while bonded leather will also contain plastic and vinyl.
What is Vintage Leather
Generally most people consider leather items that are 20+ years old, to be considered vintage. Vintage leather items will be made from either full grain or top grain leather. If you like the vintage look, but don't have the time to wait twenty years, consider items made from distressed leather.
The two softest leathers are deerskin and lambskin. [Read More...]
The two most common tanning solutions are chromium sulfate (chrome tanning) and tree bark (vegetable tanning). [Read More...]
Can Leather Get Wet?
Leather does not like water and getting your leather products wet on purpose should be avoided at all costs.
Leather products like hiking boots that will be constantly exposed to wet elements, should be protected with water protectants before being used. [Read More...]
If you get your leather wallet wet, it is very important to follow the correct instructions to ensure the best result in repairing the water damage. [Read More...]
Where to Buy Leather Bags
The number one quality to look for when shopping for a leather bag, is durability, especially at the bag's stress points.
Look for manufacturers that pay close attention to ensuring their bags will stand the test of time.
Where to Buy Leather Wallets
Our answer to this question, might be a little bit bias, just a tad, but we think our shop is great place to start in search for the best handmade leather wallets.
How to Use Leather Conditioner
Step 1: The most important step before applying leather conditioner to your leather goods, is to consultant the manufacturer of leather goods. Applying the correct conditioner, in the correct quantities is important to get the best results.
JooJoobs distressed leather goods: I have great news for you. You don't have to apply leather conditioner to our leather goods. The distressed leather we use to make our handmade leather wallets is an oil leather. Everyday when you handle your wallet, your hands will actually be buffing your wallet with natural oils. Essentially, you'll applying leather conditioner everyday without even meaning to or knowing that you were.
Step 2: Follow the instructions of the leather conditioner. Read the instructions on the back of the bottle.
Step 3: When in doubt, apply sparingly. Less is more when it comes to applying leather conditioner.
DIY Leather Conditioner
Our favorite DIY leather conditioner is coconut oil. If you live in a cold climate, you can substitute shea butter instead.
Same as above, when in doubt, apply the oil very sparingly. Don't apply directly to the leather. We like to use a shammy cloth, apply drops of coconut oil and slowly rub circles into the leather. Try to rub an even quantity into surrounding areas. If one area is a little darker, that is ok, leave it alone, let is dry. Don't get caught into the apply more oil to match endless game. Do you best to apply equal amounts of oil into the leather and leave it alone, let is dry.
DIY Leather Cleaner
DIY Leather Wallet Polish
Beeswax is probably the best DIY polish (water protectant) for leather.
There are lots of youtube videos demonstrating this. Its not hard though, just buy beeswax and apply.
I'd only polish shoes. Other leather products don't really need it.
DIY Homemade Leather Balm
How to Stretch Leather
Leather will stretch naturally. i.e. if you purchase a JooJoobs wallet that has 4 card pockets and you put 2 cards into each slot, it will be a nice tight fit. But perhaps you want to add another card. You can jam the 3rd card into the slot, initially it will be very tight, but as you use the pocket, it will stretch and loosen up. But here's the kicker, that card slot, that you have stretched, will never go back to just holding 2 cards. Since you stretched to hold 3, it will now always have 3 cards.
If you want to stretch leather straps, here is a good video demonstrating the use of water and rubbing alcohol.
Faux leather is synthetic leather (not real leather). Faux leather is either made from polyurethane (PU leather) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC leather). [Read More...]
The debate of real leather and faux leather is a personal preference, Both materials have their advantages and disadvantages. [Read More...]
How Long Can Leather Last
Items made from high quality leather can last a lifetime. Products made from full grain leather that are properly cared for, could outlast their owners. So essentially, the higher the quality, the longer it will last.
Items made from genuine leather or bonded leather are lower quality and will probably last only 6 - 12 months.
Items made from top grain leather could last quite awhile, many years in fact. The main difference between top grain and full grain leather products is how they age. Full grain leather products get age looking with age, while top grain products slowly get worse in appearance as they age. [Read More...]