What Is Full Grain Leather & Why It Is the Best Leather?


Leather jackets, along with leather boots and other leather products, are a staple of men’s fashion. This creates a high demand for quality leather. If you go online looking for top quality leather jackets, you will be bombarded with a lot of unfamiliar terms like full-grain. What is this full-grain leather, and is it any good? Let’s take a look.

What Is Full-grain Leather?

full grain leather products

When someone uses the term “full-grain,” they are referring to the most sturdy and tough section of an animal hide, which is found just under the hair.

Physical Properties

For a piece of leather to be considered full-grain, it should not be smoothed or sanded for grain correction because doing so will make it grain corrected leather.

As most of the initial surface is completely preserved and left intact before coating, it is considered a very natural grain leather. This also results in an overall stronger and more durable material. Full-grain leather is considered the highest quality leather, which is also the reason that most of the high-end leather jackets and leather products like boots, wallets, belts, and bags are made from full grain leather.

Looks and Appearance

Full-grain leather is tough and lasts for a long time. This long age means that it develops a distinct patina over its lifetime, which is a very desirable feature. It is also known for showing its grain through the smooth aniline finish, which covers it in a minimal amount of coating, unlike sanded leather, which is covered in a thick layer of coating.

Is Full-grain Leather Real Leather?

leather shoes

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the terminology used to describe a different kind of leather, and it can be difficult for someone not very well versed in the leather industry to understand the meaning of these confusing terms. However, you can rest assured that full-grain leather is 100% real leather, in fact, the highest grade of leather most of the time. Due to its cost and relative rarity, most people are not familiar with the look and feel of full-grain leather, and it can appear synthetic to them. As long as the seller is not lying about it, goods like the full-grain leather jackets are made of real leather.

Is Full-grain Leather Expensive?

leather type

When compared to the other types of leather available on the market, full-grain might appear to be expensive with prices above normal range. If we look at it from an objective perspective, the cost associated with full-grain leather is completely justified and worth your money.

Full-grain is the highest quality leather money can buy, and its high-end nature is due to its tedious and difficult production process that requires a lot of expertise, expensive equipment and extreme quality control to get to finished leather as good as possible.

The cost is also negated when considering the lifetime of full grain leather products. It is known to be highly durable and tends to last very long. If we divide the price over the number of years it is going to last, it suddenly becomes very economical, sometimes even a better value per dollar than the cheap alternatives.

How Long Will Full-grain Leather Last?

Full-grain leather is known for its resilience and durability. It is estimated to last five times longer than ordinary fabric. You can also extend its lifespan by maintaining it properly and storing it correctly, which might make it last for decades on end.

How to Protect Your Leather Goods?

Leather is an extremely strong and flexible material that is used in a variety of garments and other accessories due to its long-lasting nature. However; leather is not a plastic that can stay unaltered for hundreds of years. It does need some protection and maintenance to stay in tip-top condition.

You can extend the lifespan of a leather product by applying commercially available protectants and sealants. This maintains the level of natural oils and moisture in the skin. Another great way of shielding your full-grain leather from dust and elements is by applying polish on the outside layer. This is, however, not mandatory and comes down to personal preference.

How to Figure Out if Your Leather Jacket Is Full Grain?

The world of premium leather jackets is filled with all sorts of different kinds of leather. The crossover between the properties of two different types of leather can be a bit confusing and will make determining the type of leather a bit cumbersome, especially for people who are unfamiliar with leather and leather related culture. 

Full-grain clearly shows the natural leather surface in its original form, with all of its unique patterns and imperfections. Let’s say the jacket is made from goatskin leather, and the goat from which the leather came from might have run into a wired fence and cut itself in its lifetime. You will see that scar present on a full-grain leather jacket.

Make Sure You Buy the Correct Type of Leather

Whenever you go out looking for, let’s say, a sheepskin leather jacket in full-grain leather, make sure to specifically check for “full-grain” certification. Top-grain is much easier to work with and is a lot more prevalent in the premium leather jacket market, and the marketing terms and branding can, in some cases, hide the fact that the jacket you are looking to buy is not full-grain. So, before you spend any money, make sure to confirm the type of leather used in the production of the jacket you want to get.

Where Can You Buy Full Grain Leather Jackets?

full grain leather jacket

Full-grain in its raw form can be acquired from a vast number of leather merchants all over the world through the internet. The Jacket Maker gets the highest quality leather and turns it into hand-crafted jackets of all styles, designs and sizes. We also offer a custom jacket making service that allows you to, with the help of our talented designers, create the jacket of your dreams.


A leather jacket is not something that you buy for a season and then toss into the trash. A high-quality leather jacket will last you years, if not decades. Thus, before you make any purchasing decision, make sure you know about the types of leather and the pros and cons beforehand. Especially in the case of full grain leather, weigh your budget and the value that you are looking to get out of a purchase, and then get what you truly like and would want to wear on a regular basis.