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Grain and Split: What’s the Difference Between These Leather Types?

by Tony Geng on November 26, 2015

Comments (1)


One of the questions we get asked on a regular basis is “what’s the difference between grain and split leather?”

Since we make work gloves using both types of leather, we thought it would be good to breakdown the differences between them. This is your ultimate cheat sheet for understanding the difference between grain and split leather.

topgrain-split leather

 

Split Leather:

Split leather is the term most often heard within the glove industry, but you’re probably more familiar with its other name: suede.

When the leather is first removed from the hide of an animal, it’s extremely thick. So, the first thing we do with the leather is split it cross-sectionally, into layers. The bottom layer is made into what we call “split-leather.”

When it comes to work gloves, split-leather has several different advantages:

  • Split-leather has high abrasion resistance: This has to do with its dense fibers and how they lock together.
  • No synthetic product offers anything close to its level of abrasion resistance.
  • Split-leather has amazing puncture resistance.
  • Impressive flexibility compared to other types of leather.
  • More water resistant than grain leather

 

Grain Leather:

Grain leather is the top layer of the leather after it’s been split apart. Grain leather is more expensive than split-leather because of its appearance. Since it’s more aesthetically appealing, grain leather is usually found in commercial goods like purses and shoes.

But in the safety industry, we value abrasion resistance so we use split-leather whenever possible to craft our gloves.

Want to learn more about leather work gloves? Read The Bad-Ass Guide to Leather Work Gloves by clicking the photo below!

bad-ass guide to leather work gloves


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Reader Comments

najeeb@gng.com.pk'

Great Information! Thanks
I just want to add 1 thing
there is another Letaher term NUBUCK
Nubuck is the Grain Leather but Buffed or Sanded
so its gives a Napped finish same as Split Leather
but the napping is shorter and finer than Split Leather
now a days very commonly used in Shoes, Jackets and Bags

Reply Muhammad Najeeb - November 27, 2015



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