There are many different types of leather that we use to create our unique leather items. Some of the leathers are finished which means that they are already colored or have a lamination on them such as the gold or silver goatskin, patent leather kidskin and the variously colored pigskin all of which are used in our leather jewelry items or as linings for wallets, purses, etc.
When I do carving and tooling on a wallet, purse, belt or can koozie, I prefer to use real cowhide leather which is a natural by product of the beef industry. The grain pattern and color may vary from hide to hide and the skin may have marks known as "range scars". Even the best leather will have natural markings, which helps distinguish real cowhide leather from man-made materials. These markings on the surface of leather are often healed scratches, barbed wire marks, wrinkles and insect bites. I tell customers that they show the character of the leather and let you know that it is real cowhide. I call them character flaws. These character flaws are usually small and are considered par for the course. The less expensive synthetic materials, which are usually stamped with "Genuine Leather", are uniform in appearance and do not have these character flaws. Often, they have had a grain pressed or embossed into it and are considered the lower level on the quality scale of leather.
Then there is Full Grain leather. Full Grain leather is top grain leather that has not been buffed or sanded, so that the natural texture or grain remains intact. Markings, which are referred to as the hallmarks of the trail, will typically remain on the hide, which means that stretch marks, scars, brands, insect bites, etc. may be visible. The natural look and feel of the leather is preserved at American Leather Crafts.
Until next time, All the best.
Frank, the Leather Guy