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 Everything you need to know about full grain leather

Leather is a term that encompasses a lot of specifics that we didn’t know about. Indeed, there are several types of skin depending on the part of the skin that is worked, the different treatments that the skin undergoes, and the finishes that are applied to it. Full-grain leather encompasses the highest quality leather available, so let’s find out what the term means and what justifies the price tag.


What is full-grain leather?

The grain of the leather refers to the part of the dermis where animal hair is implanted, i.e. the top of the skin, which is, therefore, the denser side. Once full-grain leather is tanned, it does not undergo any further weathering, which makes this material very pure. Indeed, the grain of the leather is preserved in its originality, apart from the possible immersions or solutions to make them less vulnerable, and to make Nappa or dipped leather. Thus, full-grain leather retains its thickness and its original appearance.


This material can come from all types of animals, usually, it is made from goat, lamb or calfskin, depending on the finished product. It is with this leather that we make the most beautiful jackets and jackets, bags and shoes, but also leather furnishings such as sofas. This is the part of the highest quality leather, which comes at a certain price.

Full-grain leather is one of the smooth and very fine leathers. These include what is called aniline leathers (or porous leather) and surface-dyed leathers (coated or pigmented). Aniline leather is not dyed, or it can be bulk dyed with aniline dyes. Since there is no pigment, the skin of aniline leather is said to be porous because its pores remain open. This, therefore, makes it more fragile than pigmented leather, which is protected by the pigments and binders of a dye.


Full-grain leather includes several types of leather, depending on the finishes applied to them after tanning. The best known are Nappa leather, dipped leather and waxy leather.


What is Nappa leather?

Nappa leather is therefore full grain pigmented leather, which means that it has kept its original surface, which has then been given a pigmented finish. This solution is a varnish lightly tinted with pigments, which will opacify the surface of the leather. This will help hide some small remaining flaws, and make the leather softer and more resistant to wear and the sun. Nappa leather is therefore particularly smooth.

What is dipped leather?

Dipped leather is different from Nappa leather because it is dyed by immersion in the mass and not by a topcoat. This means that it is less protected and therefore more fragile than Nappa leather. Likewise, if Nappa leather is very smooth due to its pigmented finish, dipped leather shows slightly more defects, because being immersed in the dye, the latter penetrates without directly covering the skin. Thus, the defects are not covered by the pigments. To have as few defects as possible, the smoothest skins are chosen to make dipped leathers. Therefore, dipped leather is more expensive than Nappa leather.


What is waxy leather?

Waxy leather is halfway between Nappa leather and dipped leather. The skin is tinted half by immersion in the dye, and half by pigmentation on the surface. This is an often-used compromise, which gives an appearance very much like dipped leather, although the finishes are slightly less natural. Waxy leather is therefore smooth, very supple and has a slightly brighter finish than dipped and Nappa leathers.

Don’t hesitate to read our article Your Everyday Looks Need A Leather Piece to find out how to incorporate a leather piece into your everyday style!


How to maintain full-grain leathers?

Full-grain leather is expensive because it is precious. The fact that this material is so flexible, soft and flawless, therefore makes it fragile. This means that regular maintenance is necessary to preserve the skin of the Nappa leather.


For any maintenance of your leathers, the Famaco brand offers a wide range of maintenance products, to protect leathers such as suede and nubuck, to make them shine, and to clean all skin types.


If you have a full-grain leather jacket or jacket, you need to waterproof it first before using it for the first time. This will protect your leather from moisture and the sun. Consider ironing waterproofing regularly to prevent wear and fade. If your leather does get wet, don’t dry it next to a fire or heater, as a heat source will only dry out the skin and even deform it.


Then, to nourish your full-grain leather, consider using a cream dedicated to this use. For example, among the cleaning products of the Famaco brand, you can use their delicate colourless or coloured cream. It is an easy to apply milk that will clean, nourish and soften the leather. Before applying this cream, start by dusting off the material with a soft brush. Then massage your leather with a cloth on which you have put your Famaco delicate cream. After allowing it to dry, you can finish the maintenance by running a soft cloth or a polishing brush over your leather to make it shine.


Little tip: Before applying any cleaning product to a jacket, leather jacket or any other type of animal skin, it is best to test it on an inside part of the skin, to ensure the result.


Full-grain leather is a material that can get dirty quickly. If you have grease stains, you can use mattress earth to remove them without altering the colour of your leather. To do this, lightly cover the stain with the earth with box springs, and pat with your fingers or a soft cloth. Leave the sommières soil for a few hours on the leather to absorb the fat from the stain, then rub gently to remove the soil. Your leather jacket will be like new!


Don’t hesitate to read our Leather, Sheepskin, Nubucks Care Guide for more products and tips.


If you take care of your full-grain leather jacket or bomber jacket as recommended, you will not regret your purchase. It is still a high-quality material, very comfortable to wear and resistant. Come and discover our wide selection of leathers, from blouson to jacket including pants, on our

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