The leather can be a cow, kangaroo, pig, deer, horse, sheep, snake, frog, alligator, ostrich, or elephant hide. Since all of them are different creatures with different skin textures, it is easy to presume that the hide’s quality would vary. Then, another thing that matters is the layer of the body from where it comes. For example, you must have heard about full grain and top grain leather when you went shopping for a leather hat and wondered how to tell the difference.
Well, full-grain leather refers to the hide located right down the hair. It would be tight, strongest, and durable. It would offer excellent moisture resistance and acquire a beautiful look over time. Next to full grain is the top grain leather material, which tends to be the second-best option. It is similar to full-grain, but it doesn’t contain the top layer. It is usually the sanded and buffed portion, which enjoys a uniform appearance. At American Hat Makers, you can browse through both these options along with some other beautiful offerings. However, let’s get deeper into these two coveted choices by comparing them with each other for a better understanding.
Quality and price
Full-grain is the highest leather grade you can ask for in the market. You obtain it from the topmost layer of the hide. That’s why it contains natural grain. Artisans have to put in additional labor while working on a full-grain leather hat. Then, these are not readily available. Due to this, the prices get naturally high.
The top grain material is the second most sought after range in leather hats. You don’t get too many blemishes in this layer as the workers do away with the outermost layer. This process makes it thinner and easy to mold. Hence, you can expect it to reflect on the price also. You don’t have to doubt its durability and reliability for being cost-effective.
Shelf life and looks
A full-grain leather base would contain imperfections, scars, and any marks coming from the skin’s top layer. These natural flaws give full-grain hats a unique character, a different story. Plus, these are the most durable and sturdy things because of their strong fibers. Higher wet resistance and breathable qualities make them stand out from the rest. On the other hand, top-grain leather hats will not demonstrate scars and spots as these get sanded away with the natural grain. In the end, what you see is a uniform looking product that imbibes its beauty from imitation grain.
Anyone who prefers consistency and continuity would be a fan of this. However, it cannot be as strong as the full-grain. But that doesn’t bother much as the comparatively lower prices make up more than for it.
In the end, no matter what you settle down with, you must pay attention to their care and maintenance. After all, any leather item, be it a hat or something else, requires proper cleaning and conditioning. You have to keep it free from stains so that you can incorporate them into your ensemble any time you wish.