Terms such Corrected Grain, Full Grain and Top Grain are frequently bandied about in the leather goods industry, making it more difficult for a novice to choose which one is most suitable. Hopefully you’ll have a better grasp of what corrected grain leather is by the end of this article and know enough to judge whether you want it for your next leather purchase.
What Is Corrected Grain Leather?
Corrected grain leather is leather that has been sanded and buffed to remove imperfections such as scars from the surface of the material. An artificial grain can then be imprinted on the leather.
How Is Corrected Grain Leather Made?
Corrected grain, full grain and top grain all refer to leather from animal hide, varying only in the methods of manufacture. In the case of corrected grain, after the cowhides are tanned, the hides with more scarring and visible defects are buffed to remove the markings. Similar to sanding wood smooth, this process alters the grain on the leather’s surface.
The grain is then restored to the leather by embossing or stamping an artificial grain on it. This grain has a more uniform look and the leather is often coated with a semi-aniline or pigmented dye. Corrected grain leather can refer to any leather that has been altered in some way in order to alter its appearance in a way that is not natural to the original hide.
Considering that corrected grain can mean a leather with some light sanding to remove a few blemishes, or a leather with the top-most layer completely buffed off and an artificial grain added, there is quite a variation in the quality. There are different grades of corrected leather depending on the degree of correction required on the surface of the hides. The less correction that is performed, the better the grade.
Corrected grain leather is considered as durable as full-grain leather, but the buffing of the surface removes the natural softness. In addition, the beautiful patina that is a characteristic of full-grain leather won’t appear on corrected grain leather.
Corrected grain leather has a wide variety of looks. Based on the required final result, the grain that is stamped or embossed on the buffed leather can be very different from the original cowhide pattern. Colors can also vary depending on the dye and finish used.
In short there is no consistent look for corrected grain leather. However, one way to check if a product is made from corrected leather is to scratch it lightly and see if it leaves a mark. If there is no scratch mark, it is likely corrected grain.
Products Corrected Grain Leather is Commonly Used For
Corrected leather is the most widely-used leather around the world. This is due to the rarity and expense of flawless animal hides. This means almost all the shoes, bags and jackets you see in shops are made from it. This kind of leather is versatile enough to be used in products like jackets, handbags, messenger bags, accessories, footwear and furniture.
Advantages of Corrected Grain Leather
Amongst the many advantages of using corrected grain leather are that it prevents wastage of leather by allowing scarred and disfigured hides to be sold and used for leather manufacture. It is cheaper than full-grain leather and almost as durable. It comes in a variety of finishes and colors, thus appealing to a broad variety of buyers. The grain is uniform and can mimic the grain of other leathers, resulting in a sophisticated look.
Disadvantages of Corrected Grain Leather
Because of the processing required to correct the grain, this kind of leather is less breathable and is not as supple as uncorrected leather. It is prone to cracking over time, does not develop a patina, and feels unnatural compared to full-grain leather.
How to Care for It
Taking good care of your corrected leather product will ensure it lasts longer and looks great. You should dust corrected leather furniture once a week with a soft cloth or vacuum with a soft brush. In case of a spill, use a damp cloth to immediately remove the excess, but do not rub. Avoid using too much water, as it can leave stains.
Avoid normal household cleaning products on your leather products since they may lead to cracking. Instead, a damp cloth and a mild soap solution can be used to remove everyday grime and dirt. When using a recommended pigmented leather cleaning product pay attention to the instructions and first test it on an inconspicuous area. To protect the leather against stains and scratches, you may apply a recommended pigmented leather protection cream but keep in mind that this may alter the color of the leather.
Corrected leather can be compared to top grain and full grain leather. Top grain and corrected grain are similar because the blemishes and scars of the hide are buffed out in both cases. Both top grain and corrected grain are thinner than full grain leather, thus they are lacking in strength. Both of them also have a uniform look derived from either a coating or embossing with artificial grain. Full-grain is the most expensive and most desirable of the three since it develops a patina and looks better with age.
Because corrected leather is so widely available, it is likely that some of the products you own already are made from it. However, it will meet a variety of budgets and can come in almost any look you want. When selecting a product made of corrected leather, keep in mind that it is durable and has a uniform look, but will not develop a patina or feel as pleasant as full-grain leather.
Other Similar Leathers
- Full-grain leather
- Top-grain leather
- Aniline leather