Split Grain Leather

wallet made from split-grain leather

Leather Terminology / Leather Grades


Definition of Split Grain Leather

To achieve a reasonably manageable thickness, animal hides are typically cut into at least two layers. The layer closest to the animal’s flesh is called split-grain leather.

Split-grain leather doesn’t bear character marks or grains like the outermost layer of the hide. But it’s often embossed, coated, or sanded to take the appearance of natural leather.

Products made from split grain leather are not as durable as real leather products and won’t stand the test of time.

Some of the characteristics of this leather grade include: 

  • Plastic feel
  • Zero breathability
  • The signature fake leather scent
  • Pigments and dyes of a uniform color
  • Lack of variation and depth in color

cheaply coated split leather wallet peeling off

Example of Split Grain Leather in a Sentence

"Despite the leather bags being sold at a throw away price, we knew better not to buy them. They were made from cheap split grain leather that would wear out after a while."

Synonyms: split leather, genuine leather, finished split

Related Terms for Split Grain Leather

In one of my earliest articles for Popov Leather, I explain the primary leather grades in-depth and even compare them with different wood qualities. For instance, if full-grain leather were a type of wood, it would be a walnut table with a live edge.

Click here to read the article and learn more about these leather grades. The guide will undoubtedly help you make better-informed decisions when purchasing leather products.

Written by Ryan Popoff

Ryan Popoff is the creative mind behind Popov Leather wallets, iPhone cases, belts, watch bands and journals since 2013. With a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts, my leatherworking journey began at home. I wanted to create a simple leather wallet that could fit into my front pocket and — to my delight — it was a hit with family and friends. Hopefully you love our honest, quality leather goods too! Read more