How To's

The Top-Grain Leather Story

Urban Barn’s commitment to sourcing the best products possible brings us around the globe sourcing leathers that offers the best blend of quality, comfort and style for our customers. This leather is primarily top-grain leather as top-grain leather is the smoothest, supplest and most natural looking leather.

Leather’s history goes way back to the age of the innovative caveman. Both ancient and modern day technologies work together to create today’s most durable, high performing and aesthetically pleasing leathers. As the years pass, leather continues to be the material of choice for many people because of its durability, comfort and ease of maintenance.

The source of leather that drives the leather furniture industry generally comes from cow hides as this is a readily available byproduct of the cattle industry and best lends itself to the modern demands of designer, producer and consume.



Shown above, the Diego Leather Sofa –Ox Grey and the Foster Leather Sofa –Olly Tan are both 100% top-grain leather Urban Barn top picks!

Not to be confused with full grain leather, top-grain leather is generally the softer, more comfortable choice for furniture. Full grain leather is a natural hide at its full thickness. A full grain leather hide is split into 2 layers – the top layer (the layer with the most desirable characteristics) is referred to as the “top-grain” The bottom layer is referred to as the “split” or sometimes bycast leather. A split is still 100% genuine leather but does not have all of the characteristics of top-grain due to processing differences. When processed the right way, this type of leather can still be extremely durable. This type of leather is used sometimes on Urban Barn furniture on the sides of backs (areas where your body will never make contact with.) Top-grain leather has a reputation for amazing wear and the ability to change (for the better) over time. With use, top-grain leather can develop a patina and look that can’t be replicated.

Today’s leather comes in many forms and there is a plethora of terms used to describe it – terms that describe its thickness, colouring or finish. If you’d like to learn more about these terms, you can check out this blog post from the Blog Archives.

Have you ever wondered why some leather is more comfortable than others and seems to warm up faster? Well, it all has to do with the leather’s moisture level. Typically, top-grain leather holds about a 15% moisture level. For this reason, top-grain leather warms up quickly to your body temperature. A conditioner such as Diamond Kote leather conditioner sold in Urban Barn stores will help to retain this moisture level. This conditioner will not only moisturize leather, it will also clean, protect and rejuvenate your leather furniture.





Check out this selection of good lookin’ 100% top-grain leather recliners and armchairs all currently 15% off in stores and online.
Until June 19th, all Urban Barn recliners and leather armchairs are 15% off! Check them out!


*Required fields