ULTIMATE Guide To Leather! Full Grain Vs Top Grain Vs Genuine Types & Grades

Antonio: All right, gentlemen. Today, we’re talking about leather. Leather is a luxury material use in a wide
variety of men’s goods from bags to shoes to belts to gloves. In today’s video, I want to talk about leather
types, I want to talk about leather quality, I want to talk about leather finishes, so
you can go out there and make an informed buying decision. Are you ready, guys? Let’s get into it. [Music]
So, first off let’s talk about leather quality. Leather quality is determined by the overall
durability of it and the lack of blemishes. Those two things right there are going to
oftentimes determine whether it’s a first grade, second grade, third grade, or fourth
grade quality leather. So, let’s talk about first grade quality
leather. This is going to come from the lower back
of the animal and only makes up 13% of the hide. First grade leather has all the qualities
manufacturers want for their higher end pieces and it only makes up a small portion of the
animal. So, that’s why it commands such a high price. Next up, we’ve got second grade leather
and it’s very close to first grade leather, but actually makes up 30% of the hide and
we’re going to see in and around the buttocks and the middle back of the animal. And what’s interesting about this is this
is what we start to see mostly with bags, we’re going to see a lot with jackets. The same also with third grade leather, it
starts to go lower into the rib area and this is, again, 32% of the hide. So, between second grade and third grade,
we see about 62% of the hide being available. Now, let’s talk about fourth grade leather. Fourth grade leather makes up about 25% of
the hide and it’s the part of the animal in and around the leg area, in and around
the neck and the head. It’s going to be something that is going
to need a lot of work. But, where can you use it, guys? On the outsole of shoes actually. You can take that leather you can layer it
you can actually treat it, it actually becomes something almost different than leather in
a sense that when you treat it in a way that it becomes waterproof, it doesn’t have to
have the malleability, but it can still be used. Now, let’s talk about leather types out
there. You’re going to hear full grain, you’re
going to hear top grain, and you’re going to hear genuine leather. Now, to understand this, let’s look at the
layers. So, when we hear the word full grain, what
they’re talking about here is this is made up of the grain and the junction of the grain
in the corium. And depending on where the cut comes from
during the tanning process they actually separate the layer and they use various parts here,
but usually that top part is going to be some of the most sought after. Now, the top grain is actually going to be
right where the junction is at, so basically the grain has been removed off of the top
grain and it’s over in the junction where it starts and then goes into the corium. Now, when we hear things that are known as
genuine leather, of course, they are leather, but they’re mostly made up of the corium. Now, guys, I want to stress with the various
types of leather, one isn’t necessarily inferior or superior to the other. It depends on the purpose of the leather. Now, let’s talk about leather finishing. So, I’m going to really simplify this, but
after the tanning process that are going to go in there and basically make it so that
the leather it doesn’t rot, it doesn’t fall apart, it becomes much more durable can
deal with the environment and in some cases they start to introduce dyes. Let’s talk about that finishing process. So, one of the easiest things they do is they
actually go over with a very thin plastic coating and that right there if they like
the color of the leather underneath that would all – that’s all they will have to do. The best analogy I can think of is a cake. If you were to bake a chocolate cake just
a simple white material coming from flour, the flour is white, but when you add the chocolate
flavoring the chocolate colors it basically makes it brown. In the same way with the leather, we’ve
got that natural let’s say light tan color, but when they – they actually are in the
tanning process and the finishing process, you can actually coat it with a color and
then put another layer over it which is the protective layer. All right. Now, let’s talk about leather thicknesses
and they’re going to range from 1 oz which is about .4 mm to 14 oz which is about 5.56
mm. And, let me simply start off with a pair of
dress shoes here to explain where we’re going to see that wide variety in thicknesses
of the leather. So, the inside lining of these high-end dress
shoes right here used a very thin layer of leather. This to me is a great sign of quality dress
shoes. Why? Because that extra layer that they took the
time to put in there is going to absorb the sweat and that right there is going to protect
the outer upper sole of the shoe. So, this outer sole this upper sole part right
here, this is going to be about 3 to 5 oz. Understand once you get past 6 oz it becomes
a lot less malleable and something that would be much harder to break in the shoe. Now, the 14 oz, where are we going to see
that? On the outsole of the shoe and this is formed
by multiple layers, it doesn’t have to be one thick 14 oz cut. That would actually be pretty rare. This one looks like to be about 12. This pair right here, yeah, that looks to
be about 14 and you can definitely see some of the layers in here. Now, gloves. We’re oftentimes – and I haven’t really
talked about all the different animals you’re going to see out there, but kid, we’re going
to see swine basically pig. We’re going to see also calf. What they want to be 3 oz right here and they
want to be going for something that s going to be very soft not necessarily as durable,
but these aren’t work gloves. These are nice gloves that I can wear in the
cold winter. And also, you’ll notice these are navy in
color. So, getting back to the treatments, they probably
actually treated I would think just the upper layer of these pair of gloves here. [0:05:18]
Now, when it comes to belts, 8 oz on this right here. I can see that this is double layer of leather,
so they probably went with maybe two 5 oz right here and then on the inside they’re
going to have a material in here. Some companies and I’ve seen some companies
actually use metal in here. Now, I haven’t really talked about any exotics
like ostrich or reptiles or anything like that. So, this actually leather, but it’s made
to look like an exotic. Now, animals like these, this is buffalo right
here and this is going to be actually a very thick material. And buffalo is interesting especially people
don’t like to polish the buffalo, they want to actually show where this came from. Things like these could command a higher price
because they’re coming from more of an exotic material. All right. Now, let’s talk about jackets. So, 3 to 4 oz, we’re going to see usually
in suede lighter weight jackets, but in heavier weight jackets, 5 to 6 oz. This one right here I can tell it’s been
treated to become softer, but it’s a very thick leather right here. For durability and protection, you want to
go for like 6 to 7 oz. And you can feel that thickness of the leather
when compared to a lighter weight material like this. All right, gents. So, a lot in this video. I’m going to link in the description of
this video to other videos in which I talk about how to take care of your leather. I go into a lot more detail about leather
and you’ve probably seen throughout this those infographic images. Guys, I’m linking to that infographic, again,
down in the description. Keep it take it, please. I’ve got so many great resources for you
over at Real Men Real Style. We’ve got premium courses, so if you’re
interested in taking your style to the next level with help with coaching I’ve got that
available for you as well. Guys, at Real Men Real Style I’ve really
tried to create something so that you can become the man you know yourself to be. Guys, I appreciate you. I appreciate everything we built here at Real
Men Real Style and I will see you in the next video, right? All right, guys. Take care. [Music]
Manny: You’re at event where there’s so much success around you and there’s so many
people at your level as far as your own peers and whatnot. You can grow with one another as well as learn
from the successes and mistakes of other people who already have inspired you. Derek: The lectures are great, but the best
part is connecting in the conversations whether it’s around the food truck or just mingling
at – on the sidelines on the bar getting to connect with some of the guys you’ve
been watching on YouTube and shaking their hands and getting to know these genuine people. [Music]
[0:08:08] End of Audio


  • Wonderfully described. Great work Sir.
    Prayers and best wishes.

  • Nice very

  • Some of my best videos on leather and leather care:

    How to Clean, Condition and Polish Leather:

    Leather Sole vs. Rubber Sole Shoes: Which Is Better?

    3 Tips To Buying The Perfect Leather Jacket:

    Power & Sex Appeal from Suede:

    Ultimate Guide to Suede Care:

    $100 vs. $1000 Leather Bags:

    https://www.realmenrealstyle.com/ultimate-guide-leather-infographic/ –
    Click here to check out our Ultimate Leather Guide Infographic

    https://www.realmenrealstyle.com/how-tell-good-quality-leather/ – Click here to read the article – What Does Good Quality Leather Really Mean?

    Ever spent a fortune on new leather shoes, only to watch them start peeling like a sunburned cow after just five minutes?. What did you waste your money on? And what can you to make sure it NEVER happens again? In today's video, we're going to break down the different types of leather, what they're used for, and what you should be looking for when you're buying leather shoes, gloves, jackets and bags.

    https://www.realmenrealstyle.com/how-tell-good-quality-leather/ – Click here to read the article – What Does Good Quality Leather Really Mean?

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/rmrscommunity/ – Click HERE To Join our online Facebook Community.

    https://www.facebook.com/RealMenRealStyle/ – Like Us On Facebook.

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  • Great video…thank you for sharing.

  • Antonio, I love your conten but I am wondering in what jobs you can wear a suit and which you cant .

  • Very informative and helpful. Thank you.

  • Leathers great, take care of it and lasts a real long time – and also gets better with age if taken care of, tells a story also, every age related mark comes with its own back story!

  • Hello sir! How do you do?

  • when i saw the notification i had goosebumps

  • I love these advanced videos because I nailed the basics thanks to you Antonio I really appreciate you and all your work to educate us.

  • I like the new layout and design of your latest episodes. This video was very informative, but I was hoping for a RMRS leather for guys who ride motorcycles and maybe a RMRS for military.

  • Interesting video ❤??

  • Hi, I'm looking for a nice full grain leather jacket. I'm trying to find some good brands that are in Italy and are not super expensive (more that 1.2k euros). I found some jackets from Belstaff for around 800€ in sale, is it worth or there are better brands? Thanks for the help

  • There are innumerable informational videos on YouTube and I'm grateful for them. Real Men Real style is a stand alone channel. Warmth, humor informative without being condescending, this destination gets the job done.

  • i wear vegan leather made of plants

  • This had so much good information. I learned something new today. Thank you Antonio!

  • Thank you so very much abntonio,
    it's been a while, but hey i was busy moving to another city.

  • I was just on my way to bloomingdals to buy a leather jacket & this video pops in ny feed. Great advice thanks!

  • Anyone else noted that the picture you see when the RMRS notification pops up changed ! I personally prefer it to the older one ! Makes Antonio look more like a father figure ( in style ! ). Hahah ! Thumbs up RMRS !

  • I truly have a love/hate viewer relationship with Antionio, some videos like this one are really informative and good quality content, but some other videos make me feel embarrassment and make me want to unsub… I don't know if I am the only one here that stuggles with this dilema 😉

  • Would you consider making a video tailored towards vegans just out of curiosity?

  • Thanks for the video, very helpful. By the way, nice jacket. Where did you get it?

  • Live and learn!

  • Morning Marine, Do you still have that Navy Leather flight jacket? If so that is made of goat and have been going all the way back to the 30s. The Air Force version goes back to the Army Air Corps when the leather of choice was horsehide. Both of these were picked for there durability. I have my Navy and my Dad's Army jackets and they are still going strong. Keep up these great videos. Semper Fi!

  • When that theme song comes on, all hands on deck! Gracias Antonio

  • Make video on how to clean lather jackets wash

  • Please, what brand is that suede jacket?

  • Do a guide about denim

  • Thanks for the knowledge. Would have been interesting for you to touch on furniture, wallets, and automotive seats.

  • Great video as always! but just as a suggestion I would like to see a video on how to recognize the different styles and qualities of leather on the go, when I'm buying a new jacket or any other leather item with photos of real leather

  • Great video Antonio! Also, do you have a video regarding how vests should fit?
    keep it up! 🙂

  • Pure Gold!

  • Nice video! Thank you for not repeating some of the common myth out there! One of my biggest frustrations is debunking to my customers some of the misconceptions and oversimplification in my industry. I appreciate how you said that the different types aren’t really superior to others like lots of folks imply, much more a matter of taste for example: nubuck (top grain) vs Full Grain vs Embossed vs Suede. Only thing I’d be careful of would be to imply that “genuine leather” is always the split part, plenty of companies use the term as a simple descriptive for real. Red Wing Heritage Beckmans are a great example of “Genuine Leather” stamped on something high quality (and not suede). I’ve weirder with leather my whole life and this one of the most accurate videos I’ve seen posted.

  • Антоніо, можеш розповісти як ти пов'язаний з Україною?

  • Yes, finally! 🙂

  • Antonio I love the jacket you are wearing in this video. Where could I find one like that?

  • Great video. Need to reference this the next time I buy a leather jacket. I recently (days ago) bought a leather jacket from BODA SKIN. Can you do a review on their leather jackets and products? Thanks Antonio. Great content!

  • Any idea where to get that buffalo bag? That was a nice piece.

  • Very nice video and great to see that you are not promoting anything in it!!!

  • Which is better, suade or nubuck?

  • This Is really for real men nice content.

  • Antonio, that’s a JL Rocha jacket correct?? Size medium ???. Selling it by any chance? I’m your man

  • Nice video, been looking at alot more leather goods lately and this came along at the right time. It is almost as if you are reading my mind hmmmmm.

  • Hey Antonio, how do you soften a thicker leather jacket? You mentioned that they used a treatment for the black jacket you had. I've tried oiling, Lexoling, kicking it around the floor, tumbling it, and what have you. The leather is still not as flexible and soft as some of my other jackets that I like. And tips? Much appreciated!

  • very informative, great video. I'll keep this video in mind when picking out my next leather jacket

  • The only 5.56 we know is a NATO 5.56. Right Antonio?!

  • Antonio, excellent content, as usual.

  • You look like Vito scaletta with that leather jacket

  • I was actually curious about leather qualities.

  • As a kid I was very concerned about me appearance, I wore gant shirts, had brown and black wingtips and so on. I joined the marines then the army and retired as a first sergeant. Taught school for a period, drove a truck. Now I’m retired and 71 yrs old. I enjoy your channel and it is helping me become a better dresser and person. Stay calm and maintain the fire.

  • Have a joyful and blessed Passover. Chag Pesach Sameach. Shabbat Shalom.

  • Never have i ever seen anyone sharing so much detail.

  • Really finding the information engaging like always. I'm having trouble finding places with leather jackets my size. I still fall short of fitting into the store's XS sizes. Know any custom fit places that could work for me?

  • Geezz
    You talk to fast

  • Great timing Antonio. I will be purchasing a leather jacket in May during my travels in Peru. I will be looking at several different options but I'd like a great quality leather with a jacket that I can dress up if need be. Always great content. Thanks

  • Good video. Can you also do a video explaining the difference in leather quality among different animals?

  • Real Men Real Style

    Video Idea: If You Want To Get People To Watch Your Videos More Do A Series Where You Get Guy's To Do A MakeOver.

  • Jacket brand in thumbnail? I must buy!

  • Non leather versions of leather inspired looks would be interesting for those not comfortable with leather, but loves the look.

  • Wow thank you so much for this video! So much informative now I know more about leather than ever before. This is very professional and ver appreciated! Thank you sir!

  • What kind of leather mask do you recommend? Zipper mouth or no zipper? And or assless chaps? Your input is greatly appreciated

  • Great Video Antonio. Thank you for the valued information and the research you put into the published content. It is highly appreciated and makes understanding of the topic so easier for me.

  • Superb content, Antonio. You're a true expert in your field. I must voice my gratitude and support for what you're doing here! This is more than a channel; it's how you represent yourself, and you reel in quite a bit of respect from your audience. I'm sure your children will be inspired by your work one day!(:

  • Very informative, thanks.

  • Do leather accessories and shoes need to match a leather jacket?

  • What leather is in car seats? Nice video

  • Very educational….thanks for sharing.

  • Antonio, videos like this are why I began following your channel. I love picking up knowledge about things like leather, denim, and color matching. But all of the videos now (understandably) have sponsors thrown in the middle. It was refreshing to not have this video sponsored other than you promoting your own brand. Love the content, keep up the good work!

  • That was amazing, this video made my day, so much information i ve been lookig for.

  • This video IMO was Antonio's best in some time. Natural, calm, professional, "not trying too hard,"

  • Nice video! There was no add inside which is highly appreciated!

  • That jacket's flawless, what brand?

  • I actually work in R and D for a leather manufacturing, interesting vid

  • New logo nice!!

  • you go to Philippines

  • Wow! Educational and not infomercial or straight out commercial! Is this the return to the real Real Men Real Style?

  • Thanks for these informations… Really helpful…

  • This video was very informative. Keep them coming!

  • What product do you recommend to preserve the leather on my jacket ?

  • Learned so much in this video. Thanks for the information Antonio. Semper Fi!!

  • leather jackets ,shoes and accescoirs like belts etc are great to wear and they make us look fantastic and they are very practical . I want to thank very much all the poor animals that gave us their skin just for fashion. Thank you very much !! We (human…….) people love you

  • Song name for the intro?

  • thats a shooters jacket. do you shoot?

  • Antonio looking like Han Solo!

  • You crazy

  • Damn… i brought genuine leather jacket, wear it Antonio or just throw it to the garbage?

  • I’m not a guy but I really appreciate this video

  • If you want to see the difference under a microscope, check out this video!


  • So, Sir which is the best lather for shoe.?? Genuine lather???

  • Which leather is best for long lasting durability?

  • I thought the infographic was a regional map of the U.S. for the first few seconds

  • good info joe

  • What is the brand name of the leather jacket he is wearing ?

  • videos or tips about nappa leathrr jackets? i got one and can't return it. it's a 300$ massimo dutti. it's kind of much in our country and i dont't love the feel of nappa, but would be glad to hear something to make me to like it more 🙂

  • Let me put emphasis. If you buy a leather product, don’t pamper it. Leather is MEANT to be beat up!

  • Where can I see Jacket from the thumbnail picture? make, model etc?

  • Thanks bro

  • A salesman will insist that pvc is leather, so when I mention top grain.. thought I was speaking in another language

  • do not buy "genuine leather". it's shit!

  • I remember you used to introduce yourself at the start of each video, I was not really a huge fan of that. This is better.

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