Top-grain vs split hide useful life and durability

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  1. Hi all

    I'm a newbie here and am wondering what is the difference in terms of durability and life of split hide vs top grain?

    I have read a few threads and article and found that top-grain is more durable, but I'm just wondering by how much?

    Generally, a leather bag (top-grain) can last for >10 years. Can split hide also last that long with care?
  2. I went for a leather class and learnt that the split layer is not durable and used more often in treated leathers such as patent leather where there is an extra coat of chemical to strengthen it. I don't think there is a specific measure of durability as all bags are made differently but I guess it strongly depends on the usage and care given to a bag. If you're looking for a bag that is more durable, try to go for calf or cow leather rather than goatskin leather which tends to be softer.
  3. I'm actually using cowhide but a split cowhide. Do you think it's that different between top grain and split hide based on your knowledge? I'm normally pretty careful when using my bag hoping that it will hold up!
  4. It's not always about durability (hardiness)

    Top-grain has the natural look of real leather. On fine young leather that doesn't always correspond to bullet-proof material

    Split leather is often used on treated or stamped leather (like Hermes Epsom or Prada Saffiano). On a good hide this doesn't always mean poor quality or durability, often it can be thicker than top-grain.
  5. Cool! Thanks so much for your clarification! I have a Longchamp split hide bag. Hopefully it will hold up :smile:
  6. Like what papertiger mentioned, durability wouldn't differ that much, I think the treatment of the leather would weaken/strengthen it so it's better to think about that when shopping for bags. I like the look of natural full-grain leather, so I stay away from embossed leather bags. But it's really hard to find brands nowadays that use natural full-grain leather at affordable prices!
  7. I own both types.

    My 1 embossed, split hide bag is lighter weight.
    Uniform texture--grain does look printed.
    And has factory treatment on leather. Appears matte, no depth.

    As embossed/split ages, printed grain smoothes in places. To flatten, usually near metal strap hardware, etc.
    But is harder to scratch. And durable.
    Though, when damaged, will be difficult to mask.
    Unlike top grain/natural. Which absorbs damage as "character."

    Hope helps.
  8. Thank you all! These are very helpful!
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