5. What full-grain leather means to most people


Full-grain leather” means nothing to most people as the term is highly technical. Leather on the other hand means much more, understood as a material that is durable and associated with luxury products.

Simply knowing what full-grain leather is indicates that the customer is well-versed. Therefore, the purpose of this post is to focus on full-grain leather, to transit our customers’ leather awareness into that of appreciation. We will use the following simple scale:

Level 1: Simple understanding

Customer’s appreciation stops at the concept of “leather” and does not delve into “full-grain leather”.


  • Leather is a durable material used in shoes to prolong their lifespans.
  • Leather is used to make luxury products.
  • Leather has a “leather scent”.

Level 2: Basic appreciation

Customer able to tell full-grain leather and its near-equivalent top-grain leather apart from leather alternatives by looking at the cross section of the structure.


  • The perimeter of a belt is usually painted. This masks the cross section. However, the customer who has basic appreciation of leather knows that edges of the holes are usually unpainted, hence exposing the cross section.

Level 3: Moderate appreciation

Full-grain leather may or may not have defects but when present, customers with moderate appreciation of leather treat these as beauty intrinsic in nature, not as defects.


  • Recognizing a wallet is made of full-grain leather if it sports scars from fights, barb-wires and mosquito bites.

Level 4: Advanced appreciation

Full-grain leather may or may not have defects. The customer who has an advanced appreciation of leather recognizes that a luxurious leather product is the product of an attempt to control and make consistent the inconsistent nature.


  • Scars and “marks of nature” are ironically unaccepted in leather products that command a premium. The front of a luxurious full-grain leather shoe cannot possibly sport a big scar running across it in the context of “natural”. Consider the difficulties of manufacturing huge leather trunks, or even sofas, with highly consistent surfaces.

Level 5: Aligned with leather craftsmen and leather smiths

As the sub-heading suggests, the sophisticated customer appreciates a completed full-grain leather product from the craftsman’s point of view. He is confident and discerning, and he easily recognizes when a leather product is selling for a bargain.


The purpose of this post is to focus on full-grain leather, to transit our customers’ leather awareness into that of appreciation. For customers who are at:

  • level 1, simply raising your appreciation one level higher gives you a lot more bargaining power as a spending consumer.
  • level 2, they are already getting bargains.
  • level 3, they already possess the fishing rod. It is a matter of time they progress upwards as their overall taste for consumer goods mature.
  • levels 4 and 5, you know who you are

Written by Keching

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