The Ultimate Guide: Full Grain Leather vs Genuine Leather-BONAVENTURA

The Ultimate Guide: Full Grain Leather vs Genuine Leather

When it comes to leather goods, there are often many terms that you hear but may not necessarily understand. One such pair of terms is full-grain leather and genuine leather. Both are types of leather that are often used in the production of high-quality leather goods. But what is the difference between the two? Here's everything you need to know.

A BONAVENTURA bag made of full-grain leather with a natural patina

What is Full-Grain Leather?

Full-grain leather is the leather obtained from the top layer of the skin. It is the best and most expensive leather you can buy as it maintains the natural texture and markings of the skin. Full-grain leather is not sanded or processed to remove imperfections. Instead, they are incorporated into the design process and give the leather its distinctive look and durability. This leather is often used for high-end luxury leather goods such as bags and wallets.

What is Genuine Leather?

Genuine leather, also known as real leather, is any leather made from genuine animal hide material. It is a widely used term that is often used synonymously with leather. However, not all genuine leather is the same. Genuine leather can be made from different layers of skin and can be treated with different surface finishes or additional materials such as plastic to enhance its look and durability. This can cause it to lose its natural texture and be less durable.

Differences between Full-Grain and Genuine Leather

The biggest difference between full-grain and genuine leather is the layers of skin from which they are made. Full-grain leather is made from the top layer of skin, which holds the structures together, while genuine leather can be made from the layers under the top layer. Another difference is in surface treatment. While full-grain leather retains its natural texture and naturalness and is not further processed, genuine leather is often treated with various surface treatments to improve its look and durability.

A graphic overview of the leather layers

Overvie of the different layers und types of leather

This also results in a difference in the durability of the two types of leather. Due to its natural properties and minimal processing, full-grain leather maintains its durability and texture. Genuine leather, on the other hand, can change its durability and texture due to the various surface treatments and can be more susceptible to cracks and damage.

In addition to its natural durability and texture, full-grain leather offers other advantages over genuine leather. Due to its naturalness, it not only retains its natural properties useful for daily use, but it also develops a unique patina over time. The patina is created by the influence of light, air, and moisture and gives the leather an individual look and character. The strength and tear resistance of full-grain leather are also particularly high, making it ideal for daily use.

BONAVENTURA sells only leather products made of high-quality full-grain leather to ensure that customers receive the best possible quality. Compared to other types of leather, full-grain leather offers higher durability, a unique appearance, and increased toughness. At BONAVENTURA, high-quality Italian leather goods are made from the famous Perlinger leather and Weinheimer leather. Our products include bags, wallets, smartphone cases, and other small leather goods made from fjord-shrunk, grained calf leather or embossed and smooth full-grain calf leather.

How to Recognize the Difference Between Full-Grain and Genuine Leather

There are some ways to recognize the difference between high-quality full-grain and genuine leather. Here are some tips:

  • Look at the texture: Full-grain leather has a natural texture and feel, while genuine leather is often smooth and uniform.
  • Feel the leather: Full-grain leather feels softer and more flexible than genuine leather, which is often stiffer.
  • Look at the edges: Full-grain leather often has unpolished and uncoated edges, while genuine leather often has polished and coated edges.
  • Look at the color: Full-grain leather often retains the natural color of the skin or is completely dyed, while genuine leather is often only surface-dyed or treated to enhance or change its color.


Overall, full-grain leather is the best leather available on the market as it maintains its natural texture and durability and develops a unique patina over time. Genuine leather is widely used but can have different qualities depending on the manufacturing process and surface treatment. When choosing leather goods, it's important to understand what type of leather was used to ensure that you're getting the best possible product.

If you're looking for high-quality leather goods made from the finest full-grain leather, BONAVENTURA is the right choice. We offer a wide range of leather goods including bags, wallets, smartphone cases, and other small leather goods made from the famous Perlinger and Weinheimer leather. With our focus on quality and craftsmanship, you can be sure that you'll receive a product that is both durable and elegant.