Difference between Full grain and Crust leather

When choosing a leather product, being very aware of the difference between a full-grain leather and a crust leather is an important knowledge.

First of all, it is also important to know that the skin has several layers. I want to show them to you in this image below. 

  • Epidermis
  • Dermis
  • Hypodermis


skin layers

The dermis is the only part that can be used to obtain leather from this.

The full-grain side
The full-grain side is the upper part of the epidermis (hair side). It is in this part that the fibres are densest and give the most beautiful leathers, combining flexibility, strength and longevity. Full grain leather is incredibly strong and durable, as the natural grain contains the strongest fibers in the hide.

All full-grain leather will be marked with the scratches and imperfections that result from wear and tear from the animal’s activity, like insect bites and rubbing against a fence. The high-end manufacturers do not use hides with obvious defects, but even the best quality hides will have minor imperfections. These imperfections add to the individuality of each leather product and are an indicator that it is genuine full-grain leather. 

The crust side
The crust is the lower part (flesh side) of the hide obtained when thick hides are split into two leaves. It can have the appearance of a smooth leather when it is covered (without being covered). It is less flexible and less resistant.

Full-grain leather goods are of higher quality than split leather goods. The most valuable leather is still full-grain leather; therefore, these leathers are more pricey.


What type of leather do you prefer to work with?