Nugget of Knowledge: Leather grades

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"Genuine leather" may sound impressive, but it's actually low quality

(WYTV) – From the “Associated Press” and “Business Insider,” what kind of leather wallet or leather furniture are you buying?

Maybe the wallet you bought says “genuine leather” on it and it sounds impressive. Nothing imitation here, it’s genuine.

It’s also mediocre, at best.

Here are the three grades of leather.

The best is known as full-grain leather. It has the hide’s natural markings, it’s thick and will last for many years. It goes into dress belts, briefcases, dress shoes.

One level down on the grading scale is “top-grain leather.”

The manufacturer will lightly sand or buff out markings that don’t have a nice appearance. They may look full-grain, but they won’t last as long. It goes into many purses and wallets.

Finally, there’s “bonded leather.”

The manufacturer has gathered many leather pieces, ground them up and pressed them into a sheet and glued it into wallets and third-grade furniture, far from good.

So where’s genuine leather?

The lowest quality of all, usually some type of leftover bonded leather that won’t last long at all.

Remember actor Ricardo Montalb√°n talking about Chrysler cars with their rich “Corinthian leather” interiors?

As he explained once to David Letterman, “Corinthian leather” is just leather from New Jersey with a fun-sounding name.

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