Which Leather Material Is Best for Jackets?

Leather comes along with a complete package of attitude, grace, and elegance. No matter the gender, leather has always been a sign of royalty and luxury, with a pinch of sophistication and style. Since leather goods have been trending in the fashion industry for past decades, they never fail to make you look chic and classy. Leather comes along in various types and grades, be it the texture, material, style or designing. Leather goods, such as jackets, wallets, belts, footwear and several others, vary from the versatile look to the genuine or faux fabric.

History of Leather Material

Leather has been one of the oldest and earliest discoveries of mankind. Back in time, people used to hunt down animals and use their raw skin as protective layers, as a sign of royalty and luxury. Today, the leather industry has been revolutionized into a massive industry, producing leather goods such as clothing, footwear, accessories, luggage and much more. Leather has been a key material for the industry of transportation and furniture, as leather has been considered the most comforting and warming material, it has been used for seating. By the end of the 18th century, leather was highly demanded, be it for the invention of the automobile or clothing. Colorful leather, with soft and supple touch, was embedded in the industry to mark a difference.

Leather jackets were initially introduced during World War I, for the fighter pilots to bear the cold temperatures that they face at high altitudes. The flight and bomber leather jackets ensured to serve comfort and warmth to the fighter pilots during the battles. Different leather skins have been used in composing luxurious leather jackets, with durability and comfort. Between the early age and now, there has been a massive change in the production, material, and designing of the leather goods.

Ultimate Guide to Leather Jackets

Leather jackets are said to be the ultimate representation of royalty and elegance. For men, leather jackets have been highlighting their manhood and masculinity, whereas, for women, leather jackets are iconic attires that can save them from having a bad day outfit. In the early 1900s, during the period of World War I, leather jackets were introduced as attire for the members of the military. These leather jackets were named as, Bomber jackets, which ensured to serve durability along with a warming comfort.

As the fighter pilots were missioned to reach high altitudes with extremely cold temperatures, bomber leather jackets were made of sheepskin, which ensured to serve comfort and warmth, along with a short waistline, rib-knitted collar, cuffs, and hemline. The leather jackets were soon introduced in various forms and styles, including flight leather jackets, biker leather jackets, shearling leather jackets and several more.

Today, leather jackets are trending in the fashion industry and are considered as one of the luxurious wears for winters. You can easily find a perfect leather jacket for yourself, regardless of your gender. This article ensures to describe every leather material and type in a detailed manner, to help you out in deciding what to opt for.

Types of Leather Skin

Before investing in a leather jacket, you need to consider a few factors, to ensure that you have got your hands on the right product. You must have a keen eye to recognize the quality and type of leather that you are investing in. To state in general terms, there are various types of leather skins that are used in the manufacturing of leather jackets. Here we are, with a list of general types of leather that you must explore before buying one:

1. Cowhide

Cowhide is one of the strongest yet impermeable type of leather, which ensures the durability and sturdiness of a leather jacket. The cowhide has been the first type of leather skin, used in the 1920s to produce classic motorcycle leather jackets, which were strong, durable and thick. Cowhide is considered as water and dirt resistant, which prolongs the life of your leather jacket. As leather jacket made with cowhide, ensures to serve long-life, it may astound you that cowhide is excellent in protecting your leather jacket from water. As you get your hands on a leather jacket made of cowhide, you will feel it as your second skin, instead of an attire.

2.    Deerskin

Deerskin falls at the top of the list of best leather skins after cowhide. Deerskin ensures to serve you with comfort and warmth, along with a softer and lighter feel. It is as durable as cowhide but comes along with a smoother texture. It is so warm and comforting, that along with being used in the manufacturing of leather jackets, pants, vests and coats, it is also used to produce gloves and bags. You can opt for deerskin if you want to have soft and comfortable wear.

3.    Goatskin

Goatskin has been a major leather type, which is used to manufacture leather jackets for the US Navy and Air Force. The military jackets are soft and lighter than cowhide, and are thus, considered to be better for their attires. As cowhide is tough and rigid, goatskin is eventually smoother and soft than cowhide and deerskin. As fighter pilots had to gear up in attires that could make them feel light and comforted, goatskin has been one of the most subtle and emerging leather skin types. The military flight jackets and bomber jackets are usually composed of goatskin.

4.    Lambskin

Lambskin is the softest and lightest leather type that has been introduced since the early 90s. There is no other skin type, which serves such comfort and a supple touch against the skin. Lambskin is considered as the thinnest skin among every other leather type. Leather jackets manufactured with lambskin offer a flattering drape look along with a soft and smooth touch. Leather jackets, bags, shoes, and gloves are made of lambskin, as to ensure durability along with the softest fabric. As soft and supple the leather jackets made of lambskin are, so are they lightweight and durable.

5.    Calfskin

Calfskin ensures to provide you the characteristics of lambskin along with cowhide. On one hand, leather jackets made of calfskin provides strength and durability just what cowhide does, whereas on the other hand, if offers the soft and smooth feel of lambskin. The skin is considered convenient to be used in leather jackets, as it isn’t as lightweight as lambskin is. Along with a smooth and soft feel, calfskin offers a thicker and heavier material. Calfskin ensures to comfort you with the perfect balance between being functional and fashionable.

6.    Bison

Bison is the skin type which is similar to cowhide when it comes to durability and potential. It is considered as one of the best leather types for jackets such as motorcycle leather jackets and biker leather jackets. It ensures to serve you with protective gear. The only difference between bison and cowhide is the distinctive pebbled grain which boosts the leather jacket with rugged beauty. The distinctive form of leather type will embrace your leather apparel with a competent and strengthened look. So, if you are looking for a leather jacket that could embrace you with a potent stylish look, then this is the leather skin that you must opt for.

Type of Leather Grades

Leather grades define the manner in which the leather skin has been cut and finished. As leather undergoes several stages of production, leather is produced in a variety of different grades and depends upon the final stage of the leather product. Leather jackets, bags, shoes, and accessories are executed with the same procedure, and leather grades which results in the final quality of the material. To invest in the correct leather jacket which could last for a good span of time, you must know what it takes for the hide to go through the process of tanning and finishing. The four types of leather grades are:

1.    Full-Grain Leather

Full-Grain Leather is the top layer of the leather hide. It is known as full-grain because it has all the grain in it. This isn’t buffed or sanded, thus retains the natural marking of the original leather hide. Full-grain leather has tough and potent because of the natural grains in it. As there are no alterations made on the surface, you will witness imperfection and an original personality of the hide. Full-Grain leather has the highest quality when compared to others, and is considered perfect for saddlebacks.

Since the material of full-grain leather holds the natural possessing of the hide, it is the most expensive of all. Full-grain leather will develop a patina over time which would enhance the personality of the leather material. If you are looking for strong and durable coats or jackets, go for the ones made of full-grain leather.

2.    Top-Grain Leather

Top Grain leather falls at the position of the second grade of leather materials. To achieve the top grain layer of the hide, several alterations are made, which means that the hide is sanded and buffed to remove any imperfections that the top layer has. Through the process of pigmentation or staining, the leather goods are given an attractive and smooth look. The final result after these furnishing processes will result in an end product that would give a consistent pebbled pattern to the leather.

On one hand, where top grain leather is considered strong and durable, it witnesses to stretch within the passage of time. Usually, handbags, leather jackets, and gloves are made of top-grain leather material.

3.    Corrected-Grain Leather

Corrected grain leather also known as split leather, is manufactured with the skin layers that have been achieved as the top is split off and form the corium predominantly. As corrected grain leather is found under the top layers, it is considered to be tougher in texture. The usage of corrected grain leather is found in furniture backs and sides, as it doesn’t need to be soft and supple.

The top grain leather ensures to soothe the material with a subtle look, for which it has to be sanded and buffed as to remove the natural imperfections. The surface of corrected grain leather is usually sprayed painted to carry the natural look of leather. Such leather type is usually used in manufacturing furniture, footwear, messenger bags, jackets, and accessories.

4.    Bonded Leather

Bonded leather is formed with the leftovers of the hide, such as the dust and shaving which is left behind. These leftovers are added to polyurethane or latex, on the top of a fiber sheet. The bonded leather is sprayed on as to imitate the original look of full grain leather. Bonded leather is the cheapest grade of leather with the lowest quality. Sadly, you cannot distinguish the natural leather percentage of the leather, unless the manufacturer decided to show it. We can witness the use of bonded leather in furniture, fashion accessories and binding.


In order to choose the best leather jacket for yourself, it is vital to know about the various leather types and grades. We hope that the above-mentioned article has been informative to you. As you invest in a leather jacket, ensure to know what your requirements are. Cowhide is considered as one of the toughest, durable and strongest leather types, which ensures to make your leather jacket last long. A full-grain leather grade will serve you with the natural look of leather, as it is not sanded or buffed to remove the natural grains of the hide.

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