The grain layer is the outermost layer of the hide (the skin side). This layer is considered the choicest part of the hide due to its pleasing appearance as well as its durability. These attributes along with rising global demand for its use in cars, furniture, purses, jackets, shoes, and wallets all drive prices higher. Grain leather is commonly used with the smoother side facing out but can also be used in reversed or brushed grain variations. See the information to the right.
Grain leather can be employed in its reversed state with the scruffy side facing out. When used for gloves in this way, it is the smoother, grain-textured side that makes contact with the hand and helps improve feel and dexterity
The grain leather side can also be brushed to a velvety finish in order to blend away cosmetic defects. Also known as “nubuck”, brushed grain should not be confused with “suede”, which is derived from split leather.