Grains, Splits, & More

Location and Cut Make a Big Difference…

To choose the right leather glove for the job, you need to understand how leather is split and how quality is determined by the location of the hide on the animal.  In general, for greatest durability and longevity choose a glove made from GRAIN leather. For superior abrasion resistance, SPLIT leathers offer a cost-saving alternative.

Grain Leather

The grain layer is the outermost layer of the hide (where the hair used to be). This layer is considered the choicest part of the hide due to its durability and softness, as well as its pleasing appearance.  Because of its appearance and other characteristics, grain leather is more expensive than split leather.

Grain leather is commonly used with the smoother side facing out but can also be used in reversed or brushed grain variations.

Reversed Grain

The external side of the hide is turned inside out so that it rests against your hand to improve feel and dexterity.  The scruffy side of the grain leather faces out.

Brushed Grain

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. 

Split Leather

Thicker hides, such as cowhide, can be split into two or more layers.  Once the top GRAIN layer has been removed, the remaining layer is split into one or more split leather layers. Split leather is generally not as strong as the grain layer; however, it has a some advantages:

  • Because of its dense fibers, split leather is more abrasion resistance
  • Split leather is more water resistant that grain leather
  • Split leather has some natural puncture resistance

Cowhide is thick enough to yield several layers of split leather, while other hides, such as goatskin, are too thin to split. 

Types of Split Leather

When selecting a leather glove or garment, you should consider the part of the animal’s body the hide comes from:

Shoulder Split: The hide around the shoulder area is less uniform in density and appearance. Shoulder split is less durable, but more affordable leather.

Side Split: Side splits come from the back and side portions of the animal.  Since hides are densest in these areas, side split offers the greatest durability and consistency.

Belly Split: The belly area yields the thinnest and least consistent leather. Belly split is less durable and is often used for “economy grade” gloves.

To learn more about the variety of animal leathers used to construct our gloves and garments, see our Types of Animal Leathers page.

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Proud Member of Industry Groups & Associations

CONNECT WITH US

10747 Norwalk Blvd.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
(800) 527-3826
info@revcoindustries.com

Monday-Friday: 7am-4:30pm (PST)

CONNECT WITH US

10747 Norwalk Blvd.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
(800) 527-3826
info@revcoindustries.com
Monday - Friday: 7am - 4:30pm (PST)

Proud Member of Industry Groups & Associations

CONNECT WITH US

10747 Norwalk Blvd.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
(800) 527-3826
info@revcoindustries.com

Monday-Friday: 7am-4:30pm (PST)

CONNECT WITH US

10747 Norwalk Blvd.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
(800) 527-3826
info@revcoindustries.com
Monday - Friday: 7am - 4:30pm (PST)
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