Full Grain versus Top Grain Authentic Italian Veg Tan Leather

When someone references Italian leather, you know they’re talking about the highest quality leather available on the market. The iconic quality of Italian leather has a rich history of leather-making artisans offering the best products in the world. Italian leather workers, largely concentrated in the Tuscan region, follow the tradition of vegetable tanning hides to create the strongest, longest-lasting, and most beautiful leather in the world. Poppi Italian leather works directly with leather artisans in Italy to curate a unique selection of veg tan leather bags and make their quality work available to all its customers.

Our collection of veg tan leather offers a broad range of styles, finishes, colors, and more. Depending on the bag, the leather is produced using a full grain or top grain veg tan process.

brown full grain leather bag

Full Grain

Full grain leather is considered to be the best of the best. This method of tanning creates a leather that can maintain quality with the proper care for centuries. Full grain leather is made from the outer layer of the hide tanned in natural vegetable tannins. The hide is placed in wooden drums in the vegetable tannin for up to three months. The long process of full grain leather creates insoluble compounds bound to the proteins of the hide. These bonds and compounds give full grain leather its durability and natural beauty. Each full grain tanned hide is unique.



Top Grain

Top grain leather is a much softer type of leather used to make flexible products like gloves, soft bags, and clothing. Using the more flexible, delicate inner hides, green top grain leather bagleather artisans can tan top grain leather using a process similar to that used to  make full grain leathers. After tanning, the top grain leather is sanded, and a finish coat of various materials is applied. Top grain leather won’t develop the beautiful natural patina characteristic of full grain leather, but it’s still a quality product that holds up to stains and the abuse of daily use.


Both full grain and top grain Italian leathers are used in the making of many veg tan leather bags and other products. They are each a high-quality leather product with beauty and elegance in its own way. One example of our bags made with top grain leather is the Saffiano Italian Leather Shoulder Bag, available in different color finishes. The oil-rubbed, distressed Messenger Bag and the Washed Italian Leather Satchel, on the other hand, are excellent examples of full grain leathers.


To find out more about full grain, top grain, or the tanning process, contact Poppi Italian Leather at (507) 282-3088 or email us at poppibags@gmail.com today. To find your own unique veg tan leather bag, shop online or visit our store in Rochester, MN.