Full Grain v. Top Grain

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Superfluous, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Sometimes these things are cultural. Australian's as a rule prefer more subtle sales talk and generally react badly to ego driven marketing. Although things are changing down here too.
     
  2. Ishmael

    Ishmael Practically Family

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    Wouldn't touch a BK jacket with a ten foot pole, purely because I can't stand the condescending and poorly philosophized sales pitch.
     
  3. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    I would tend to agree. In my experience with tailors and shoemakers, I find the Italians to be the most grandiloquent and the British to be the least, with the French falling somewhere in between. Generally speaking of course.
     
  4. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

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    It's funny, but I don't find the BK posts condescending at all. I find them supremely patient, considering the remorseless hostility they attract from certain quarters here.

    BK are trying to build a successful, high-end, artisan business in the middle of a truly ruinous Greek economy. I think we can cut them some slack.
     
  5. cordwangler

    cordwangler One of the Regulars

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    Yep. And agree with Tomasso too, a couple of posts above.

    This is one of those situations where the quality and fineness of a natural product is measured with/against its functionality and durability. Best quality and best for purpose, not always the same thing. If a maker with experience finds what they think fits both criteria, good on them.

    More info on this thread about leather types than previously available on FL, I think. So all good.
     
  6. thor

    thor One Too Many

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    +1
     
  7. scrawlysteve

    scrawlysteve One of the Regulars

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    Right on pipvh...and someone who narrows his choices due to a feeling a vendor is "bombastic" seems to be cutting off his nose to spite his face....
     
  8. Dav

    Dav One Too Many

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    Having received some samples before Christmas I think their leather looks/feels superb, just a shame that when I had the money they didn't have the hides and now it's vice versa, oh well, one day.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  9. repo

    repo Familiar Face

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    Location:
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    How bad are the imperfections on hide deemed not suitable for full grain - it could still be used for a jacket if the customer didn't mind a few scars etc. Perhaps they are processing hides (to produce top grain) unnecessarily and customers would actually prefer a few imperfections.
     
  10. TXFlyGuy

    TXFlyGuy Practically Family

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    More than one manufacturer has gone to great lengths to explain that their jackets are completely natural, thus some minor marks and/or scars will be in the hide. They almost make it sound like a scar is a badge of honor.
     
  11. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Perhaps, but it's also the sense that, with any company that proclaims it products as being second to none not just this sector, if you're less than delighted with their item you're sent, then it's your fault, not theirs. To me, the hard sell, no matter how good the product is, will always be a turn-off. It's pretty simple, tbh: set out your stall clearly and without hyperbole, let people see the quality for themselves and if they ask questions, answer helpfully and respectfully.
     
  12. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 I'll Lock Up

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    I just bought the BK Duke from the classifieds. The FB pics of the jacket sure do look nice. I will post it up when I get it. Andy's comments here didn't make much difference to me. I just took deliver of a new LW "Test" so I guess I can get through the rhetoric. I'll do a post on the "Test", but simple amazing in fit and finish.

    T.
     
  13. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Kudu is a hide that comes with a warning that it can be heavily scarred - barbed wire, thorny bushes etc. Aero did a short-lived run of them, and some of the last ones were made from this leather, but it came with it a 'buyer beware' warning. Not a fan of the stuff itself, felt to spongy and irregular for my liking, but as ever, it's storses for courses
     
  14. cordwangler

    cordwangler One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    muddies water, misses point AND associates favoured manufacturer with least-favoured manufacturer in one post, while citing favoured manufacturer's innovative use of niche hide. Grand slam!

    Sheesh!

    "tbh: set out your stall clearly and without hyperbole"

    Never take your own advice. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  15. Otter

    Otter One Too Many

    You know, there was a reason they called it Coo Doo to use the local Scots Vernacular.
     
  16. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    I'm not sure what you're getting at. I certainly wasn't getting at anyone, just being factual: kudu can be a heavily scarred hide due to it's environment. This means it can make it quite wasteful to work if you're trying to get a relatively unscarred version, hence its 'niche' status. If people like it then that's cool, I'm certainly not going to knock it as everyone has their preferences. I'm really not sure where the hyperbole is or how I could be clearer.
    Mind you, I'm not sure any maker using any hide, no matter how exotic, could be described as 'innovative', as I suspect there are few creatures under the sun that haven't been hunted and skinned for clothing down the millennia.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  17. Dickie Teenie

    Dickie Teenie A-List Customer

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    367
    Location:
    Iowa now Athens Gr.
    That my be your sense but I've only seen two cases where somebody wasn't happy with what they wanted. One saw a too grainy jacket for their taste and ordered one spec'd with smooth grain before they sent the grainy out. The other was Jeff M. here on the FDL which they made right evidently. Andy has consistently said try it, if you don't like it return it or maybe you know otherwise.
     
  18. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Wasn't referring specifically to BK, was making a wider point.
     
  19. Superfluous

    Superfluous My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Moving this discussion to the appropriate thread, PAWineGuy wrote:

    WineGuy,

    The irony is that Shinki sources premium hides from Northern Europe (which are more expensive), with fewer imperfections than other hides, precisely because these hides do not require correction. Moreover, I am informed that, because Shinki buys these premium hides, it does NOT correct the leather. I repeat: Shinki does not correct its leather (why would Shinki pay more for hides that do not require correction, then correct said hides?) Yet, Shinki leather appears to be top grain, with the surface removed (I am no expert, but that appears to be the case). Removing the surface is commonly an indication that the leather has been corrected. On the other hand, I am informed that not all top grain leather is corrected – Shinki is not alone in offering uncorrected top grain leather (assuming it is top grain). So why does Shinki leather have the surface removed if it is not corrected? This is the $100,000 question and I do not have an answer. I have communicated with several industry participants and tried to get the answer, but Shinki is notoriously unwilling to share information. Perhaps Shinki perceives a benefit to leather with the top layer removed, even though they do not correct the leather? Perhaps removing the top layer renders the leather more pliable? This, of course, is pure speculation.

    Full grain is generally considered more desirable than top grain because top grain is frequently corrected, whereas full grain is not. Ironically, the end user usually cannot tell the difference without magnification. Nevertheless, there is no denying that many/most industry participants rank full grain over top grain because top grain is often corrected. However, as stated above, not all top grain is corrected.

    Given that Shinki’s leather is not corrected, it does not have the key undesirable attribute associated with most top grain leather. What does that mean? I have no idea! Is it still less desirable than full grain, even though not corrected? Maybe. Maybe not. Market pricing would suggest that the lack of a top layer on Shinki leather has not rendered it less desirable. Jacket manufacturers are paying the same or more for Shinki leather as compared to full grain hides. Nevertheless, full grain hides may still be perceived as advantageous, notwithstanding the similar pricing.

    I am left to decide whether any of this makes a difference to me, personally. I have decided that it does not. I select leather based on how it looks, feels and drapes, regardless of whether it is full or top grain. I did not buy a Vincenza jacket because it is full grain; rather, I bought it because of the character and feel of the leather, as compared to other leathers that lack character and/or are too rigid for my preferences. Kudos to Insurrection for sourcing this wonderful leather. Lastly, FWIW, I think the Liberty and Victory leathers offered by BK look outstanding!
     
  20. schitzo

    schitzo Suspended

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    1,472
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    Is it not the case that Liberty and Vicenza HH are the same thing, from the same place?

    In which case, assuming they are then the most discernible difference for us lot - the consumer - is price. Specifically, a BK jacket is cheaper i think
     

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