BSX Xtreme Gear

Leather Terminology


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.

Reversed Grain

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

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. 


Once the top grain layer has been removed, the remaining layer(s) are split off into split leather which is generally not as strong as the grain layer. Also known as suede, they can be identified by their varying scruffy textures on both sides. Cowhide is thick enough to yield several layers of split leather, whereas other hides such as goatskin are too thin to split.