Since 2016


August 18, 2022 4 min read

by Moniqe Youzwa

Monique has been a full-time freelance writer for over 5 years, plus has a few fiction credits under her belt and is currently working on a novel. When not writing, she spends her time reading, playing video games, hiking, and camping with her husband and daughter.


When it comes to a quality material that is strong, looks great, and smells fantastic, leather comes out on top. Of course, not all leathers are identical, varying in the animal hide used and the grade of the material.

The texture is also something to consider since it determines several factors, including the leather’s quality, uniqueness, porosity, and breathability. The different types of leather texture are determined by the size and shape of the grain, with wider grains creating a rougher feel and smaller grains creating a smooth or refined finish. Let’s take a look at the varying leather texture options.


Smooth leather texture is unique in that it doesn’t really have any texture at all. It is created by shaving, sanding, and buffing the hide’s top layer. The result is a soft, supple piece that feels incredibly soft.

This leather texture has the benefit of being moisture-resistant, repelling water rather than soaking it in. The downside to smooth leather is that any scratches or tears are more visible, requiring extra time to condition and care for the material.

Full Grain

Flat grain leather texture is similar to smooth texture in terms of how it feels since both have that same soft, luxurious surface. The difference is that the grains are slightly more visible in a flat grain leather piece. This texture option is also more durable, showing less wear.


Grainy texture is created by pressing the animal hide while wet, which separates the fibers. The result prominent grainy texture when you look at or touch the leather. Even the scent of the leather is more noticeable, so if you love that distinctive leather smell, this leather texture may be the right one for you.

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Pebbled leather texture is exactly what its name suggests. It has a dimpled surface resembling the small stones on a pebbled beach. To create pebbled leather, the tanning and dying methods remain the same as other texture types. The material is then pressed using plates that contain the pebble pattern, transferring the design to the leather permanently, creating that unique look and feel.

Pebbled leather is more durable than other types, hiding scuffs and scratches well. The downside is that this texture is prone to moisture absorption, so it isn’t the best all-weather material.


Heat can be applied to leather to create a specific pattern, resulting in embossed leather. It can be used to add logos or designs on small areas of a leather piece. Embossing can also make some leathers look more exotic, like adding a crocodile pattern to cowhide.


When a hide is split into two parts, the innermost side is revealed, featuring a soft, fuzzy texture on both sides. This piece is suede, which is quite distinctive when compared to other leather textures. Suede has a velvety texture that feels fantastic and looks amazing. Unfortunately, suede is not waterproof or water-resistant, so it needs to be treated to prevent moisture damage for damp weather wear.


While the innermost part of a split hide is used for suede, the top layer is nubuck, which has a similar velvety texture. The difference is that nubuck is a tougher piece of the hide, increasing its durability. The surface is also buffed to add a soft, fuzzy texture to the material.


Buffered leather is also known as antique grain or hand-buffered leather. It has a smooth texture but is treated to give it a distressed and aged look. This leather texture isn’t as common as many others and usually used for furniture rather than clothing.


Latigo leather is created using a combination of chrome and vegetable tanning. The result is leather that feels incredibly soft, with numerous pores that block moisture and dust from entering the material. Latigo is also one of the strongest leathers in the world, making it a fine choice for often-used pieces, like jackets, belts, bags, and boots. Of course, the involved tanning process and heavy weight also make it one of the most expensive leather textures on the market.

Leather textures

Final Words

When buying any leather product, from garments to accessories to furniture, there are several factors worth considering. As well as the type and grain of leather, you may also want to look at the different types of leather textures. There are many to choose from, all of which vary in look, feel, moisture resistance, and durability. It’s best to think carefully about the use of the leather piece before picking a texture to be sure it will hold up.

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