Split Leather


Definition of Split Leather

Split leather is a type of leather made by separating the hide of an animal into two or more layers, with the top layer as the grain side, and the bottom layer as the flesh side. 

This process creates a thinner, more pliable leather that’s less expensive than other types of leather, making it a popular choice for a variety of products.

There are two main types of split leather:

  • Suede: Has a napped finish and is made by sanding or brushing the split side to create a soft, fuzzy texture on the flesh side, which is then used as the outer layer of the finished product. 
  • Top-grain Split Leather: Made by sanding down the grain side to create a smooth, polished finish used as the outer layer.

Split leather is known for its durability and resistance to wear and tear, though not to the extent of the full grain leather that we use at American Bench Craft. Full grain leather withstands heavy use. 

Split leather is often used in the production of upholstery, shoes, bags, belts, wallets, and other small leather goods.

Here is an application table showcasing why split leather is used in different product categories:

Product Category Characteristics Special Considerations
Bags Soft, lightweight, affordable Susceptible to scratches and wear over time
Belts Strong, sturdy, long-lasting May show signs of wear and creases over time
Wallets Thin, pliable, compact Requires careful handling to prevent stretching or tearing
Small Leather Goods Versatile, cost-effective, customizable Limited durability compared to higher-quality leather types

One of the benefits of split leather is that it's less expensive than full grain leather, so it will give you the look of real leather without you having to break the bank. 

However, it's important to remember that not all split leather is created equal, and some may be of lower quality than others. This becomes evident by their short lifespan when exposed to different elements.

It’s also not suitable for all types of clothing since it's not as breathable as full grain leather and may end up making you uncomfortable.

However, split leather is still an affordable option for those who are looking for a durable material for furniture and clothing, and accessories.

Example of Split Leather in a sentence

“I prefer to buy handbags with lining made of split leather because it’s soft.”


Belting leather, strapping leather, aniline leather.

Related terms for Split Leather