The Characteristics of Rustico's Top Grain Leather

The Characteristics of Rustico's Top Grain Leather

We do things a little differently here.

Our leather isn't perfect. Sixteen years ago, as we were vetting through different hides to use for our line, we came across a rugged look that was filled with character and immediately became drawn to it. To this day, while we have refined our leather to become more consistent and rugged, we continue to use this grade and we stand behind our decision as to why we fell in love with it.

There's something unique and captivating about natural leather in its rough state. Rather than picking leathers that are perfectly polished and highly treated, we decided to use natural, top-grain leather left just raw enough for you and your customers to leave your mark. 

And rather than turning away from this rough look, we embrace the markings on a hide which some would mistake for blemishes and imperfections. There is something uniquely special about this authentic, distressed look that we simply cannot get enough of and it makes each product we craft both durable and one-of-a-kind. 

Take a look below to see the most common markings among the natural hides we use and experience the difference of natural leather. 


Grazing up against barbed wire definitely leaves a mark. These scratches are typically very small and appear as subtle lines that are slightly darker than the surrounding area.


These marks can form a subtle patterned testimony of a healthy cow and are a mainstay of genuine top grain leather.


These are a natural part of any top grain leather. They appear as part of the texture of the piece and should not be confused with faults or blemishes.


Some color variation between hides is common and is a natural result of the tanning process. These make each piece unique while still preserving the tone and hue of your chosen color.


These tiny bites are a rare occurrence of a particularly determined bug.

We hope this guide can help you understand a bit more about our leather, why we love it, and why we think your customers will too. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, leave them in the comments below and we'd love to answer them. 

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