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December 23, 2022 3 min read

by Monique 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.


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With so many leather options available, it’s tricky to keep track of them all. One often dismissed type is cross grain leather, despite the benefits this material has to offer. So, what is cross grain leather?

The name refers to the pattern of the finished product, which requires a unique process to create it. After the leather is split, the hair is removed. The material is then sanded and buffed perpendicular to the natural grain.

Doing so creates that distinctive diagonal pattern while hiding imperfections in the material. The finished product has several benefits and a few flaws, so if you want to know if cross grain leather is right for you, keep reading.

Cross Grain VS Other Leathers

Like other leather types, cross grain leather can be made from full-grain, top-grain, or corrected grain hides. Manufacturers can also use varying animal hides to create it, including cattle, bison, or sheep. Even exotic animals, like alligators or kangaroos, are options for cross grain leather. So, the difference between cross grain and other leather types is due to the processing rather than the materials used. Let’s take a look at how cross grain compares to other finished products.

Cross Grain VS Saffiano

The pattern of cross grain leather is created when a hide is buffed or sanded perpendicular to the natural grain. Doing so creates the distinctive design this material is known for. It can also be dyed in any color.

The cross-hatch pattern of Saffiano leather isn’t added during processing. Instead, after tanning, the leather is coated in wax and embossed with a unique design. Resin alters the wax color, so the leather doesn’t need dying beforehand to get a range of hues.

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Cross Grain VS Pebbled

Like cross grain leather, pebbling is a texture added to the material. To create the pebbled pattern, the leather surface is tanned, dyed, and pressed using large metal plates. After pebbling, a finish is applied to protect the material from scratches and moisture. The cross-grain pattern is added before tanning and dying using specific cutting and sanding methods.

Cross Grain VS Dollaro

Dollaro leather is another textured option with a uniform pattern that stands out from other options, though it’s only used on vegetable-tanned materials. After tanning and dying, heat embossing applies the pebbled pattern. The process maintains the leather’s characteristics while hiding the flaws, which is similar to cross grain, though the process and finished look set them apart.

Pros Of Cross Grain Leather

Cross grain leather is extremely versatile since you can use any type of leather to create it. It can also be dyed any color, including utilizing multiple colors for two-toned, striped, or checked patterns.

The price is another benefit of cross grain leather since it is much more affordable than other leather types. Despite the low cost, this leather is durable, resisting scratches, scuffs, rips, and moisture. It looks great for longer, even if you’re a bit rough on it.

Cons Of Cross Grain Leather

Like other leather types, cross grain leather isn’t perfect. The leather is somewhat thick and rigid, which makes it hard to work with. The sanding and buffing process hides flaws, allowing manufacturers to use lower-quality materials, so you won’t get the best leather with cross grain.

The texture of cross grain leather is also something to consider since it won’t have the soft, buttery feel of other leathers. The pattern alters the appearance of the finished product, which gives the leather a deceivingly fake look.

Cross grain leather

Final Word

Cross grain leather isn’t top-of-the-line, but it has a few benefits that may sway you to choose this material over other leather types. The durability ensures that it will last for quite a while, even with regular use. It is also affordable, fitting into any budget. The unique look and texturing ensure it gets noticed each time you put it to use.


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