Unique Purses Hand Tooled & Painted Leather Handbags for Women

How to identify the leather type of your handbags

January 18, 2019

How to identify the leather type of your handbags - Bellorita

When buying leather handbags, you want to make sure you know what you’re paying for.

This often means wading through the marketing and learning some of the common terminology when it comes to different types of leather.

Usually on the underside of a leather handbag, the leather quality will be stamped one of three things: full-grainleather, top-grain leather, and genuine leather.

Below is a video explaining different types of leather.

Illustration of Leather

Cowhide is made of two main integrated layers – the corium and the grain.

Collagen fibers in the corium are thinner and more flexible, and become tighter and thicker as they move up toward the grain, where the fibers are tightly packed and very sturdy.

The top part of the grain faces outward toward the hair, and can contain blemishes like insect bites, stretch marks, scars, and brands.

This means that the very top part of the grain is often buffed off to make the leather look more uniform.

Full-grain Leather

Starting at the top of the chain, we have full-grain leather.

The term full-grain refers to leather that hasn’t been sanded or buffed out to remove marks or imperfections, so it includes the entire thickness of the skin.

While sanding these out may make the leather more visually appealing to some, keeping the grain allows for additional material strength and durability.

Full-grain leather is often used for heavy-duty leather items, like weapon holsters and utility belts.

But it can also be used for dress belts, briefcases, dress shoes, work boots, and numerous other leather goods.

This type of leather is naturally marked with imperfections from the animal, like a brand or a scar, but products from pricier companies won't use these flawed hides.

Full-grain is hard-as-nails leather that will develop a rich patina as it ages, looking more and more beautiful as you use it.

Full-Grain Leather is widely recognized as the best and highest-quality leather money can buy.

Often much more expensive, full-grain pays dividends with its durability.

If you invest in an item made with full-grain leather, you will probably have that item for the rest of your life if you take care of it properly.

Only the highest quality furniture, luggage, and footwear often features full-grain leather, and it develops a beautiful patina over time.

Top-grain Leather

Second on the list, and the second-highest quality, top-grain leather has the split layer with imperfections taken away, making it thinner and more workable for the manufacturer.

Top-Grain Leather is commonly used in the vast majority of high-end purses for women that are sold by well-known designer brands.

This leather has had its surface sanded and a finish applied, giving it a “smooth” feel.

While this finish takes away most breathability, it prevents stains that would otherwise sink into full-grain leather.

It's made by splitting a piece of full-grain leather and sanding away any imperfections in the hide and stamping a fake grain on it.

Usually, it's then treated and colored to provide a completely uniform look.

Guenine Leather

Genuine leather has the bottom part of the leather, the part that is split off from the grain at the grain/corium junction.

Genuine leather can then be sliced down even thinner and used for other purposes.

Often a plastic coating is applied and embossed to mimic a grain leather; however these leathers are not nearly as strong or durable.

This is sometimes referred to as a finished split.


Genuine leather doesn't just mean that the product is made of real leather, but it also means it is the lowest quality of all products made out of real leather.

Genuine leather generally doesn't last as long or look as nice as higher-quality leather.

You'll typically find it in belts from mall stores, shoes from lower-priced department stores, and bags or other goods in the lower-leather price range.

Goods marked as genuine leather will be several layers of low quality leather bonded together with glue and then painted to look like a better-quality leather.

It's what is left over when the other, higher grades are stripped away.

This grade of leather is acceptable if you're just buying something cheaply and don't care too much about its quality.

It won't last very long, so it probably shouldn't be something you use every day.

Another use for genuine leather is suede, which has been textured to have a napped finish.

Suede is often confused with nubuck, which is a grain leather that is textured to have a similar nap finish.

The difference is that nubuck is much stronger and more durable than suede, though suede’s softness and pliability make it useful for certain applications.


  • Genuine leatherdoesn't just mean that the product is made of real leather, but it also means it is the lowest quality of all products made out of real leather.
  • Top-Grain leather is commonly used in the vast majority of high-end purses for women that are sold by well-known designer brands.
  • Full-Grain leather is widely recognized as the best and highest-quality leather money can buy, and often used for heavy-duty leather items, like weapon holsters and utility belts.

Bellorita is proud to announce that
all our bags are made of Full-Grain leather and Top-Grain leather.

With Full-Grain leather, our master artisans are able to craft the exquisite images on the leather.

With Top-Grain leather, we are able to manufacture the most soft leather handbags.

Choosing Bellorita, you will

Receive Many Compliments and Admirations

Bellorita handbags are a piece of art that is truly rare and unique. Created by hand carving, printing, dyeing, folding and embroidering on the finest of supple leathers, a plethora of exquisite shapes and designs are available. Each design harkens back to auspicious ancient Asian beliefs. With full attention to the tiniest detail, each product is unique and tells a fabulous story.

Enjoy Luxury Designer Handbags with Affordable Price

Bellorita handbags are individually created with the highest quality full-grain leather and top-grain leather by our designer. Each piece is designed to last for the rest of your life with beautiful patina over time. Yet each bag is priced in the affordable luxury market, making them easily accessible for discerning women that desire an ethically and expertly made designer bag.

Display Your Unique Style and Personality to the World

Bellorita purses are designed to portray the unique beauty and strength of both the Asian culture and the woman carrying the purse. To carry a Bellorita bag is to show to the world that you believe in ethical and affordable luxury, that you are confident and joyful, and that you understand timeless fashionable pieces that elevate your entire wardrobe to the next level.

Have Enough Space to Accommodate All Your Essentials

Whether you need to take a lipstick or compact for some quick touch-ups following the dinner party, whether you simply need an external pocket to practically accessorize those skinny jeans for your afternoon outing, or whether you need a business casual purse to carry with you to work, each Bellorita bag is functional enough to hold all your belongings.

See What People Are Saying About Bellorita!

Beautiful and made well, hand done and painted, it is wonderful and I would highly recommend this brand to anyone who wants a "signature" bag that stands out form the crowd!!------Diane

I cant stop showing everyone man and woman. The purse is gorgeous and the workmanship is beyond words. Buy Bellorita for that special someone.

It is a work of art. Very high quality. I think I will start collecting this designer.------Michelle Wang

This is the most perfect purse I've ever owned. It is perfect in every way. The leather is quite soft and supple. The fish and other designs are beautifully carved and painted in vibrant colors and with such beautiful precision and detail. The texture of the purse allows you to fit everything you need in there. I love this purse and highly recommend it.------Christina Mines

Huge Bellorita handbag fan. I prefer the larger bags but, I am getting used to the smaller size of this one, as compared to the large feather tote. I bought this bag as a replacement because, my other one was very well loved and not looking it's best. Lol.------jbell

The purse is beautiful. It's very well made. The decorative pearls are on firm. Nothing loose. Everything about the purse is well made.------Brenda Prudencio

The bag is beautiful. The leather is soft and the colors are what they show in the picture. I would recommend this item, the quality of the product is worth the price. It will probably be the last one I will need to buy.------Angel

I found the story and design of this piece fascinating. I am completely blown away by the quality of the craftsmanship. Surprised my wife for her birthday and now she brings it everywhere. She gets more attention wearing it than any other purse she owns. Can't wait to surprise her with her next piece to add to her collection.------Tyler Hersom

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Join the Bellorita Woman Community