The Blog

What Is Natural Leather?

what is natural leather

Ever wondered, ‘What is natural leather?

Natural leather, made from animal hides through a tanning process, retains the hide's unique grain, making each piece one-of-a-kind. Our findings show that natural leather ages gracefully, developing a rich patina over time.

At Andar, we specialize in handcrafted full-grain leather products, prized for their durability, flexibility, and ageless beauty.

In this article, we'll discuss what natural leather is, its characteristics, types, and care tips, exploring how it's the ultimate choice for those who value quality and elegance.

We'll also illustrate why our brand offers the very best in natural full grain modern leather goods and more.

What this article covers:

What Is Natural Leather?

Natural leather is made from animal hides through a tanning process, retaining the unique grain of the hide.

Common examples of animal hides used to produce natural leather include:

  • cow
  • sheep
  • goat
  • buffalo

If you want to know ‘What is the strongest type of leather?', full-grain leather is the best and sturdiest natural leather grain. It uses the entire hide, including the outermost layer, offering superior strength and robustness.

This type of natural leather grain not only looks exquisite but also provides unmatched longevity and comfort, making it an ideal choice for premium carry options.

At Andar, we pride ourselves on crafting products from natural, full-grain leather because it ages beautifully, developing distinct characteristics over time.

How Is Natural Leather Processed?

Through our practical knowledge, natural leather is processed through several key steps:

  1. Cleaning: The process begins with cleaning the hides to remove dirt and hair.
  2. Tanning: The next step is the tanning process which preserves the hides using either vegetable or chrome tanning methods.
  3. Manufacturing: Finally, retanning, milling, and finishing steps enhance the leather's resilience, texture, and appearance in order to create products.

We use full-grain leather at Andar, ensuring that our products are natural, long-lasting and aesthetically appealing.

Characteristics of Natural Leather

There are several distinguishing characteristics which set natural leather apart from other types.

Natural Markings

Natural leather exhibits unique markings that add to its charm and authenticity.

These markings are remnants of the animal's life and growth process, including:

  • scars
  • pores
  • insect bites
  • vein lines

Our investigation demonstrated that these natural imperfections aren't flaws; instead, they enhance the character of the leather and make each piece distinct.

At Andar, we celebrate these markings as a testament of the leather's journey and contributions to its individuality.

Patina Development

Over time, natural leather develops a rich patina, a unique sheen due to exposure to environmental factors and oils from handling.

Drawing from our experience, we've observed that full-grain leather, in particular, develops natural markings that reflects the owner's lifestyle and usage patterns.

Products like our mens wallets are designed to age gracefully, evolving with you and becoming more beautiful over time.


If you're wondering, ‘What is breathable leather?', natural leather is the best example, renowned for allowing air to pass through it and moisture to evaporate.

As per our expertise, this feature ensures comfort and prevents moisture buildup, protecting your belongings from damage.

At Andar, we prioritize using premium, breathable leather to ensure the longevity and functionality of products like our full grain leather bags, providing our customers with reliable accessories that stand the test of time.

what is natural leather

Types of Natural Leather

When comparing full-grain, top-grain, and split-grain leather, it's essential to consider various factors.

Table: Types Of Natural Leather


Full-Grain Leather

Top-Grain Leather

Split-Grain Leather


  • Exceptional robustness due to intact fibers
  • Moderate durability
  • Lower resilience

Natural Appearance

  • Retains natural markings
  • Develops a rich patina over time
  • Smooth surface with artificial grain applied
  • Lacks natural grain and patina development


  • Highly breathable
  • Allows air circulation and moisture evaporation
  • Less breathable
  • Varies depending on coating


  • Ages beautifully
  • Becomes more attractive over time
  • May show signs of wear and tear more quickly
  • Prone to wearing out faster

Full-grain leather, sourced from the top layer of the hide, retains the natural grain, resulting in a durable, breathable material that develops unique markings over time.

In contrast, top-grain leather undergoes sanding to remove imperfections, resulting in a smoother surface but sacrificing some robustness and natural characteristics.

Split-grain leather is made from the lower layers of the hide. It's often coated to enhance resilience, but lacks the authenticity and longevity of full-grain options.

Full-grain leather stands out as the superior choice overall due to its exceptional durability, authentic appearance, breathability, and longevity.

While top-grain and split-grain leather may offer cost-effective alternatives, they don't match the quality and enduring appeal of full-grain leather.

How to Care for Natural Leather

At Andar, we offer The Product Care range to assist you with properly maintaining your natural leather products. 


To clean natural leather, start by removing any dirt or debris with a soft, dry cloth made of microfibers and our specialized leather cleaner.

For tougher stains, gently wipe the affected area with a damp microfiber cloth, then let it air-dry for a few hours. Lightly spray the leather with the cleaner and massage it in circles using a dry microfiber cloth so it permeates the surface. After cleaning, allow the leather to air dry naturally once more in a cool place.


Apply a small amount of The Leather Cream and our Andar leather conditioner (which can be found in The Leather Care Kit) to a clean, dry, microfiber cloth, then gently rub them into the leather using circular motions.

We recommend focusing on areas prone to dryness or cracking, such as seams and creases. Allow the cream conditioner to penetrate the leather for several hours or overnight before buffing off any excess residue with a clean cloth.

mens wallets


Store leather items in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources, as exposure to extreme temperatures can cause the leather to dry out and crack.

Use dust bags or covers to protect leather goods from dust and moisture when not in use. Also, avoid hanging heavy items on straps or handles, which can distort the shape of the leather.

Our findings show that following these essential leather care steps and using our products can significantly help maintain the beauty and durability of your natural leather goods for years to come.


As we've discovered in this article, natural leather, renowned for its timeless allure and robustness, epitomizes elegance and resilience.

With proper care, its lifespan and charm can be preserved, making it a worthwhile investment for those seeking enduring quality and sophistication.

So, what are you waiting for?

Elevate your style and embrace the essence of luxury with our exceptional offerings at Andar. Discover the allure of natural modern leather goods today where vintage craftsmanship meets modern elegance.

If you want to learn more, why not check out these articles below: