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, 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 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 natural hides and experience the difference of natural leather. 

Scars & Scratches

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

stretch marks

Stretch marks

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

Wrinkles & Veins

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.

Color Variance

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.

Insect Bites

These tiny bites are a rare occurrences and are the result of a particularly determined bug.


We hope this guide helps you understand a bit more about our leather, why we love it, and why we feel our customers will too. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, jump on a call with one of our brand Specialists at 866-426-4957 and we'll help you out.

Thanks for choosing handmade and continue to leave your mark.