Whats right for the ride?
There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing leather, but certainly not all are created equal. There is a distinct hierarchy between the way a hide is split, tanned, and dyed. Lets take a look at what constitutes the highest grade and what leather should be avoided when choosing a motorcycle jacket.
Full-Grain is of the finest quality available
Full-Grain: Full-Grain leather cowhide stands at the highest echelon of durability and luxury. Why? because it is the outermost layer of cowhide and is not sanded down to smooth out the grain. Full-Grain is the most natural form of a hide you can get, less processing means a healthier leather and constitutes a visually rich look. Due to the fact Full-grain hides are unaltered by the sanding process, hides have to be carefully inspected for imperfections and selected with discretion to create a garment with an untarnished, beautiful appearance.
For Motorcycle use Full-grain is the ultimate choice. It merges high strength and durability with a consistently luxurious hand and feel. Its fibers are abrasion resistant and have the ability to be "worn in" and mold to the shape of your body over time, thus creating a better fit every time you throw it on. Full-grain breathes extremely well compared to the other types of leather that have been process and sanded down; which alter the characteristics of natural leather. Overall, Full-grain remains a definite cut above the rest.
Top-Grain: Top-Grain is a fairly decent leather for fashion use. The topmost layer of hide is used and then sanded down to create a visibly smooth grain, this takes away from the overall durability of the leather as well as reduces the breath-ability of the fibers.
Top-grain is the most commonly used leather for medium to high grade fashionable garments. It offers a smaller grain so it tends to have a smoother appearance and is quite cost effective in high volume manufacturing. While Full-grain hides have to be carefully selected due to the possibility of various imperfections it may have, Top-grain is sanded down, so all imperfections are minimal or removed entirely.
Genuine Leather: Sitting at the bottom of the leather category is genuine leather. while technically it is still considered leather it is heavily processed and sanded so that it loses much of its rich texture and almost all of its durability. Using it for a riding jacket would not be recommended unless it is accompanied by another layer of abrasion resistant material (Kevlar, Technora, 1000D Cordura, Dyneema, etc.). Even then, all the great qualities of natural leather would be lost through the process undergone by this type of leather.
Creating the perfect leather jacket
At Vaktare M.G. we want our leather jackets to tell a story, so we only use Full-grain American sourced cowhide that is carefully selected for consistent quality and appropriate thickness. When we cut the respective hide to begin sewing together a jacket, we make sure all pieces of your jacket come from the same hide. This creates consistence throughout the jacket and a unique feeling that your jacket was made completely from the same cowhide. Every time you wear your jacket, the leather is slowly conforming to your body. Over time it will develop a weathered patina that will be unique to your jacket. Simply put, our motorcycle jackets are built purposefully to be passed down from generation to generation.