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Split leather, how different from genuine leather?

Old 08-03-04, 12:11 AM
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allgoo19
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Split leather, how different from genuine leather?

I have been wondering this for a long time, but always forgot to ask at the right time like when I was in the store.
What is a split leather? I assume it's different from genuine leather but how differnt and what's advantage, and disadvatage?
I'm not a great fan of real leather and I would never buy anything says genuine leather, such as gloves, saddles, shoes when it comes to bicycle equipment. I have been much happier with Amara, Lorica and other synthetics. Is split leather chemically treated leather? Laminated with other mateial? What is a split leather?
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Old 08-03-04, 06:40 AM
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suede
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Old 08-04-04, 10:44 PM
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No, it's not suede.
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Old 08-05-04, 01:31 AM
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Split leather is the stuff they cut off of top-grain leather to get thinner leather. The split leather will have a suede-ish appearance. Whether or not you actually want to call it suede is a whole different discussion.
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Old 08-05-04, 11:15 AM
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Cow hides are thick. The hide is usually "split" which means that the thickness is sliced into two pieces, making nearly two sheets of leather. One sheet of leather has the "grain" or what used to be the derma - the side that had the hair. This side is called grain leather or top-grain leather or top-side leather. This is the strongest and premium quality hide.

The "split" is the underside of the hide. It has a suede look on both sides top and bottom. The leather is not as strong as grain leather and is nearly impossible to make water proof or even water resistant. Split leather is OK for some garments that do not require strength or integrity.

It might be OK for a saddle covering over another piece like a gel piece or foam under the leather. Split leather looks nice when it is new. It is fuzzy and soft. Unfortunatly, split leather eventually mats and gets a kind of dirty shiny look.

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Old 08-05-04, 12:18 PM
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Shoes I have are suppose to be made of "split leather" but it's shiny like top part of a leather. You can find out many leather products in the store says "split leather" the same way. That's what makes me confused. If split leather is a bottom half part of a leather, do they put another synthetic material on top to make it look like real leather?
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Old 08-05-04, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mike
Cow hides are thick. The hide is usually "split" which means that the thickness is sliced into two pieces, making nearly two sheets of leather. One sheet of leather has the "grain" or what used to be the derma - the side that had the hair. This side is called grain leather or top-grain leather or top-side leather. This is the strongest and premium quality hide.

The "split" is the underside of the hide. It has a suede look on both sides top and bottom. The leather is not as strong as grain leather and is nearly impossible to make water proof or even water resistant. Split leather is OK for some garments that do not require strength or integrity.

It might be OK for a saddle covering over another piece like a gel piece or foam under the leather. Split leather looks nice when it is new. It is fuzzy and soft. Unfortunatly, split leather eventually mats and gets a kind of dirty shiny look.
What he said.

Split-grain leather is often used in women's apparel, handbags, purses, belly pouches, wallets, as liners, and in almost all atheletic shoes. It is usually soft and easily torn by overlong fingernails.

HOWEVER, I have a splitgrain leather trenchcoat, which looks, feels, waterproofs, and acts like topgrain. I don't know what they did to it in manufacture. Maybe it's got the wrong tag? I've not the least idea. But, there are exceptions to every rule.

I personally am a huge fan of the durability and wearability of real leather...not to mention the cool factor *smirk*
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Old 08-05-04, 12:48 PM
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all split leather is not the same. an earlier poster was correct, cowhide *is* thick. So thick, in fact, that there are several layers of epidermis (think of a sheet of plywood), most of which can be used in commercial tanning applications, but not all of which are close to being superior leather or suitable for higher quality leather goods. At the tannery, a leather hide is split into 2 layers top grain and the lower grain or "split." The lower, bottom grain is the flesh piece and may be split one or more times. The splits are generally inferior, contain less fat, and are far less supple. Because of the lower fat content, more chromium salts have to be crammed into it during the tanning-curing process in order to make it more durable. This makes it almost as stiff as cardboard and so it needs a lot of working to be shaped to form.

This splitting process is used on a variety of hides.
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Old 08-05-04, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by allgoo19
Shoes I have are suppose to be made of "split leather" but it's shiny like top part of a leather. You can find out many leather products in the store says "split leather" the same way. That's what makes me confused. If split leather is a bottom half part of a leather, do they put another synthetic material on top to make it look like real leather?
Probably some sort of oil or wax. Do the shoes have grain, hair follicles in the leather? That's what I mean when I say my coat looks like topgrain.

Also, how stretchy is the leather? The lower half of the split is usually stretchier than the upper. Of course, it depends on the original cut, too.
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Old 08-05-04, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DragonMistress
Probably some sort of oil or wax. Do the shoes have grain, hair follicles in the leather? That's what I mean when I say my coat looks like topgrain.

Also, how stretchy is the leather? The lower half of the split is usually stretchier than the upper. Of course, it depends on the original cut, too.
My shoes are similar to this except two straps per shoe.
https://www.performancebike.com/shop/...egory_ID=2010#
Straps are made of man made material, toe box, side and heel are made of "split leather".

You can enlarge the photo, so it shows a pretty good idea. It has grain, more than real leather running shoes I have. It's not stretchy at all. Some part of the shoe are made of obvious man made looka like leather and they are different. I have another road shoes made of Lorica which grain is pretty close to this "split leather" shoe. I can tell Lorica is synthetic by looking at its end, but this "split leather" shoe is very much like real leather at the end. So, my question has to come back to the original question, what is "split leather"?
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Old 08-05-04, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by allgoo19
My shoes are similar to this except two straps per shoe.
https://www.performancebike.com/shop/...egory_ID=2010#
Straps are made of man made material, toe box, side and heel are made of "split leather".

You can enlarge the photo, so it shows a pretty good idea. It has grain, more than real leather running shoes I have. It's not stretchy at all. Some part of the shoe are made of obvious man made looka like leather and they are different. I have another road shoes made of Lorica which grain is pretty close to this "split leather" shoe. I can tell Lorica is synthetic by looking at its end, but this "split leather" shoe is very much like real leather at the end. So, my question has to come back to the original question, what is "split leather"?
Well, splitgrain is different depending on the animal, as whatsisface mentioned eariler it varies from beast to beast and cut to cut. And I've seen splitgrain that looked like topgrain.

You want a real and true final answer?

It's a tagword for advertising. Something the industry made up because it sounded good.
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Old 08-06-04, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by DragonMistress
Well, splitgrain is different depending on the animal, as whatsisface mentioned...
It's Dave.
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