Our Leathers

Over the years, we’ve launched many products that have been crafted in various types of leather. This guide will provide you with more information about the different kinds of leather we use to help you understand the reasons behind our choices.

Vegetable Tanned

Vegetable Tanned

US Top Grain Cowhide

Chrome Tanned
Used in the initial Bond collection launch on Kickstarter

Cross Grain Embossed

US Top Grain Cowhide


Pebble Grain Embossed

US Top Grain Cowhide


Epsom Embossed

US Top Grain Cowhide

* Vegetable Tannedand Cross Grain Embossed used in the initial Bond collection launch on Kickstarter

Firstly, here are the definitions of common terminologies used:

Vegetable Tanning v.s. Chrome Tanning

Tanning is a process that stops skin from rotting by drawing water out and modifying its molecular structure.

Vegetable Tanning

The oldest method of tanning is vegetable tanning. This is done by soaking it in a solution made up of vegetable tannins derived from certain trees. As the process is relatively long and complex, it requires the expertise of skilled craftsmen.

Chrome Tanning

Sometime down the line, chrome tanning was invented. Essentially, this method of tanning does the same thing as vegetable tanning but can be automated and done much more quickly. The mechanism of altering the molecular structure of leather generally makes chrome tanned leather thinner and softer than vegetable tanned leather

The key differences are summarised in the table below:
Top Grain
More workable (especially for complex products)
Colour will get darker
Prolonged exposure to heat can cause the leather to dry out and crack
Will develop a patina over time
Not as water resistant — may develop water marks when exposed to water
Stronger fibres
Chrome Tanned Leather
Will not soften much over time
Colour will not change much over time
Quite resistant to heat
Will not develop much of a patina
Quite resistant to water and stains
Weaker fibres

Top Grain v.s. Full Grain

Full grain leather comes from the top layer of the hide and includes all of the natural grain. Top grain leather means that the topmost layer of full grain leather is buffed to remove surface imperfections and further embossed with a fine print. This results in a nice, sleek appearance — the kind that we were after. The embossing process also makes the surface more scratch resistant.

Top grain leather has less fibres than full grain leather. While this makes it weaker, the material is lighter and easier to work with. It’s also less porous, which means it’s more water resistant and doesn’t absorb stains as easily as full grain leather.

The following table summarises the key differences between the two:
Top Grain
More workable (especially for complex products)
More water resistant
More stain resistant
More scratch resistant
Less strong
Will develop less of a patina over time
Less surface imperfections — polished, sleek look
Full Grain
Less workable
Less water resistant
Less stain resistant
Less scratch resistant
Will develop patina over time
Surface imperfections (scars, blemishes) — raw, unpolished look

Established international luxury houses have been around for decades, with some boasting over a century’s worth of heritage to their name. This would most certainly result in them having a greater understanding when it comes to leather options.

Whilst they always use high quality leather, it isn’t restricted to only full grain leather. In fact, the Faire Vegetable Tanned US Top Grain Cowhide is similar to the ones that some luxury brands have used or are currently using. Newer leather brands, on the other hand, tend to choose full grain leather over top grain leather.

“Although my family might not have the same years of experience as some of these brands, 30 odd years in the business has given us valuable insights on thousands of leather types.”

— Joseph Lor, Co-Founder of Faire Collective.

At the end of the day, we selected the most suitable leather type to reflect the kind of product we wanted to create:

Polished and sleek appearance

Lighter leather — with numerous compartments to fit your daily essentials

Leather that is less complex to manufacture

The Faire Options

Here is a table breaking down the differences between our 2 leather options to help you choose which is more suitable for you.

We’ve classified the Vegetable Tanned Cowhide as (VT), the Cross Grain, Pebble Grain and Epsom Embossed Cowhide as (CG), (PB) and (EP) respectively.

CG, PB and EP are grouped together as the properties of each leather type is almost identical–the only difference between the 3 is the type of texture/pattern on the surface of the leather which give them different superficial appearances.

Vegetable Tanned
US Top Grain Cowhide (VT)
Smooth appearance
Will develop some patina over time
Less scratch resistant
Less water resistant
Less heat resistant
Less stain resistant
Embossed US Top Grain Cowhide – Chrome Tanned (CG, PB, EP)
Textured/Patterned appearance
Less strong
Will develop less patina over time
More scratch resistant
More water resistant
More heat resistant
More stain resistant

We’re confident with all our material choices when it comes to giving you the experience of luxury whilst still fulfilling each product’s core functions. Hence, remember that there’s no right or wrong when it comes to your selection.

The important thing is that you choose one that suits your usage and the look you’re going for.