Crossgrain Leather: Definition, Uses, Care and Maintenance

Crossgrain Leather: Definition, Uses, Care and Maintenance

Crossgrain leather is a type of leather that has been treated with a special finish to give it a unique texture. It is often used for wallets, belts, and other small accessories.

Crossgrain leather is also very durable and resistant to scratches, making it a popular choice for those who need something that will last.

If you’re looking for a high-quality leather product that will last you years, consider investing in crossgrain leather. With proper care, it will age beautifully and provide you with many years of use.

In this blog post, leather material experts will discuss the definition of crossgrain leather, its many uses, and how to care for it properly.

Definition: Cross Gain vs. Pebbled Leather

Crossgrain leather is a type of finish that is applied to full-grain leather. This gives the hide a unique grain pattern that is different from the traditional top-grain or split-grain options.

Definition: Cross Gain vs. Pebbled Leather

The crossgrain finish is achieved by sanding the surface of the leather in a crisscross pattern. This creates a textured look that can be used to give a piece of furniture or a clothing item a more vintage or rustic appearance. Crossgrain leather is also more resistant to staining and fading than other types of leather.

An excellent way to hide the flaws of natural leather is to use embossed leather a.k.a. crossgrain leather.

Whereas pebbled leather may be made from genuine pebbles (found in high-end bags) it’s very plushy and soft to the touch as a result of leaving it longer in the tumbling drum, which causes the leather to shrink somewhat and give it the pebbled texture [1].

Because the conceal is looser and thinner in those areas, naturally pebbled leather will have uneven grains, with bigger grains in the center of the hide and smaller grains on its edges. You should not confuse crossgrain and pebbled leather types. However, some manufacturers define these slightly different types of leather finish as the same material.

Crossgrain leather is a grain pattern embossed into the leather that runs perpendicular (crosses) to the natural grain of the hide. The term crossgrain leather can also be used to describe a method of cutting or preparing the hide so that it will have this grain pattern when it is finished [2].

There’s embossed pebbled, which is a method of disguising flaws and giving the leather an even grain all over, which is a less expensive option than a natural pebble with its rougher texture and uniform grain size.

Leather prices vary significantly depending on the tannery and location, but if you obtain those three types of leather from the same tannery and country, natural pebble leather would be the most expensive.

Uses of Crossgrain Leather

The main reason for creating crossgrain leather is to add strength and durability to the final product. This type of leather is often used in products that will see a lot of wear and tear, such as upholstery, luggage, and shoes. Crossgrain leather can also be used to create a more uniform look on products made from multiple pieces of leather.

Uses of Crossgrain Leather

Crossgrain leather is also a good choice for products that will be used in wet or humid conditions. The grain pattern helps to resist moisture and keeps the leather from stretching or sagging.

Crossgrain leather is not as susceptible to staining as other types of leather because the grain pattern provides a barrier that repels liquids and dirt. This makes it a good choice for use in high-traffic areas, such as restaurants and hotels.

Crossgrain leather is often used in combination with other types of leather to create a more durable product. For example, crossgrain panels may be used on the sides of a bag or piece of luggage where it is more likely to be bumped or scratched.

Styles and Colors

Crossgrain leather is also used to create a two-tone effect.

By using different colors of crossgrain leather, it is possible to create a striped or checked pattern.

This can add interest and style to a product that would otherwise be made from a single piece of leather.

Crossgrain leather is available in a wide range of colors and finishes. It can be dyed any color, and the grain pattern can be embossed into the leather before or after dying. The grain pattern can also be highlighted with a contrasting color to create a more dramatic effect.



The grain of crossgrain leather is generally low in quality. It has an uneven grain distribution and runs diagonally across the surface [3].  As a result, crossgrain leather is not as strong or durable as top-grain leather. It is also more susceptible to staining and scratching.

Crossgrain leather is usually between 0.05 and 0.12 inches (0.13 and 0.30 cm) thick [4].

Crossgrain leather is not as popular as it once was because of its lower quality. It is often used in low-end products, such as wallets and belts. It is also used to make inexpensive copies of higher-quality leather goods.

Crossgrain leather can be a good choice for certain applications if you are looking for a more unique look or need a durable product that will see a lot of use. Just be aware that it is not as high-quality as other types of leather and may not last as long.

Care and Maintenance Tips

When caring for crossgrain leather, it is important to remember that this type of finish is not as tough as the traditional top-grain option.

As such, it will require some special care and maintenance in order to keep it looking its best [5]:

  • To keep your crossgrain leather looking its best, it will need to be conditioned and cleaned on a regular basis;
  • Use a soft, dry cloth to dust off the surface of the leather;
  • If there is any dirt or grime build-up, you can use a mild soap and water solution to clean the areas;
  • Be sure to test the soap on a small area of the leather first before applying it all over;
  • After cleaning, always wipe down the leather with a damp cloth to remove any residue;
  • Once it is dry, you can apply a conditioner designed for use on leather goods;
  • This will help keep the crossgrain leather from drying out and cracking over time;
  • When not in use, store your crossgrain leather items in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight;
  • This will help to keep the leather from fading or becoming damaged;

Care and Maintenance Tips

Crossgrain leather has a number of advantages over other types of leather. It is more durable, less likely to stain, and easy to care for. It is also available in a wide range of colors and styles. If you are looking for a high-quality, long-lasting product, crossgrain leather is a good choice.


Is crossgrain leather soft?

The crossgrain leather is more durable than usual soft leather. However, Coach’s crossgrain leather is on the softer side of things [6].  You can still expect it to be a little stiff when new, but it will soften with time and use.

Is grained leather real leather?

Yes, grained leather is top-grain leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side to remove imperfections and create a more uniform appearance. The result is a smooth, softer surface with a matte finish. Crossgrain leather is often used in upholstery, clothing, and accessories.

Is Saffiano leather real leather?

One of the highest quality types of leather around is genuine Saffiano leather. Made from full-grain calf leather, it can be the perfect material for making any luxury product such as, most famously, handbags, watch rolls, and wallets [7].

Does top grain leather peel?

Crossgrain leather is made from the top layer of the hide, which is the strongest and most durable part. It is then sanded to remove any imperfections before a protective coating is applied. This makes it more resistant to stains and wear, and also helps to prevent peeling [8].

However, despite its durability, crossgrain leather can still suffer from peeling if it isn’t properly cared for. The most important thing you can do to prevent this is to keep your leather clean and conditioned. Regular cleaning will help to remove any dirt or debris that could cause the leather to break down over time, while conditioning will keep it supple and hydrated.

Does top grain leather last?

Yes, top grain leather is one of the most durable types of leather. It is typically used in high-end products such as furniture and clothing. Crossgrain leather is also less likely to suffer from wear and tear over time, making it a good choice for products that will be used frequently.

Does top grain leather crack?

Crossgrain leather is made from the top layer of the hide, which is why it’s more durable and less likely to crack than full-grain leather.

It’s also less expensive, making it a good choice for budget-conscious shoppers. Crossgrain leather can be found in a variety of products, including furniture, shoes, and accessories.

What is the most durable leather for handbags?

Leather handbags are often constructed of cowhide leather, which is regarded as the highest quality option. Cowhide leather is not only extremely long-lasting, but it also has a beautiful aesthetic appeal [9].

Is crossgrain leather waterproof?

Crossgrain leather is a durable and strong type of leather. However, it is important to note that this type of leather is not waterproof. If you are looking for waterproof leather, you should opt for full-grain or top-grain leather.

How is crossgrain leather made?

Crossgrain leather is made from cowhide that has been split into layers. The top layer, or grain layer, is where the hair was removed. This layer is then sanded or buffed to create the crossgrain effect.

The middle layer, or corium layer, is made up of collagen fibers and gives the hide strength and flexibility. The bottom layer, or flesh layer, contains fat and moisture.

Useful Video: Full Grain Leather, Top Grain Leather, & Some General Leather Characteristics