How to buy a Leather Jacket, Types of Leather, Grades and Difference between Leather and Synthetic Leather

How to Buy a Leather Jacket

This blog is to intend to provide answers of most common questions confusing buyers of leather jackets. After reading, this blog you will understand following:-

  1. What are Popular Styles of Jackets for Men?
  2. Making of Expansive vs Cheap Jackets.
  3. What types of animal skins are used in jackets and how they differ?
  4. What are various grades of leather, what the difference between them is and which one is of superior quality?
  5. How to differentiate between Leather and Synthetic Leather.
  6. 10 Tips for Buying – Summary.

Popular Style Jackets for Men

Although Leather Jacket can be made of any style or design but there are few designs, which have been popular among buyers over several decades due to their appeal and advantages, offered.

Captain / Kaptaan Jacket

This jacket has become famous as Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan wore this. It has front and sleeve zippers. This is available at in Mustard, Brown and Black Colors.

Kaptaan Jacket
Kaptaan Jacket










“Rider” or “Double Rider” Jacket 

Rider Jacket Marlon Brando
Rider Jacket Marlon Brando


Marlon Brando wore this Jacket in “The Wild One”, very trendy jacket.

Racer Jacket for Men
Racer Jacket for Men


The Racer Jacket


A simple design Racer Jacket is another very popular design among masses.






The MA2 Flight / Bomber Jacket

MA2 Bomber Jacket
MA2 Bomber Jacket



Flight or “bomber” Jacket was designed for pilots. The center front zipper is often covered by a placket for added protection against the wind. It has ribbed cuffs and hems, with two large front flap pockets. It’s perfect to keep pilots warm at high altitudes. It has fur collars.





MA1 Bomber / Flight Jacket

MA1 Jacket
MA1 Jacket


Like MA2, it is designed for Pilots. It has ribbed collar and slit pockets with a zipper pocket at left sleeve.







The Fencing Jacket


Fencing Jackets
Fencing Jackets

It is a fencer jacket with zippers placed in asymmetrical fashion. No Pockets or flaps.








Expansive vs Cheap Jackets

Quality of Leather

The quality of the leather determines its price. Cheaper Jackets use leather that is corrected / treated. Remember that pure leather is of irregular pattern while corrected or treated leather has been sanded and pressed for regular skin patterns. Because of these top coatings, corrected leathers will have an overly smooth, plastic feel, versus the soft, oily, uneven textured nature of natural / uncorrected skins.

Top Stitching

top stitching
Top stitching

Top stitching, a decorative stitching on jacket is a highly desirable. It’s done along the edges of seams and pockets, which makes Jackets look finer. Many makers of jacket  reduce cost by using regular, thin thread and/or limiting the amount of top stitching.








Cheaper jackets (like cheaper blazers and suits) use lower grade synthetic linings. These linings are first to be torn or shredded. Quality jackets often use two different linings, one for body and other for sleeves. Body lining will be of higher quality and warmer, while sleeves are lined with silk fabric. Sleeve linings feel great when worn due to its comfort and softness.

Arm Holes / Sleeves

Larger and lower arm holes are Cheaper the Jacket is, aim is ONE SIZE FITS ALL. While it is good for accommodating more body types with one size but it makes them look shabby.

Quality jackets (as prepared by have higher set armholes.


The most common zipper is the YKK, which tend to be made of lighter metal. YKK zipper is of highest quality hence give finer look to jacket.

ykk zippers
ykk zippers









Types of Skin Used for Jackets

Cow and Lambskin
Cow and Lambskin


Cow skin is more expansive and hard while lamb skin is soft and economical.






Suede Leather
Suede Leather


It is made of top portion of leather which is separated from the bottom, rougher layer, known as the corium. Suedes are split further depending on their thickness, and then shaved and sanded smooth to give it its signature soft, fuzzy texture. Suede is typically made from goat or lamb. It is not waterproof hence it cannot get wet, as it will dry and get extremely hard.








Goat: Similar to lambskin, but not as smooth or buttery soft and has a tight pebbly texture.

Horse: Slightly stiffer than cow, extremely durable, generally smoother grain and high shine, needs a good amount of breaking in.

Deer Skin/Elk: Extremely durable, traditionally yellow/orange tint leather, though they’re sometimes dyed black or brown.

Bison: Tough, thick with a distinct large, deep grain pattern.


Clockwise: Goat, Horse, Bison, Deer

Rare and Extreme Expansive

Kangroo, Croc leather
Left to right: kangaroo, crocodile and alligator.







Kangaroo: Similar looking to cow leather, but thinner and much tougher. Fairly uncommon now, so brands tend to charge a premium for it.

Crocodile/Alligator: Very similar looking, with large square and rectangular shaped tile patterns. Crocodile skins will have visible hair follicles (small dots) on each tile, while alligators will not. Extremely expensive, with jackets often costing 20x+ cow or lambskin equivalents.


Faux / Synthetic Leather: Chemical plastic that is terrible for the environment. Stay away.

What are various Leather Grades?

Full Grain Leather  (Best Quality)

It  is the one which hasn’t been altered and retains the natural grain (skin pattern) of the animal. These are desirable because of the natural pores in the skin, making jacket breathable, along with the natural oils, which make the leather feel really soft.

Only problem is that these are not uniform in pattern and carry many scars, natural scuffs and blemishes on them. They’re also thicker, which can make for some less comfortable jackets.


Top Grain Leather (Most Commonly Used)


It is leather that is split from the bottom layers. The bottom split layer (corium) is what they make suede out of. Splitting the top grain from the corium layer makes the leather thinner, creating more comfortable jackets.




Genuine Leather

genuine leather
genuine leather

Genuine leather is the lowest quality of all products made out of real leather. Genuine leather generally doesn’t last as long or look as nice as higher-quality leather.





Corrected Leather

corrected leather
corrected leather

It is leather that is sanded down to remove the imperfections, thus removing the original grain, then given artificial animal skin grains via mechanical pressing. Corrected leathers are coated oils and dye, to make them more appealing. They give feel of smooth leather and plastic feeling.





Bonded Leather

Bonded leather, also called reconstituted leather or blended leather, is a term used for a manufactured upholstery material which contains animal hide Bonded Leather is neither fish nor fowl, as they say. It starts out with real leather scraps – the leftover pieces that would normally become waste from tanneries. These are sent to a mill that grinds them into very small pieces. These pieces are then spray glued onto the back of a man-made material like PU.



Bi-cast  Leather

It is also known as laminated leather or reconstituted leather. In some countries, this material is also referred to as leatherette. Bi-cast is not leather; rather a leather by-product of leather which is made from split leather, then laminated and strengthened by a polyethylene layer. After the polyethylene coating is applied, grain patterns are embossed into the surface to make it look more leather-like.



Faux Leather

Faux leather is one of several names given to artificial or synthetic leather. These names are often used to describe specific end uses of synthetic leather products such as faux leather (sofa, chair and headboard upholstery), leatherette (auto upholstery, clothing), and koskin (consumer goods).




How to Differentiate between Leather and Synthetic Leather  

  1. Check the Labels – “Real Leather” for Real Leather and “ Man-made materials” for Faux Leather.
  2. Check the surface grain, the little “pebbles” and pores, for imperfections and uniqueness that signal genuine leather. Imperfections, in leather, are actually a good thing.
  3. Press into the leather, looking for creases and wrinkles.Real leather will wrinkly under the tough, just like real skin. Synthetic materials usually just depress down under your finger, retaining rigidity and shape.
  4. Smell the leather, searching for a natural, musty smell instead of plastic-like or chemically.
  5. Use the fire test, recognizing that it will likely ruin part of the good.
  6. Real leather will only char slightly, and smell a bit like burnt hair.
  7. Faux leather will actually catch flame, and smells like burning plastic
  8. Note the edges, as real leather has rough edges where faux has even, perfect edges. Machine made leather looks machine cut. Real leather is made of many strands, which naturally fray around the edges. Faux leather made from plastic has no such strands, meaning the edges are cleanly cut.
  9. Bend the leather, looking for it to change color slightly in real leather.Similar to the “wrinkle test,” real leather has a unique elasticity when bent, changing color and wrinkling up naturally. Faux leather is much more rigid and regular, and will usually be difficult to bend by comparison.
  10. Drop a small amount of water on the good, as real leather absorbs moisture.If the good is fake, the water will simply puddle up on top. But real leather will absorb a small drop of water in only a few seconds , telling you quickly if it is genuine.

10 Tips for Buying – Summary

  1. Although cheaper but prefer leather over PU / Synthetic Leather.
  2. Check details in the design to see that whether its being over priced or not
  3. Check amount and standard of Top Stitching
  4. Prefer Lambskin Jackets
  5. Quality of Zipper and its brand
  6. Check Lining and its quality
  7. Buy high set arm hole jacket.
  8. Jacket should fit like glove on your body
  9. Top quality Leather Jackets are expansive.
  10. Brown and black colors match with any outfit so try to avoid fancy and odd colors leather section manufactures all types of leather jackets and can deliver worldwide.

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