Interesting Facts About Leather

All skins have two sides, the outside, or hair side, and the inside, or side against the muscle tissue.  Tanners will process one side or the other, to produce the desired type of  leather. LAMB NAPPA is the top grain, or outside of the skin, finished to a luxuriously smooth, wrinkle free surface. All our lamb nappas are "naked finished," producing a non- shinny, non-slick finish, which lets you feel the luxury of the leather directly. NUBUCK LEATHER, whether lamb or deerskin (we cut both), is the same top grain, or outside of the skin. The tanner subjects it to a buffing process, removing the grain that would have produced a nappa finish. The resulting top grain finish is often mistaken for suede, since it has a micro nap, much like suede. It is however a full top grain, and performs like a nappa.

Both NAPPA and NUBUCK are dyed in a variety of colors and treated with a variety of special finishes, such as distressed or shrunken effects. Both are very durable and can withstand water easily. They both clean well with water, using as much water as necessary to remove any water soluble soiling. In the same vain, both withstand mild wet weather, showing no adverse effect when dry again. Likewise, all leathers are effective wind breakers and a good leather coat is always a stylish and functional addition to any wardrobe.

SUEDE is produced from the inside, or back side of the top grain. Genuine suede does not have two "fuzzy" sides to it, since the back side of a suede skin is the top grain. There is a third type of leather, referred to as "split" leather, produced from thicker hides, from which the tanner splits the hide horizontally, producing a second sheet of leather, fuzzy on both sides. This "split" leather could be, and unfortunately often is represented as genuine suede. "Splits" tend to be ’boardy’ and stiff. They are offered at a lower price than suede, and are recognized by the educated consumer for what they are. GENUINE SUEDE is very soft and has a wonderful drape. It has the tensile strength of a top grain, much stronger than a split skin, and, yes, can be cleaned with water. The lamb suedes we cut are produced here in the United States and England, where we have them "SCOTCH-GARDED" (tm) in the tanning process, creating the most carefree, water repellent lamb suede possible. 

One of the defining characteristics of a hide is its THICKNESS, or "millimeter" in tanner’s jargon. There is no one millimeter better than another, overall. At First Street Leather, however, we have chosen the niche of producing lightweight, thinner millimeter leather garments, and have cultivated our customer, over the years, to appreciate and expect softer and more lightweight leather garments than they are used to finding in other stores. Our lamb suede shirt for example is cut from a specially produced, thin millimeter "shirting" suede. Ever challenged to produce luxuriously light leather garments, we said, "Why not a jacket out of shirting?" The result is one of our best selling suede jackets, a shirt weight blouson windbreaker for men.

Solvang Store Hours

1634 Copenhagen Dr.

Solvang, CA 93463

Sunday through Saturday

10:00AM - 5:30PM

Phone: 805-688-5215




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from North America

Phone: 888.688.5215


Mammoth Store Hours

6201 Minaret Rd. #117
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Sunday - Thursday

10:00AM - 6:00PM

Friday & Saturday

10:00AM - 8:00PM




Los Olivos Store Hours

2434 Alamo Pintado Ave.

Los Olivos, CA 93441   

Attached to Stolpman Vinyards Tasting Room  

Wednesday - Sunday

11:00AM - 5:30PM



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