Choosing the Right Leather for Your Leather Jacket It is widely known that the highest quality or grade of leather available for use in constructing leather jackets is full grain leather. Full grain leather is known for its uniform and beautiful appearance as well as its general durability. Full grain leather used in making leather jackets can be altered depending on the tanning process used to finish the leather. Full grain leathers can be manufactured to look and perform differently, and in general there are four different types of full grain leathers, including belting leather, saddle-type leather, Nappa leather, and exotic skins. Belting leather gets its name from its original application, when belting leather was manufactured to drive pulley belts in early industrial plants. Special care in the tanning process makes belting leather one of the stiffest and strongest leathers. In its natural tan color, belting leather develops a patina over time that gives the piece a rich, handsome look. It is only used to construct the most heavy-duty of leather jackets, not the more fashionable leather jackets worn by most women. Saddle-type leather is used here to describe the group of full grain leathers that fall somewhere between the stiff belting leathers and the soft and supple Napa leathers. Different tanning plants produce leathers with a range of texture and feel, that are more common in general leather jacket design. Saddle leather can provide motorcycle jackets, for example, with a more durable texture. Napa leather is a type of full grain leather that is soft and supple, and is the leather most people associate with leather jackets. Typically dyed, Nappa leather offers a refined and sophisticated look. It is known as a more high end, designer style of leather, and is great for dress jackets, as well as other garment pieces. Exotic skins are, generally speaking, any skin other than cowhide. There is a wide list from which to choose that are all made into leather jackets. Some of the most popular types of exotic skins are alligator, ostrich, snake, and eel. Other types of skins you may see include lizard and shark. These skins are usually more expensive to process and turn into a leather jacket, and are less available than traditional cow hide or even lambskin. Therefore, you will pay a premium for a leather jacket made entirely of an exotic skin. To determine which type of leather will work best for your purposes, think about the function of the leather jacket you are buying. Do you want to convey a particular look? If you want to be exotic and unusual, and maybe even a bit wild, choose a special exotic skin such as ostrich. If you want to look classic and sophisticated, Nappa leather is a great option for your leather jacket, while belting leathers may be more durable and conservative. Though you may prefer a particular type of skin, finding and item with a design that best meets your needs may be more important than the look of the leather. In addition, it is important to compare prices for the types of leather you are considering, as the price points differ widely.