Leather thickness is also referred to as the weight of leather. Leather weight for the types of leather I use is expressed in ounces. You will often hear me refer to the weight of a leather for a particular project, this is important as it will relate to the long term durability of certain items.
Leather is usually acquired as a whole hide or by the side. The "Cut" or the part of the hide the leather being used comes from is as important as the grade, if not more so. Each part of a hide varies in grain direction, texture, thickness and temper. All of these are incredibly important when selecting the right piece for a project.
Typical Grading Chart:
A or #1 Very few blemishes
B or #2 Contains a few defects. No brands.
C or #3 Contains more defects. Generally not good for plain belts.
D or #4 Can have large brands and / or holes and other damage.
Typically I will only use a grade A or B hide to make the finest leather project possible. However, some projects will require a lower grade to obtain a particular look that you are going for. Leather is typically graded by it's appearance and has nothing to do with the quality or durability of the particular hide.
Each hide is American raised steer and processed in an American tannery with exquisite attention to detail. Individual hides are hand selected to ensure the proper thickness, temper, and lack of surface flaws to yield the perfect piece of leather. Depending on the project and the type of leather it will call for I use Herman Oak Leather or Horween Leather almost exclusively.
When a project calls for something a little more unique or exotic the hides are sourced from ecologically responsible vendors that abide by strict industry standards and ethical culling practices.