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What Is Tumbled Leather?

Ever hear of tumbled leather? If not then you are in  for a real treal! Tumbled leather is a type of leather that has been tumbled to give it a worn and weathered look. It is also called distressed or "broken-in" leather. 

The process is designed to make the leather softer and more comfortable for consumers. But how does it work? What can you make from it? Is it better than top-grain leather? 

This article will take a look at what tumbled leather is and is not, what the leather can be made into and much more.

What Exactly Is Tumbled Leather?

Tumbled leather is a product in which the natural grain of the leather is not in its original form. Instead, the grain is crushed into the surface of the leather with small stones to improve the appearance and softness of the leather. 

When this is done, the grain becomes more conspicuous than in the unaltered leather. Tumbled leather is most often found in the handbags industry, where it is used in contrast with unaltered leather. Tumbled grain is also used to make furniture, shoes, and other products.

This is a leather that has been chemically treated while it is still attached to the hide, where it is then scraped off. This treatment produces a leather that is shiny and soft, with a very slight texture similar to a crushed velvet look at times. 

This texture comes from the abrasiveness of the treatment, which creates a finer, more defined grain.

What Can You Make With Tumbled Leather?

Tumbled grain is a man-made leather, made from the shredded fibers of cow, goat, sheep, and horse hides. In the past, this type of leather was thought to be a waste product of the tanning process. 

However, modern tanneries have found that tumbled leather can be a valuable resource, and many leather-based products are now made from tumbled leather.

At the heart of tumbled leather is its durable material and its resilient finish. Tumbled leather can be made into a number of different items. 

Below are just a few examples: 

  • Luggage 
  • Small wallets 
  • Jackets
  • Purses 
  • Shoes 
  • Handbags

What can you not make with tumbled leather? Not only is the leather weather resistant (but not waterproof), it is also scratch and stain resistant, making it perfect for outdoor use. But be careful not to apply too much polish on your tumbled leather furniture or other items as this can damage the finish. 

You can also only use tumbled leather for items that can withstand regular wear and tear.


Bearded Man in Black Leather Jacket

This may just be the most popular use for tumbled leather (it isn’t, that title goes to shoes). But It is the most visible. It can be used to make a very traditional men's tweed or a more modern and contemporary jacket. 

Tumbled leather can be used for any type of jacket. From bomber jackets to varsity, the humble but stylish blazer to the most high end and expensive jackets available, there’s a tumbled fabric jacket for everyone one and most importantly every budget. 

All of these jackets come in an immeasurable amount of colors, lengths and sizes. 


Tumbled leather is used for quite a few different types of luggage. This is because the leather can really take the hustle and bustle of traveling. The hide is extremely durable, and even trips through the airport conveyor machine from multiple flights will do little to harm it. 

A big plus is that the leather is so flexible that it can be turned into soft-shelled traditional style luggage of any size. The leather is also great for making rather excellent backpacks, small carry ons, shoulder bag-type luggage and much more. 


Billfolds are a top-grain leather that has been tumbled, distressed or broken in and looks very different from your regular top-grain leather. Billfolds can be used for everything you need to carry depending on the size. 

The term “billfold” is sometimes misleading because the name falls under so many products these days. Basically it can mean anything from a traditional men’s wallet all the way up to shoulder wallet-type billfolds and certain types of women’s purses.

The styles and sizes of billfolds vary quite widely. There is truly something for everyone in this particular segment.


There are tumbled leather purses ranging from small to large. Some of them are made from cow leather and some from goatskin, while some of them are made from the hides of the animals that are not suitable for meat. But all of them will be made from leather.

Women love this type of purse material because it can be made into a near infinite choice of styles. The purses come in a huge range of prices. Tumbled fabric can be turned into any form, from the smallest clutch to the largest shoulder bags.

Buyers can switch them out at any time depending on what they are wearing. Tumbled leather purses also come in nearly every color available.

The flexible fabric is very forgiving and can adapt to stretching when needed without damaging the purse. We guarantee that there is a Tumbled Leather purse for any occasion, as it's available in a range of different styles and styles, meaning you can find something that best suits you.

Camera Cases

Camera cases are always very popular types of leather goods you will see in many different types of shops. These cases offer something for every photographer. 

The ruggedness of the leather makes them ideal for taking your cameras, lenses and other accessories that you see in them just about anyplace. 

These cases are not normally designed to be waterproof but you can find especially treated ones in fine sports shops and of course, on the internet through many online sites so you can safely take your gear along when diving, boating and doing other water-related activities. 

You can also get leather camera cases in a number of different colours and patterns. 


a black belt

Tumbled leather is what a lot of clothing stores use to make their belts. They usually have a lot of contrast to the material, but because they are well-made, they do work well for the purpose of belts. 

Most belts have a thick outer shell and a thin woven inner lining. This prevents the leather from cracking when put through the tumbled process. It also ensures that the outer layer of leather will be protected from things like the elements and normal wear and tear. 

The leather belts can come in any style or color, as well as any length or width. 

Tumbled Leather VS Top Grain

Tumbled leather is a type of leather that has been tumbled to give it a worn and weathered look. It is also called distressed or "broken-in" leather. 

The process is designed to make the leather softer and more comfortable for consumers. But how does it work? What can you make from it? Is it better than top-grain leather? 

Top-grain leather is a type of leather that is first exposed to the elements and has been polished to give it a smooth, hairless surface. It is then tumbled to give it a worn and weathered look. 

This is where the leather is created, by shaping, stretching, flattening and forming the hide.

In essence, Top Grain is Tumbled Leather but processed differently. Top Grain is meant to be way more durable than most other leathers. Tumbled Leather is meant to be way more versatile than other leathers. 

We don’t feel that one is better than the other, simply because they don’t do the same job. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Tumbled Leather Good Quality?

There is no doubt that tumbled leather is comfortable and also provides excellent grip. However, it can sometimes be more difficult to keep tumbled leather clean than other types of leather. 

On the whole, tumbled leather is excellent quality leather. However, the leather will typically take more of a beating than top-grain leather during normal everyday use. 

In the event that tumbled leather is damaged and is therefore not of the standard to begin with, it is possible to refinish it to make it usable again.

Is Tumbled Leather Durable?

Most people are used to leather that is tightly wrapped around a product or has an artificial finish. Tumbled leather is the opposite. It is completely finished or finished with an effect. 

Tumbled leather has a soft feel to it. It is smoother compared to top-grain leather. The leather is meant to be used for all sorts of everyday items. 

If you touch it with your hands it is like skin, but sometimes will not be as easy to wipe down with a damp cloth. 

The bottom line is that Tumbled Leather is extremely durable and far more adaptable than some other leathers. Plus the fact that the leather looks great while doing its job helps quite a bit. 


Thank you for sticking with us to the end of our article about what tumbled leather is, we hope you enjoyed it. In summary, tumbled leather is very versatile and is worth the price. 

We now know that tumbled grain is used in many different applications including bags, furniture, upholstery, car interiors, and many more uses. It’s also one of the most affordable and universal fabrics that you can get.

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