Shagreen VS. Grasscloth. What's the difference?

Two of our favorite materials in home furnishings are shagreen and grasscloth

What makes these two fabric-like textiles so special is that they can be used in a variety of ways, from raw to lacquered to painted. 

When I first joined the Clayton Gray Home Team, these two materials were as foreign to me as the words "settee" and "etagere," but after doing a little research, I realized that many of my favorite furnishings use shagreen and grasscloth.

So, what's the difference?

Shagreen

Shagreen is a sharkskin leather or faux-leather material with a rough textural quality. Because it adds organic dimension to a flat surface, designers often feature it in dark gray or tan colors on pieces like casegoods, end tables and mirrors. 

Made Goods, which is known for its inventive use of high-quality materials, frequently incorporates faux shagreen into its pieces. 

Claude Faux Shagreen Mirror

The Claude Faux Shagreen Mirror is one of our favorite and most popular pieces. Not only does this round mirror come in three colors—ivory, cool gray, and sand—but its mosaic keystone frame gives the frame fantastic character. We love pairing the the Claude Faux Shagreen Mirror with another faux shagreen piece the Made Goods Dallon Three Door Buffet.

Shagreen Worlds Away

Worlds Away also creates beautiful pieces using faux shagreen. The Macy Side Table comes in a deep gray shagreen with white edges, and adds a pop of unexpected texture to a living room or den. The Worlds Away Kip Console also captures this tone and texture, and when paired with the Macy Side Table, it completes the look of any room.

Grasscloth

Perhaps the more well-known material of the two, grasscloth is a lightweight plant-based material that takes on the look of woven linen. While it is often used as wallpaper, many designers, including Bungalow 5 and Worlds Away, like to blend grasscloth into the finishes of their casegoods and tables.

Bungalow 5 Meredith 4-Door Cabinet

Our top-selling cabinet, the Bungalow 5 Meredith 4-Door Cabinet, uses grasscloth in four different colors—white, brown, natural, and navy blue—and each one is equally stunning. The texture of the finish adds a luxurious quality to the casegood while keeping it traditional and natural. It's perfect for an entertainment cabinet or closed storage unit.

Bungalow 5 Ming 8-Drawer Cabinet

For a similar look, the Bungalow 5 Ming Extra Large 8 Drawer captures the same chic style of the Meredith 4-Door Cabinet, but this grasscloth piece includes large drawers, making it the superior option for a bedroom or office.

For more information about any of these shagreen and grasscloth pieces or for information about other products you've seen on our site, contact our design team today!

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Nicholas Trobiano

Creative Director

Nicholas is a blogger, editor, and designer in Tampa Bay.