We use the best quality of skirting leather for all of our saddles. Skirting leather has two distinct sides; Grain Side, which is smooth, and the Flesh Side, which is rough.
The appeal of rough-out is that it provides additional grip and stick for the rider, although over time the roughness wears down and the leather can become smooth. For those riding for a job where function takes priority over looks (working cowboys, horse trainers), rough-out saddles are quite common.
Most saddles are made with the grain side out. This smooth side has a more elegant look(is the side that can be carved and stamped). If you are riding in an area that gets a high amounts of rain and moister, smooth-out saddles are a preferred choice. Grain Side (Smooth-out) of leather will dry out quicker then Flesh Side (rough-out), and is easier to apply water repellant creams.