Leather EDU

Don’t understand all the fancy leather terminology? These definitions will help!

Aniline Leather– The most natural looking leather which uses exclusively soluble dyes, leaving the natural surface of the leather visible. This leather does not have a polymer coating but sometimes a light surface coating maybe be applied to protect against spills and spoiling.

Bonded Leather– A man-made material consisting of shredded leather scraps, leather fibers and bonding material, which is layered onto a fiber or paper backer and embossed with a leather-like texture. 

Buffed Leather– Leather that has been abraded or seeded by having the grain removed to alter or correct the grain.

Chrome Tanned– Most widely used tanning method that tans leather with chromium salts resulting in soft hides with excellent color variety

Corrected Grain– The surface grain of leather which has been sanded, buffed and altered to remove imperfections and form a uniform grain texture.

Distressed Leather– Leather that has been made to appear cracked, brushed, waxed, faded or wrinkled.

Drum Dye– The process of dying leather tumbling in in a large drum. This process allows maximum penetration of dye into the fibers of the hide.

Embossed Leather– A piece of leather finished with designs pressed into the surface by engraved plates or rollers. These designs may be an imitation of ostrich, crocodile or floral patterns.

Finish– The surface application on leather added to color, protect or mask imperfections.

Full Grain– Leather in which the original skin has not been altered and posesses the genuine original grain of the animal.

Grain– The outside of the hide or skin consisting of pores, wrinkles and natural characteristics which make up the natural texture of the leather.

Hand– A term used to describe the feel, softness or fullness of upholstery leather.

Nubuck– Dyed leather in which the surface grain has been abraded to create a velvety finish or nap.

Pigmented– Leather that has been sprayed with a pigmented polymer coating that provided consistency in color.

Protected Leather– Leather that has been dyed and pigmented to ensure color consistency and provide protection against wear.

Pull Up Leather– Leather that lightens in color when stretched during wear to produce a unique worn-in effect over time.

Sauvage– A mottled or marbled appearance created by blending two or more similar colors.

Semi-Aniline Leather– Leather that is more durable than aniline leather due to the application of a light protective surface coating.

Split Leather– Leather made from the lower layers of a hide that has been separated from the grain layers. This leather generally has an imitation grain embossed onto a heavily finished surface, or is used as a form of suede.

Suede– Leather in which the grain side of the hide has been abraded to create a fine velvety nap. 

Top Grain– Leather that comes from the outermost upper layers of the hide and has had all the hair removed revealing the natural characteristics of the leather.

Unfinished Leather– An aniline dyed leather with no additional finish applied.