Glossary of Leather Terminology

Glossary of Leather Terminology

Be sure to learn of the 3 mistakes to avoid when buying the best leather sofa.

ANILINE DYED (an-a-line)
Lovers of truly natural products are particularly fond of these leathers: their buttery, glove-soft
texture adds an extra dimension of comfort to your sofa or chair. To create this luxurious
softness and their rich gem-like colors, aniline dyed leathers are tumbled for up to 12 hours in
drums containing transparent dyes. These dyes enhance the subtle textural and color variations
of each hide. Through the years, aniline dyed leather develops a distinctive patina which adds to
its value as a focal point in your home. Only premium hides with the least amount of range marks, with the most pleasing color and texture are selected for this category. Click here to see Aniline Dyed Leather offered by Classic Leather. Here is an aniline dyed Tan Leather Sofa, although it is available in 100’s of colors.

Many cows raised on the opten range develop hides that are marred by naturally occurring range marks. Range marks such as insect bite scars, rubbing against barbed wire creating scars, scrapes against fence posts, run ins with horns from other animals, ranch brand marks and other range marks make them candidates for correction. To remove these range marks, Corrected Grain leathers are first lightly sanded or buffed to remove the range marks, then lightly embossed to restore a natural-looking more uniform grain pattern. Finally, a clear protective topcoat is applied. This protective top coat offers resistance against scratches, stains and fading from sunlight. Some natural softness is slightly sacrificed in this process, but the proportionately larger number of hides in this category makes this the most economical grade of top grain furniture leather. Most corrected grain leather originates with cows raised on the open range in South America.

A dyeing process in which leather is immersed in dye and tumbled in a rotating drum, allowing
maximum dye penetration.

The application of color, either by spraying, hand rubbing or immersion.

A process in which design is added to leather by pressure to alter or correct the surface, resulting
in uniform imitation grain.

Any post tanning treatment, such as: dyeing, rolling, pressing, spraying, lacquering, antiquing,
waxing, buffing, embossing, glazing, waterproofing, or flame-proofing.

A term which indicates that leather possesses its original, natural grain; leather which has not
been altered or corrected.  Also called Natural Grain. Click here to see Full Grain Leather offered by Classic Leather.

The distinctive pore and wrinkle pattern of a hide; may be either natural or embossed.

A term used to describe the softness or feel of a leather when you rub your hand on it.

The unaltered top grain surface of leather, also called Full Grain. Click here to see Natural Grain Leather offered by Classic Leather.

PATINA (pa-tee-na)
A lustre that develops on the leather with time and use.

A term describing hides with virtually no scars, range marks or blemishes, usually less than 5% of all hides and typically the most expensive since there are less available.

Refers to the removal of grain, scars and blemishes from a hide.

SEMI-ANILINE (an-a-lin)
Sometimes call “Aniline Plus”, these leathers are first drum dyed in penetrating aniline dyes.
Then a thin matching topcoat is applied to even out the color of the hide surface. The topcoat
also serves to protect against fading and stains. Semi-Aniline leathers are available in hundreds
of colors. They retain most of the softness or their aniline dyed cousins because the natural top
grain is left intact. A much larger proportion of the world hide supply is suitable for this class of
leather and as a result they are more moderately priced. Click here to see Semi-Aniline Leather offered by Classic Leather.

Underlying layers of leather skin, “split” away from the top-grain layer, usually used for suedes, and used for less costly furniture. Does not wear or last as well as top grain or full grain leather.

Treating raw hides to reduce their perishability, and creating a finished leather product.

The top surface of the hide, the outer layer of the skin, which is the strongest, most durable, best looking with the best feel to it.

* extra *
In addition to the above glossary of leather teriminology, click here for additional leather information or here for Characteristics of Quality Leather.