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 most pleasing color and
texture are selected for this category. Click here to see Aniline Dyed Leather offered by Classic Leather.

Many hides are marred by naturally occurring range marks. Insect bites, barbed wire scars,
scrapes and other defects make them unsuitable for your home. To remove these imperfections,
Corrected Grain leathers are first sanded or buffed, then lightly embossed to restore a natural-looking
more uniform grain pattern. Finally, a dense protective topcoat is applied. Some natural softness is 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.

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 sking, “split” away from the top-grain layer, usually used for suedes, and for less costly furniture.

Treating raw hides to reduce their perishability.

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.