Leather is a natural product and the uniqueness of each hide is identified by occasional growth lines, scars and other natural marks which add to the beauty of leather and should not be regarded is a defect.
The selection of leather required depends on the application and look that is required. Full pigmented leathers will be harder wearing than a full or semi aniline leather. In some applications, aniline or semi aniline leathers will develop a patina over time which will enhance the appearance and give character. If a relatively maintenance free finish is required, it is recommended that a pigmented leather is used.
Types of finish :
Pigmented - Have a strong, solid colour and finish to maximize cutting yield and durability, and to make the leather easier to clean with little maintenance required.
Semi Aniline - Are dyed and then given a very light pigment coat. This maintains the natural look, and also makes the leather more durable and easier to care for than an Aniline. It is still a fairly delicate finish, so please check that a semi-aniline will be suitable for your project.
Aniline - Have a delicate and sensitive finish that is dyed through in colour. Some aniline leathers may have no protective coating at all, yet others may have only a light surface finish leaving a very natural appearance but are also more vulnerable to marking, scratching and fading. The surface coating is not pigmented in any way. Natural markings are part of the appeal of this type of leather and should be appreciated. Healed scars, bug bites and wrinkles all contribute to the character of these leathers. Colour variation is a natural characteristic of any aniline leather and colours will vary slightly from hide to hide. When pulled, stretched or used in tightly upholstered applications, expect the colour and sheen to vary. Aniline finishes are not as colourfast as pigmented hides. Prolonged exposure to light and heat will cause aniline leathers to fade. A more careful maintenance and understanding of this type of leather is required by the customer to ensure that the leather is fit for purpose, so lease check that an aniline leather will be suitable for your requirements.
Buffed/Nubuck - Is top-grain aniline leather that has been buffed or sanded on the grain side, to give a slight nap of short fibres, producing a velvet-like surface. This is an unprotected finish, and is more subject to staining than an aniline due to the brushed fibres. These fibres may compact with prolonged use unless brushed occasionally. A more careful maintenance and understanding of this type of leather are required by the customer to ensure that the leather is fit for purpose. Please check that a buffed or nubuck leather will be suitable for your requirements.
Rub off - Have a fairly solid base colour, but are then coated with a much darker top colour. This top colour can be polished or buffed in required areas to reveal richer, lighter tones underneath. This finish is typical of a Chesterfield style sofa.
Crib 5 - Is a fire retardant coating that is added to the surface finish where the leather has to conform to certain contract fire treatment regulations - often in public areas. This is an additional service available for most hides to order - please contact us for further information, pricing and delivery times.
For further advice on suitability of a particular leather, please speak to one of our helpful advisors.