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All About Leather

What is Leather?

Leather is a durable and flexible material created by tanning animal rawhide and skins. The most common raw material is cattle hide. It can be produced at manufacturing scales ranging from artisan to modern industrial scale.

Leather Terms

aniline (an-a-lin) dyed: 
the process of coloring leathers throughout with transparent dyes.

pure aniline:
   is top grain leather that is dyed for color without any pigments applied. These     hides will exhibit some natural characteristics such as healed scars,       scratches, neck and belly wrinkles.

aniline plus leather:
    Leather that has been aniline dyed and finished with a clear topcoat to         ensure more protection against spills and stains
antiqued:
      the light application of one color over another, (usually a darker color over a        lighter color) to create highlights.

corrected grain leather:
leather whose natural surface texture has been altered.
drum-dyed:
a dyeing process in which leather is immersed in dye and tumbled in a rotating drum, allowing maximum dye penetration.
dyeing:
the application of color, either by spraying, hand-rubbing or immersion.
embossing:
a process in which design is added to leathers surface by pressure to alter or enhance the surface, resulting in uniform imitation grain or unique patterns.
finishing:
any post tanning treatment, such as: dyeing, rolling, pressing, spraying, lacquering, antiquing, waxing, buffing, embossing, glazing, waterproofing or flameproofing.
full grain:
a term which indicates that leather possesses its original, natural grain; leather which has not been altered.
grain:
the distinctive pore and wrinkle pattern of a hide; may be either natural or embossed.
hand:
a term used to describe the softness or feel of a leather.
hides:
skins of animals, usually cattle, sheep or water buffalo.
leather:
a generic term for all hides and skins which have been tanned and finished.
patina (pa-tee-na):
a lustre that develops with time and use.
premium select:
a term describing hides with very few scars or blemishes, usually less than 5% of all hides.
sanding:
refers to the removal of grain, scars and blemishes from a hide's surface.
semi-aniline (an-a-lin):
leathers which have been aniline dyed then top coated with matching pigments to even out the color (also called "aniline plus").
splits:
underlying layers of leather, usually used for suedes, not top grain.
splitting:
cutting a hide into two or more layers.
tanning:
treating raw hides to reduce their perishability.
top grain:
the top surface of the hide.
tumbling:
a process in which hides are tumbled in a rotating drum to soften the hand or enhance the grain.

Leather tips and tricks

Leather is a natural skin and requires maintenance just like your own skin does. For this reason, we recommend only all natural, chemical free cleaners and conditioners.

Avoid direct contact to registers and vents. Give the leather room to breath so it doesn’t get dried out.

Avoid direct contact with unwashed color fast materials. Items such as new blue jeans, or a new blanket that still could bleed color could cause damage to your leather.