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About Leather


Leather has been used for various purposes for thousands of years and has been over this time refined and developed in the tanning processes to the point where today's beautiful leathers are an excellent balance between durability and comfort. Upholstery and automotive leathers are produced by different tanners in various different processes to meet the needs of their customers who produce seating and fittings for the end consumer.

Leather Classifications

Different types of leathers have varying characteristics and perform dramatically differently in given situations. Upholstery leathers are given general classifications based on their finish characteristics. Listed below are some general classifications. The difference between the classifications is blurring due to refinements in tanning processes but they still act as a general guide.

  • Aniline
    The aniline dyeing process produces magnificent feeling leather in its most natural form. It gives subtle colours which enhance the natural beauty of the different fibre structures in the grain and the various hide marks.
  • Nubuck
    Nubuck leathers have then been further processed to raise fibres on the grain side of the hide to give it a suede effect.
  • Semi-aniline
    The leather has a light colour and finish applied to the surface which reveals the natural characteristics of the hide to a lesser extent and increases the resistance to wear. This process balances out dye colour irregularities and allows a greater colour range.
  • Pigmented
    The surface of this leather has a pigment applied and a heavier protective coating giving a limitless colour range and exellent wear characteristics. Pigmented leathers are produced in two basic forms.
    • Full Grain
      he grain shows natural grain variation and all marks.
    • Corrected Grain
      A process where some of the grain layer and most of the natural hide marks are removed. The surface then has a print embossed on it giving a more uniform appearance.

  • Wax Effect/ pull up
    There are many variations of this leather. It is generally aniline dyed leather which has been given a wax or oily impregnation. This gives the leather a nice feel and affords light protection. The application of the wax/oil gives a depth of colour which can not be duplicated by surface colour. These leathers are affected by sunlight and heat. They generally “scratch” relatively easily. In a lot of cases these “scratches” can be lightened with friction from a rubbing finger.
  • Bi-Cast
    This is a leather which has had a plastic type coating laminated onto the surface. This coating can have various colour effects and prints applied to it. This is generally a budget product and is in a lot of cases produced from bottom split leather which does not have the same strength and performance of the top grain leathers.

As a general rule, the finer leathers are more susceptible to fading and staining and, therefore, more suitable to show and formal situations. The pigmented leathers and their heavier finishes are more durable in heavy traffic situations. This leather is used in virtually all automotive applications.

Distinctive Attributes of Fine Leather

Animals are subject to a wide variety of factors in their natural environment which leave indelible marks on their hides. As these marks have healed on the animal they do not affect the durability of the leather, but rather enhance it's individuality.

Leather with Dung Marks
Leather with Fat Folds

Leather with Healed Scars
Leather with Insect Bites
Leather with Warts

Care Of Your Leather

Complete Leathercare® offer a diversity of care and repair services for your leather products:

Professional cleaning and treatment services:
Complete Leathercare® offers quality repairs, recolouring and refinishing of your leather and car interior products. For more information visit Leather Services.

Assessment Reports:
We inspect and supply professional independent assessment reports on leather condition, faults and deterioration. For more information visit Assessment Reports.

Leather Care Products:
We offer a range of specifically formulated to maintain and enhance the durability of your leather products. For more information visit our Online Store.