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
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
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 leathers have then been further processed to raise
fibres on the grain side of the hide to give it a suede effect.
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.
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
The 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.
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
Care Of Your Leather
offer a diversity of care and repair services for your leather
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
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.