A Section For Many Different Leather Types


Leather types vary depending on what it’s quality is, where it’s from and where it’s going to be used, in this section we give you some insight into many different leather types.

We have listed some of the commonly used leather types that we work on every day.

The art of keeping leather perfect is prevention at all times, so keep leather protected at all times.



FULL ANILINE (Click to learn more)
The most attractive and natural leathers which are prized for their soft natural feel. These are leathers which have been aniline dyed in a vat process with no colour coating added to the surface. They are the most expensive leathers to produce because only the very best selection of hides can be used to produce full aniline leathers. Full aniline dyed leathers are more susceptible to absorbing liquids because of the natural porosity of the hide. Because they don’t have a top coating the leather breathes more easily and is cooler to sit on.

PULL UP ANILINE (Click to learn more)
This is a type of aniline leather (described above) that has an extra top treatment of oil and/or wax effects. These Pull Up leathers are designed to become “distressed” looking through time and use. Its properties are similar to full aniline but in places of heavy use, the oils will be pushed away leaving lighter areas – particularly on the seating areas. It will also scratch easily. The Leather Repair Company has special products designed to restore the look and feel of Pull Up leathers

SEMI-ANILINE (Click to learn more)
Semi-Aniline dyed leathers have been both dyed through and have a thin finishing layer on the surface. They offer a combination of the softness and feel of full aniline leather with the protective benefits of a surface finish. By dyeing the leather through before the final thin top coating is applied, a very even colouration is achieved with only a thin layer of finish. Thus the leather remains softer because it is not necessary to apply a thick top coating.

PIGMENTED (Click to learn more)
The leather may be buffed (corrected) to reduce heavy natural scarring and blemishes in the hides. It is then coloured with a coating containing opaque pigments and embossed with a grain pattern to ensure a uniformity of colour and resistance to fading.

NUBUCK: also called – CHAPS, STONEWASHED OR SUEDE (Click to learn more)
These are actually aniline leathers where the surface has been brushed, and have created a texture similar to a velvet on leather. Many people confuse these with suede leather. Suede is the flesh side of a piece of leather, and nubuck is an effect that is done to the grain side. This brushing actually breaks the surface and opens up the leather even more making it incredibly soft. The brushing also makes the leather even more absorbent than aniline leathers.



Bonded leather sometimes known as reconstituted leather is what else it can be known as it’s like a synthetic type leather, like vinyl. Made of synthetic materials of several types that is spread over ground up leather and other substances. It’s mechanically processed to give it the appearance of leather. Bonded leather is almost like a laminate stuck together, this type of woven material can break down and when it does its very unsightly and causes bubbles to break and burst where the bonding / glues have broken down.  When you examine bonded leather under a microscope you can see it’s true characteristics coming through and you can then tell it’s not real leather at all and is almost all plastic, the backing of bonded leather has this almost webbing type look to it under a microscope a very similar look to bi cast leather on the back.”

RUB OFF LEATHER (Click to learn more)

Is A Pigmented Finish With The Surface Rubbed Off

Rub off leather is a variety of pigmented leather where the surface is made with more characters by application of a contrasting top coat, which can be partly removed – rubbed off to reveal the underlying colour. This effect relies on a very thin layer, which has very limited durability. This leather will be subject to colour changes when in use.

TWO TWO PIGMENTED LEATHER (Click to learn more)

Two tone pigmented leather leather has been surface coated with a pigment colour, in varying shades to create the two tone effect. The two tone pigmented leather finishes range from strong noticeable two tone finish, to very subtle two tone effects. It’s like a variation of an antique finish.

CRUST LEATHER (Click to learn more)

The Naked Leather Known As Crust Aniline Leather

A crust aniline leather which has been tanned (treated to become non-perishable) but not coloured or otherwise finished in any way.

Crust leather are very difficult leathers for cleaning due to zero surface finish as they are only dyed and left with no surface coating or protection.

When used on upholstery it’s given more generic terms, unprotected leather, pure aniline leather, or even some call it naked leather.
BI CAST LEATHER (Click to learn more)

A Plastic Surface Coated Product Known As Bi – Cast Leather

Bi – cast is a created material, using a laminating process with a plastic sheet, normally to a split hide, giving you what can only be described as a leather backed vinyl material.

Some times bi cast has different names PU leather, by cast , bicast leather and bycast leather they are all the same normally made from a split and bonded together by means of laminating at the tannery.

SPLIT LEATHER (Click to learn more)

When manufactured a split is rough on both side, the side nearest to the blade is considered the side to use, the use this gets and finish that’s applied depends on a full inspection of the hide, so it can be a finished split, a coated split (byCast) or a suede split.

A split hide is weak in construction, stiffer and prone to cracking compared to normal hides, a split has had a false grain applied and is then pigment coated, used mainly on the sides and backs of furniture, as its a cheaper method of construction.


Leather Types come in many forms, from a naked leather, to a split, a pigment coated leather to a NuBuck

Leather Types

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