Leather Types

Understanding Leather Grade

The leather on the market is divided into four grades:

1) Pure Aniline Leather

2) Semi-Aniline Leather

3) Pigment Leather

Each type of leather has its own natural attributes and uses.

Pure Aniline Leather

The leather offers the best quality skin with the least amount of scratches.

Surface treatment: This leather offers the least mosquito/bug damage and is free of scratches. The surface of the leather does not require sanding resulting in a preservation of the natural texture of the leather during preparation. This leather is soft and delicate with excellent elasticity and permeability.

Coloring treatment: Coloring uses a dyed water mixture to ensure the color permeates from the surface to the inner layer of the leather. The leather surface is never covered with any paint, so the dye’s permeability is guaranteed at 100%. At completion, the leather holds its natural texture and the leather is soft and delicate. It is elastic and of the highest grade.

Semi-Aniline Leather

The second highest leather quality of the high-end category.

Surface treatment: Due to small areas of insect damage and scratches, this skin is slightly sanded and buffed to remove blemishes. Resulting in a loss of only the top layer.

Coloring treatment: As in the Full-Grain process, a water/dye mixture is still used. However, due to the top layer having been touched, a finish coat is added to the top to ensure a more uniform coloring. However, this permeability is reduced to 80%.

Pigment Leather

This skin has the worst texture due to the amount of scratches and insects.

Surface treatment: This skin requires heavy sanding and buffing resulting in a loss in top layers. This leather requires a lot of finishing to prevent it from easily cracking and splitting.

Coloring treatment: The dyes are sprayed on to the surface to correct the look of the leather with a permeability reduced to 30%.

Inferior Leather

The skins with the most imperfections require being sanded down to the final two layers of leather. This leather does not look or feel appeasing. Nor does it hold up to any stress tests. However, technology continues to improve, and this leather is able to be manipulated to look and feel of higher grade and consumers must be cautious of purchasing any sofa finished with this leather.