Types of Leather
Full Grain Leather
The best upholstery Full Grain leathers should display the natural markings and grain characteristics from the animal of which it was taken. Full Grain leathers generally come from a better quality hide or skin and no sanding processes are applied to its surface. Full Grain leathers offer a natural look and feel and are treated by transparent aniline dyes.
Aniline Leather is colored all the way through with a transparent dye. The effect is applied by immersing the leather in a dye bath. Because the finish is transparent and shows the natural markings of the leather, only the best quality hides can be used.
Semi Aniline Leather
Semi-Aniline grain leathers are processed a little more than Pure Aniline leathers. They receive a nominal level of manufactured coatings that conceal minor surface defects but do not cover the natural characteristics of the hide.
Nubuck is a aniline leather that has a velvet like texture and extremely lush appearance. The grain has not been processed, but it is brushed and polished. The surface will change shade when you run your hand across it. The grain of Nubuck has a velvety look and feel and is of a slightly higher quality than suede, which is actually the inner side of the skin that gets buffed into a soft nap.
Pull-up leather is heavily treated with oil or wax. It is easy to recognize since the wax and oil separate when the leather is stretched at all. This will produce a lighter color and distressed look from the day-to-day use of it. it’s well-suited for long-term, heavy usage.
Top Grain Leather
Top Grain leather usually refers to the process of sanding away the natural grain from the top surface of the leather. Imitation grain gets stamped into the leather to give a more uniform look, but no genuine grain remains.
Corrected Leather falls into the Top Grain Leather category. These leathers go through considerable processing of sanding, buffing, stamping and then dyeing. The purpose of this processing is to create a uniform look that removes insect bites, barbed-wire scratches and other environmental markings that might appear on the hide.
Split leather is any piece of leather in which the top or natural surface of the skin has been removed. The resulting under layer is then re-tanned and has an artificial surface placed on the leather with a combination of binders and pigment coats. Many popular, well-priced leather goods are made from split grain leather, a type of leather that is usually priced substantially below top and full-grain leather. It’s called split leather because it is the layer which remains after the top layer of a hide is split off for more expensive uses. The lower layer of the hide is still very useful in making quality leather goods.
Bicast also known as Bycast leather is a synthetic upholstery product consisting of a thick polyurethane layer applied to a leather or reconstituted leather substrate. It is commonly found in inexpensive furniture. Some manufacturers use the bycast treatment to process their leather, which provides a smooth, shiny finish as well as protection to the leather.