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The different types of leather

leather guide

There are many kinds of leather available.
They have different types of grain and different tanning finishes.

It’s important to choose the right leather for your project to help ensure a great result. Of course, Aury's expert team is always available to guide you in the choice and the customisation of leather for your specific needs.

Aniline leather

Aniline leather

Aniline leather may be referred to as "full aniline" to differentiate from "Semi-Aniline" Leather. One of the most expensive leathers, it is inarguably the most natural-looking and softest to touch. It is produced from the finest selection of raw hides and mostly used for furniture and fashion items. It is colored by soaking in transparent aniline dyes without adding any pigmented layer. As a result, the natural surface of these hides remains unaltered and the leather feels natural and soft. One disadvantage of this leather is that it is not water-resistant and it is more susceptible to stains and marks. Of course, some treatments can reduce the risk of stains, but the leather must be cleaned immediately after any spill. It is therefore important to know how to clean, protect, and maintain aniline leather.

Check out our Care & Cleaning Tips or ask one of our experts.

Semi-Aniline leather

Semi-Aniline leather

Semi-aniline leather is a type of leather that is dyed only with soluble dyes and a slightly pigmented layer. It is then finished with a thin protective coat to enhance durability. The imperfections of the leather are still visible. Semi-aniline leather has the supple feel of full-aniline but is more stain and wear-resistant.

Pigmented leather

Pigmented leather

Just like Aniline leathers, it is dyed all the way through the hide. However, the surface is then coated with a heavy protective topcoat which includes pigmentation. Any kind of imperfections are removed through buffing or sanding and then embossed with an artificial grain.

At the expense of a deep rich color and a luxurious feel, pigmented leathers are treated with spray coating which makes it more durable. Therefore, they are the least natural grain leather, with a very uniform surface and color. But it is also the most durable and easiest to clean and maintain.

Pigmented leathers are used heavily in the automotive and furniture industries. They do not have the same soft and warm touch as Aniline leathers and can sometimes feel like plastic

Split leather

Split leather

Split leather comes from the part of the hide which is left after the top-grain has been separated. It comes from the underside of the hide and is usually embossed to provide the grainy surface texture that we recognise on some handbags and wallets. The versatile quality of split leather means it can be used for a whole range of purposes. It is easy to add an artificial layer to this material, making it perfect for producing colourful split leather bags and accessories. Split leather’s soft texture means it is not only useful for making fashion accessories like split leather bags but also for upholstery projects and jacket lining.

Suede leather

Suede leather

Suede is a split leather that has been buffed to create a soft, velvety, and fuzzy surface. It is made using a similar method as Nubuck. Suede leathers are warm to touch, very breathable and pliable, which is why they were historically used to make gloves. These days, they are also used for the upholstery, footwear, garment and handbag industries. Suede offers very little resistance to dirt and absorbs liquids very quickly. The colour of Suede can also fade if exposed to regular sunlight. It is a sensitive material and requires careful protection and maintenance.

Please check out our Care & Cleaning Tips or ask one of our experts..

Nubuck leather

Nubuck leather

Nubuck is a soft and durable luxury leather that’s very similar to suede. It is top-grain leather where the top hair cell layer has been removed by sanding, resulting in a luxurious nap and velvet-like surface with extreme softness. Because it comes from the outer side of the skin, it usually has more natural imperfections which can give the material more character compared to suede. It is also naturally slightly thicker than Suede and therefore more durable. Nubuck leather is often used in jackets, gloves, and accessories. Nubuck does darken if it gets wet, but while suede can be permanently damaged from even splashes of water, nubuck will return to its original color as the water dries.

Wondering which leather to pick?