Leather Glossary

Aniline Dyed – Process that uses transparent non toxic dyes to color leathers throughout

Corrected Grain – Leather on which the outer surface of the grain has been slightly removed by sanding.

Crocking – Transferring of a color or finish from leather to other materials by rubbing or abrasion

Crust – Leather that has been tanned, dyed and dried, but not finished

Drum Dyed – A dyeing process in which leather is immersed in dye and tumbled in a rotating drum, thus ensuring maximum dye penetration

Embossing – Impressing a pattern onto a surface of a hide to create a motif or texture. A very even and uniform pattern is created, possibly to disguise natural defect or blemishes, or to create visually exciting designs.

Fatliquoring – The process of replacing the oils that have been leached from the hide during processing

Fat Wrinkle – Natural wrinkles in the leather grain that are part of the unique beauty of each animal. These are only visible in top grain leathers

Finishing – Any processing performed after the initial dyeing such as: buffing, embossing, flame proofing, milling, spraying, waterproofing, waxing, etc.

Full Aniline – Leather receiving its color from dyes and also a topical stain, wax and/or water repellent

Full Grain – The outer layer taken from the hide’s hair side with only the hair and surface debris removed. Also referred to as full top grain

Hand – Term that describes leather’s softness and feel

Hand Antiqued – Also referred to as “hand rubbing”. The process where skilled craftsmen hand rub a contrasting color onto the surface of the leather to accentuate the natural grain or embossing

Hides – Skins of large animals, almost always from cattle

Leather – A hide, or skin, that has been tanned into a non-perishable material

Liming – The process of removing hair from a raw hide through the use of chemicals

Milling – Process in which tanned hides are tumbled in rotating drums using a combination of heat and a misting of water to soften the hand or enhance the grain

Natural Grain – Leather whose grain has not been altered in any way, so the natural appearance of the grain is apparent

Nubuck Aniline – A top grain aniline dyed leather from which the top hair cell layer has been removed through buffing to create a “suede like” nap effect

Patina – A surface luster that develops on pure anilines and nubucks; grows more beautiful with the passing of time

Pigmented – Leather whose surface is coated with pigment or other opaque solution.

Polishing/ Buffing – Removing of grain, scars and blemishes from a hide

Pull-up – Refers to leather that derives color from dyes, waxes and / or oils. When this leather is pulled during upholstering, the oils/ waxes dissipate and become lighter in those areas

Pure Aniline – Leather which receives its only color from dyes and exhibits natural markings and characteristics

Sauvage/ Kela – A two-tone effect which adds depth and character. Can be tone on tone or a contrasting effect

Semi Aniline – Leather that has been aniline dyed and slightly pigmented with a clear top coat to ensure more even color consistency and protection against spills and stains.

Split – The under portion of a hide or skin that has been split into two or more thicknesses. Splits may be finished and embossed to simulate a full top grain

Sueded splits – Leather produced from the flesh split, exhibiting a velvet-like nap. Sueded splits are not top grain leathers

Tanning – The process of converting a raw hide into a stable, non-perishable state

Top Coat – Synthetic Transparent resins applied as a protective coating from a high gloss to a matte finish.

Top Grain – The top layer of a hide after the splitting process in which the hair and epidermis have been removed. The grain may be either natural or embossed.