New Page 1
leather shapes leather shapes



Descriptive terms used in connection with leather

British Standard (BS2780) Definitions:-

Aniline leather
   Leather that has been dyed by immersion in a dye-bath and has not received any coating of pigmented finish.
Semi-aniline leather
   Leather in which the base coat of the finish contains pigment but later coats contain only dye or a contrasting pigment, to give a two-tone appearance, designed to
    imitate aniline leather.
Pigmented leather
   Leather to whose grain surface a finish containing fine pigment particles in a binder has been applied.
Corrected grain leather
   Leather from which the grain layer has been partially removed by buffing to a depth governed by the condition of the raw material and upon which a new surface has
    been built by various finishes.
Waxy leather
   (1) Upper leather finished on the flesh side and dyed. It is vegetable tanned with a high content of hard grease, though not necessarily wax.
   (2) Leather bearing a wax finished. Suede Leather whose wearing surface has been finished to produce a velvet-like nap.
   Cattle-hide leather buffed on the grain side to give a very fine velvety surface: white or coloured.
   (1) A single layer from a hide or skin that has been separated over its whole area into two or more layers. (grain split, middle split, flesh split)
   (2) Leather made from the flesh split or middle split.
Finished split
   A split leather that has been finished by the application of a surface coating to simulate the appearance of a grain leather.  

Alaska:- Alaska leather is made from special European hides selected for their fine grain and full character. The tanning process is carefully adjusted to enhance the leather's natural beauty and maintain its original character. After, the leather is richly dyed in the drum and finished with a blend of waxes and creams that protect it without clogging it up. The result is a fine, full-grain, full-bodied leather that has all the characteristics of a superior product.

Altered leather:- This is leather that has had the original surface of the hide or skin removed, because of what are considered to be blemishes or imperfections in the grain surface. As a consequence a new grain is embossed into it. It is sometimes referred to as a corrected grain, and a lot of top-grain leathers have had this treatment, probably most.

brown full grain

brown tumbled

corrected black

Full grain

Brown - tumbled

Black - corrected grain

Alum leather:- A white, soft leather, produced by drumming the skins with a mixture of alum flour (alum, also known as potash alum, is a colourless soluble hydrated double sulphate of aluminium and potassium used in the manufacture of mordants and pigments, for dressing leather, and sizing paper) or chalk, salt and egg-yolk. This procedure, is known as tawing, and is usually confined to small skins only. Tawed leather is dressed with a fat liquor (a mild alkali, such as an emulsion of soap and oil) while still damp and after dyeing, its fibres are then further broken by working it over a stake as it dries.

Aluta:- Roman name for tawed (alum tanned) leather. Aluta was used for sails in Venice, and for shoe uppers in ancient Greece

Aniline dye:- A general term for synthetic dyes having aniline as a base (this is a pungent, oily, colourless, poisonous liquid, used, not only in the manufacture of dyes, but for plastics, pharmaceuticals and explosives). It is now obtained chiefly from coal-tar. (Coal-tar is produced by the distillation of bituminous coal. This can of course be further distilled to yield benzene, toluene, xylene, phenol etc.) The dye itself is transparent and is used for colouring dyed leather, which has most probably been chrome-tanned, because aniline dye gives the resulting soft, resilient leathers, the most vibrant colours.

green, corrected grain

peach, two tone

red mahogany

Green - corrected grain  

Peach - two-tone

Red mahogany - upholstery

Aniline leather:- Leather which retains its colour only from dyestuffs rather than from pigment, and as a consequence looks more natural. Leather that has been dyed through with aniline dyes. Genuine aniline leathers amount  probably to no more than about 5-6% of the production of upholstery leathers throughout the world. They can be given a protective coating of lacquer, or even waxed, at the production stage.

Antique grain:- (two-tone or rub-off) A special surface effect has been created to mimic the unique "worn" appearance of traditional leathers. This is achieved by applying a contrasting top-coat which is applied unevenly or partially rubbed off to reveal a paler underlying colour.

Bag hide:- A form of vegetable tannage in which the skins are sewn together in pairs to form bags and floated in tan liquor. This method avoids drawn grain and gives a good spread of leather. A flexible leather sometimes embossed with a grain pattern. If something is described as "embossed" you can be sure the grain is an imitation one.


buttons/previous Contents   Links   FAQ   BBCNews   Visitors Book
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132

leather shapes leather shapes