When purchasing leather furnishings from our Western furniture company, it is essential to know what kind of leather you are buying. As one of the best furniture stores in Fort Worth, Adobe Interiors strives to provide exceptional quality in all of our leathers. Below is a breakdown of different leather types to help you understand what you are buying, as well as how to spot the different leather types. Whether you are interested in Western living room décor or bedroom furniture, our leathers are second-to-none.

FULL GRAIN LEATHER

Full-grain refers to leather that has not been altered by sanding or buffing. Full grain leather retains the grain layer, original texture, and markings that naturally occur during the lifetime of the animal and create a one-of-a-kind look for each upholstered product. The vast majority of Adobe Interior’s leather furniture is designed on full grain hides. Full-grain is often confused with top grain, but top grain leather comes merely from the uppermost portion of a hide. The term “top grain” is referring to the layer of the hide from which the leather originates. The leather is split into layers and sold as two different products: top grain and split leather. From the top grain portion of a hide comes both full grain and corrected grain leathers.

CORRECTED GRAIN LEATHER

Corrected grain is also considered top grain leather. Corrected grain leather undergoes a light buffing process to absorb dye better and minimize the appearance of blemishes and natural leather markings on its surface. Corrected grain leather is often preferred for use in projects where uniform color is desired. Nubuck, a corrected grain leather, is top grain leather where the top hair cell layer has been removed by sanding, resulting in a luxurious nap and velvet-like surface. Split leathers are often sold as suede and originate a few layers down from the grain.

ANILINE VS. SEMI-ANILINE

Aniline leather is colored by immersing hides in a dye bath with transparent, aniline dyes that fully penetrate the hide. These leathers are the most natural and often the most pristine hides are used. All surface imperfections and flaws, or beauty marks, will be visible in aniline-dyed leathers.

Semi-aniline leathers are aniline dyed with an added layer of pigment or surface coating to enhance durability and color consistency. Imperfections and flaws are still visible.

VEGETABLE TANNING VS. CHROME TANNING

Vegetable tanning is the oldest method of tanning leathers. It utilizes vegetable tannins and extracts from trees and plants for use in the tanning process. Today, vegetable tanned leather is still used by boot and saddle makers.

Chrome tanning is the most widely used process of tanning leather, accounting for approximately 90% of leather produced globally today. Invented in the 19th century, chrome tanning uses the minerals of chromium salts to tan hides and allow for a softer hand and a broader range of color.