Various Leather Types and Cleaning Codes

Aniline Plus Pigment, Cleaning Code "AP"

These leathers are often referred to as finished, full finished, semi-aniline, pigmented, protected or painted. These leathers have combined the best aspects of a natural product (leather) and have utilized tannery technology to create a product that is more uniform in appearance and color due to pigments that are applied to the surface. Protected leathers are the most common leathers, and for most consumers, the most practical. The pigments actually create a film on top of the leather hide, and dependant on the heaviness of the application, the pigments may actually cover the actual surface and camouflage excessive scarring or "defects." The lighter the coating of pigment, the softer the feel, but the more natural scarring will show through.

Technical Definition: Aniline plus pigment (AP) leathers have been aniline dyed with an additional topcoat of pigments to ensure color consistency and/or to apply a special effect.

Consumer Definition: Aniline plus pigment (AP) leathers are the perfect choice for people who expect quality and high performance from their furniture. AP leathers have an outstanding durability level and are great for families. AP leathers will generally retain their original appearance and will last for many years.

Characteristics and Expectations:

  • Coloration will be consistent throughout the hide unless a special effect with multiple colors is employed.
  • Serviceability, durability and cleanability are very good.
  • Wear consistently over time.


Aniline, Cleaning Code "A"

These leathers are also called natural, naked or unprotected and are colored with transparent dyes. This means that you are able to see the actual surface grain and markings. These leathers have little or no protective treatments applied to them.

Technical Definition: Aniline (A) leathers receive their color solely from aniline dyes and the grain retains its original state. Natural markings and characteristics are exhibited. No topical treatments or pigments are used in determining the color of these leathers.

Consumer Definition: Aniline (A) leathers are for people who strive for the finer things in life and appreciate rare, natural beauty. Pure Aniline leathers offer the elegance and luxury of silk. They appeal to the senses and invite you to experience its sensational soft feel and uniqueness. As no two fingerprints are identical, no two pure anilines are identical. Each hide has its own characteristics such as color shading and healed scars that set is apart from all others. These leathers tend to have substantial dye lot variations, so we recommend obtaining a cutting from the factory prior to placing an order.

Characteristics and Expectations:

  • Color variations are to be expected throughout the hide.
  • Healed scars and scratches are unique characteristics and will be incorporated into your upholstery.
  • The hand (feel) is very soft and "buttery."
  • A rich patina develops with time enhancing the appearance of the leather.
  • Fading can occur if exposed to strong sunlight or excessive heat.
  • Requires specialized cleaning products for more stubborn stains.


Pull-up Leathers, Cleaning Code "A"

Technical Definition: Pull-up (A) leathers have been colored with aniline dyes that are impregnated with natural-based oils and/or waxes instead of being coated with paints and pigments. The oils and waxes tend to darken the original aniline dye coloration, but "pull up" the lighter color when stretched and pulled. This pull-up effect occurs as the furniture progresses through upholstery and the leather is stretched and pulled over the frame. The pull-up effect tends to be more pronounced in areas where the leather is pulled in two different directions, like the front of arm and all corners. The oils and waxes provide even more beautiful shading and unique, subtle color variations. This aniline dying process allows the scars, scratches and wrinkles that occur naturally on the leather hides to show through the finish.

Consumer Definition: Pull-Up (A) leathers come from a remarkable hide; it is completely natural, unaltered and rugged, yet soft and supple to the touch. Pull-Up leathers require little maintenance since the original ruggedness only amplifies. Surface scratches are more pronounced but can be removed by rubbing them with your fingertips. The warmth of your hand releases the natural oils, blending away the marks.

Characteristics and Expectations:

  • Greatly desired patina comes from natural body oils.
  • Pronounced color variations throughout the hides and drastic dye lot variations from different production lots.
  • Fading can occur if exposed to strong sunlight or excessive heat.
  • Never use detergents, soaps or chemicals to clean the surface, as they will tend to remove the natural oils in the leather.


Nubuck Leather, Cleaning Code "N"

These leathers are also called chaps, distressed, bomber jacket or suede. Nubucks (N) are actually Aniline leathers on which the surface has been abraded or brushed. The overall effect is a texture similar to velvet, so people tend to confuse Nubuck leathers with suede. Suede is the flesh side of a piece of leather while Nubuck leathers have an effect done to the grain side, making it incredibly soft. The brushing also makes the leather even more absorbent than aniline leathers and may have a directional nap.

Technical Definition: Nubuck (N) is a pure aniline leather which has a slight nap effect produced by the removal of the epidermis or hair cell layer. Not to be confused with suedes, Nubucks are top grain leathers and are much more serviceable and durable than inferior suedes.

Consumer Definition: Nubuck (N) leathers make a fashion statement with their exotic textures and sensuous appearance. When used as an accent piece, this leather adds a creative touch and dazzles any room. The look and feel of Nubuck leather is sure to grab everyone's attention.

Characteristics and Expectations:

  • Drastic colorations will vary throughout the hide.
  • Healed scars and scratches are unique characteristics and will be incorporated into our designs.
  • A luxurious hand (feel) along with a slight nap is to be expected.
  • The open nap makes a nubuck susceptible to fading when exposed to sunlight or excessive heat sources.
  • Nubucks tend to grab soil and body oils so it is imperative that proper cleaning and maintenance kits are utilized.