5 Types of Leather

Caring & Maintaining Different Types of Leather

Leather must be maintained if you want it to keep looking good and last a long time. The tanning liquors which lubricate and preserve the hide dry out over time and cause premature fading and cracking. Think how much our skin dries out and we have blood vessels and nutrients flowing through it. Hides no longer have these nutrients flowing through them and need them replenished as often as is practical. A yearly maintenance cleaning is ideal, where it is lightly cleaned to remove contamination and conditioned with the essential oils and tanning liquors.

Only “Top Grain” leather should be used for furniture, Split (Suede), Bi-Cast and Bonded leather are inferior and will not hold up to normal use.

There Are 5 Major Types of Leather

leather couch
  • Pigmented (Corrected) has the surface subjected to finishing treatments to create a uniform appearance. This involves sanding, buffing, and dying and embossing a grain pattern into it. This is the easiest leather to care for with the appropriate product, most stains and soil cleanup easily. Since it has top coats it does not breathe and is non-absorbent so it can be less comfortable to sit on.
  • Semi-Aniline has been processed as Aniline but has some surface corrections and light topcoats. This is good leather for practicality and comfort because it is semi-absorbent.
  • Aniline the surface has not been filled or altered and the leather is dyed with Aniline dyes that penetrate completely into the structure. You will see natural markings and color imperfections. It is more comfortable to sit on because it can breathe and is absorbent, but it stains and soils easily. Hair and hand oil stains are difficult if not impossible to remove. It can also fade excessively but preventative conditioning will dramatically help. We can add some aniline dye to certain aniline leathers which can make a dramatic improvement.
  • Nu Buck is aniline leather that has been lightly buffed which raises the grain making it extremely soft and even more absorbent. It is difficult and time-consuming to clean but when done properly with the right product it can be very dramatic, some of the faded colors usually come back to the surface.
  • Suede (Top Grain) the hide is used upside down and the soft suede side is what you use and sit on. It is also absorbent but is easier to clean and care for than most of the other types.

Professional Leather Cleaning & Care

If you live in the metro Detroit area, Chet’s Cleaning can help you clean and maintain all types of leather furniture or upholstery. Contact us today for a free consultation!