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Glossary


Here are a few common terms associated with Leather:

Aniline Dyed
A process that uses transparent nontoxic dyes to color leather throughout.

Aniline Plus
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. Also know as Semi-Aniline.

Back
A side of leather hide with the belly cut off, usually 15 to 18 square feet.

Belly
The lower part of a side of leather, usually 4 to 8 square feet.

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

Crocking
Transferring of a color or finish from leather to other materials by rubbing or abrasion.
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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 the surface of the hide to create a motif or texture. A very even and uniform pattern is created, possibly to disguise natural defects or blemishes, or to create visually exciting designs.

Fat Liquoring
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 a part of the unique beauty. These are only visible in top grain leathers.

Finishing
Any processing performed after the initial dyeing such as: buffing, embossing, milling, spraying, waterproofing, or waxing.

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.
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Grain
The epidermis or outer layer of animal skins.

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.

Kip
The skin of a large calf usually 9 to 17 square feet.

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

Nubuck
A top grain aniline 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 Nubuck; 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 colour 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.
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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.

Thickness
Also known s Weight. Leather is usually measured in terms of ounces. One ounce equals 1/64th of an inch thickness. Thus, a weight of 7 to 8 oz. means the leather is 7/64th to 8/64th of an inch thickness. In an effort to make leather a uniform thickness, wet hides are run through a splitting machine. However, each animal is different and there is always a slight thickness variation throughout the hide. This is why leathers are usually shown with a range of thickness, such as, 4 to 5 oz., 6 to 7 oz., etc.

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.

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