Leather Glossary

There are quite a few different terms that are commonly used to describe different aspects of leather.  Below are some of the most common to expand your leather knowledge!

Aniline: Type of leather that has been dyed with soluble dyes that have little or no pigmentation. The result still shows the natural markings of the hide’s surface such as scars and pores.

Combination Tan: Leather that has been tanned with two different types of tanning materials.

Corrected Grain: Top grain that has been buffed to clean up defects and then finished with a pigment.

Embossing: Leather that has been stamped or embossed often with an imitation animal print.

Full Grain: Leather thats original grain surface has been unaltered. It is the most genuine type of leather. It can also be referred to as Top Grain.

Milling: A natural softening process in which the leather is tumbled up in a drum using a combination of heat and misting of water. Also referred to as tumbled. Dry milling refers to tumbling in a drum with leather and only leather, no heat, oils or waxes added.

Nubuck: Nubuck is top-grain leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side that produces a velvet-like surface.

Pull-Up: Leather that has been treated with waxes and oils, and when it is pulled or stretched it becomes lighter in said area due to the dissipation of the oils and waxes.

Retanning: Leather that has undergone a second round of tannage typically with the same or similar tanning materials, most commonly chrome tanning retanned with vegetable (tree bark extracts) and made into latigo.

Semi-Aniline: Leather that has been aniline dyed, then slightly pigmented to add color. This type of leather has color consistency and is stain and spill resistant.

Temper: Refers to the rigidity of the leather and can range from very soft to very firm. For example, soft temper leather would be used for garments where firm tempered leather would be used for belts.

Weight: Refers to the thickness of the leather. Usually given in ounces or millimeters. One ounce is equal to 1/64 inch.