Leather in its purest form is called aniline leather. Aniline leather is made from the best quality hides. It is a full grain leather that has been dyed, but has no pigmented or topcoat applied. It has not been sanded or buffed to remove imperfections or natural markings. The skin surface of the leather is kept intact, making the leather strong and durable. Each piece of aniline leather has its own characteristic features. Even the highest quality leather has natural marks, such as scars, veins, insect bites and wrinkles. Aniline leather is coloured with transparent aniline dyes, not pigments, so these natural markings are visible. Variations in colour, surface marks and the density of the grain make each piece of aniline leather as unique as a human finger print.
Aniline leather has a luxurious look and a soft, natural feel, however, because it has no protective topcoat, it is more susceptible to staining and wear than pigmented leather. Aniline leather is a durable material, but it does need a little more care to keep it at its best. It is best suited to those willing to put in a little more effort for a little more luxury. If you love the natural look and feel of aniline leather, but would like something with a little more inbuilt protection, then consider semi-aniline, wax pull-up or oil pull-up leather. How do I care for aniline leather?
Semi-aniline leathers offer the best of both worlds. Semi-aniline leather is similar to aniline leather, but it has a thin layer of pigment applied to give the leather a more even colour. Some semi-aniline leathers also have a light topcoat applied to provide additional protection. Semi aniline leather has similar characteristics to aniline leather, such as an authentic grain and visible markings. It has a softer hand and more natural feel than pigmented leather. Semi-aniline leather does have a slightly less natural look and feel than aniline leather, however it is less susceptible to fading, and a little easier to maintain. Semi-aniline leather should be maintained in the same way as aniline leather, though it will require less frequent cleaning and will be less susceptible to staining. When selecting care products, choose those that are suitable for aniline leather.
Pull-up leathers are aniline leathers that have been treated with an oil or wax finish. Their properties are similar to aniline leather: they are made from high quality hides, and their natural markings are visible. The pull-up treatment significantly changes to look and feel of the leather, the leather will have a slight waxy or oily feel and a unique pull-up look. It also provides added protection, making pull-up leathers more robust and easier to maintain than pure aniline leather. If you are thinking about purchasing furniture upholstered in a pull-up leather, please be aware that pull-up leathers are designed to develop a distressed look. They naturally develop rub marks, scuff marks and variations in colour with use. The wax or oil finish will also need to be occasionally revitalised. More info...