Pigmented Leather

Pigmented Leather

Pigmented leather is durable, low maintenance and available in a wide variety of colours and styles. These features make it a popular choice for furniture upholstery. In fact, most leather furniture is upholstered with pigmented leather. Pigmented leather gets its name from the layer of coloured pigment that is applied to the surface of the leather. This layer of coloured pigment gives the leather a vibrant, uniform appearance. A protective topcoat is applied over the pigment, for this reason pigmented leather is sometimes called protected leather. The protective topcoat is a little like a layer of varnish on timber, only it is softer, more flexible and more breathable. It is this protective topcoat that makes pigmented leather the most robust and the most practical upholstery leather.

Pigmented leather is the perfect choice for people who expect the most out of life and demand quality and high performance from their furniture. Pigmented leather is durability, stain resistant and easy to maintain, making it the best option for people with families or pets, or who entertain regularly. How do I care for pigmented leather?


  • Vibrant, uniform colour. Pigmented leather has an even, consistent colour that is resistant to fading.
  • Low maintenance. The protective topcoat makes pigmented leather more durable and much easier to clean and maintain than other types of upholstery.
  • Stain resistant. Pigmented leather can stain, but its protective topcoat makes it much more resistant to staining than unfinished leathers, such as aniline or nubuck.
  • Value for money. Pigmented leather is less expensive than aniline or nubuck leather.
  • Repairable. Minor damage – scuffs, scratches and cuts – can usually be easily repaired, and, because the repair can be covered with a layer of leather pigment, there usually isn’t a visible scar.
  • Less luxurious. Because of the layers of pigment and topcoat, pigmented leather looks and feels less natural than aniline or nubuck.
  • A little less comfortable. The pigments and topcoats applied to pigmented are designed to have maximum breathability, however pigmented leathers are not as breathable as unfinished leathers.

Useful Terms

Full Grain Leather: Full grain leather is high quality leather with a natural grain. Full grain leather has been tanned and dyed but has not been modified in any other way. It has not been sanded or buffed to remove imperfections or natural markings. The skin surface of the leather is kept intact, providing added strength and durability. Each piece of full grain leather has its own characteristic features, even the highest quality leather has natural marks, such as scars, veins, insect bites and wrinkles. These surface features add to the character of the leather, and allow you to distinguish full grain leather from lesser quality leathers. Variations in colour, surface marks and the density of the grain make each piece of full grain leather as unique as a human finger print. Full grain leather is usually used to make aniline or semi-aniline leather, though it is occasionally used to make very high quality pigmented leather.

Top Grain Leather: Top Grain Leather is leather that has been modified to correct unsightly imperfections, such as scars or discolouration, on the surface of the leather. In most cases the leather is buffed or sanded to remove the imperfections, then embossed with an artificial grain pattern. It is for this reason, top grain leather is sometimes referred to as corrected grain leather. Top grain leather is usually used to make pigmented leather. Top grain pigmented leather is a strong, durable upholstery material with a vibrant, even colour, no surface marks and a uniform grain pattern.

Split Leather: Split leather is made from the "split" section of a hide. In their natural state, hides are too thick to be made into furniture leather, so they are split into two or more layers to give top grain leather (the skin or grain side) and split leather (the inside pieces of leather). Split leather is often used to make suede. Split leather can also be embossed with an artificial grain pattern and used to make inexpensive pigmented leather. Split leather is not as strong or as durable as full or top grain leather. It can also be difficult to repair.

Bonded Leather: Bonded leather is a low cost leather alternative. Bonded leather is made by bonding thin pieces of split leather together using latex binding agents. Bonded leather is designed to mimic the look and feel of genuine leather, but it is not as strong or as durable. It is not usually possible to repair bonded leather.

Bycast: Bycast is essentially a synthetic product. It consists of a thick polyurethane topcoat applied to a low-grade or reconstituted leather base. The thick polyurethane topcoat makes bycast leather stiff and gives it high a gloss sheen. Bycast leathers are generally much less expensive then genuine leather products, but their quality is highly variable. It is not usually possible to repair bycast.

Contact Us

Customer Service
Australia: 1300 885 010
New Zealand: 0800 888 789

Phone: +612 8536 9000
Fax: +612 8536 9001