ANTIQUE DISTRESSED GRAIN -
Antique distressed leather, or leather grain, is any type of leather, which has been treated to age the appearance of the material to give it an antique or vintage look. This weathered look is often found to be appealing to some customers instead of the leather looking shiny and brand new.
BASEBALL LEATHER -
This is the leather that covers the outside of a baseball – according to the Official Baseball Rules, “two strips of white horsehide or cowhide, tightly stitched together”.
BELLY GRAIN -
Belly grain refers to leather split from the part of the hide that covers the underside of the animal.
BELTING LEATHER –
Generally a heavy weight, full–grain leather, which was originally manufactured to create pulley belts during the industrial revolution. The unique tanning process makes belting leather one of the strongest and stiffest leathers around.
BLUE SPLIT -
Blue split comes from the hide that has been split into several layers and treated with chromium during the tanning process, which gives it a bluish colour.
BOARDY LEATHER –
Boardy is a term used to describe leather, which is stiff or not pliable.
Bonded leather, otherwise known as reconstituted leather, is made from leather fibres/scraps that have been glued together to create a leather sheet.
BRUSHED GRAIN/BRUSHED LEATHER -
Two different ways to describe a leather/grain that has been gently brushed to create a soft nap or fuzzy texture when making suede or nubuck leather
BUFFED LEATHER/ BUFFED GRAIN -
Leather that has been abraded; it is the process of buffing/sanding down the top grain to smooth off imperfections.
The process of removing/sanding the top grain layer via an abrasive or bladed cylinder often carried out by a machine.
BYCAST LEATHER –
“Bycast” or “Bi-cast” leather is made with split leather backing and a surface layer of polyurethane (PU), which is then embossed.
CALFSKIN LEATHER –
Taken from the skin of calves, calfskin leather has a fine grain and smooth surface; the leather is also generally more lightweight and thinner than cow's hide.
CASE LEATHERING –
A general term used to describe the leather used in travel bags and suitcases.
CATTLE HIDE –
A hide is animal skin which is treated for human use, for example, to make leather. Cattle hide is the skin that comes from cattle/cows.
CENTRE CUT SUEDE –
A suede split, which is trimmed and bent around the edges, leaving the best and most usable part, or the centre of the hide.
CHAMOIS LEATHER –
Made from sheep hides or lambskin, chamois leather is usually tanned with oils and is very soft and flexible.
CHROME TANNAGE/ CHROME TANNED -
Leather that has been tanned using chromium salts and/or chromium sulphates to make the leather soft and supple and also to prevent discolouration.
COMBINATION TANNAGE/ COMBINATION TANNED –
Used to describe leathers that have had more than one tanning agent to treat them, for example, chromium and vegetable.
Leather made from the tight, firm shell portion of horse butts. It has very fine pores, it’s durable, and has a characteristic finish.
CORRECTED GRAIN LEATHER –
Corrected grain refers to the hide having its top grain layer sanded down to minimise flaws. It is then pigmented and embossed with an artificial grain and sprayed with a sealer topcoat.
CROCK (noun) –
The colouring matter that rubs off poorly dyed leather.
CROCK (verb) –
The rubbing off of colour on poorly dyed leather
Leather, suede or fabric that has been treated so that colour or dye doesn’t rub off. Regarding suede, this term describes treatment to prevent shredding or the rubbing off of fibres.
Leather that has been tanned but hasn’t been finished; such leathers are described as being “in the crust”.
DEGRAINED LEATHER -
Leather that has had its grain removed after tanning (via sanding, splitting, abrasion, etc.) is known as ‘degrained leather’.
DOUBLE BUTT SUEDE –
Often used as another way of saying centre cut suede.
DRAWN GRAIN –
Describes the shrunken or shrivelled surface condition of leather due to the poor or improper handling of hides during the tanning process.
DRUM DYEING –
Hides are placed into a large drum with dyes and then tumbled. This allows for full dye penetration into the leather fibres.
EMBOSSED LEATHER –
A term usually used in regards to corrected grain, it is a pattern or artificial grain to mimic the characteristics of full grain leather or another kind of layer, e.g. alligator skin.
EMBOSSED (FANCY) –
A fancy or geometric pattern that is pressed into the leather
FAT WRINKLE –
Marks or wrinkles that form in the grain due to fat deposits in the animal’s skin; they are sought after because they are not visible in imitation or corrected grain leather.
The surface or coating applied on the leather to colour, protect or mask imperfections. This is a general term for all processes that happen after the leather has been tanned.
FULL HAND -
Also referred to as “round hand”, full hand describes leather that is full-bodied, for example, some combination tanned leathers.
GLAZED FINISH -
The leather surface is polished to a high lustre using glass on steel rollers under lots of pressure – similar to an aniline finish.
GLOVE LEATHER -
Soft leather, usually lambskin, which is used to make leather gloves
The grain, in terms of leather, is the outside or the skin/hide that has the pores, wrinkles, marks, etc. These make up the organic texture of the leather.
GRAIN CHARACTER –
The character of the grain is the markings and natural texture on the surface of the leather.
GRAIN SPLIT –
The outer layer of the hide that has been split into multiple layers
GRAIN SUEDED –
Also known as “snuffing”, this is the process of abrading the grain side of the hide to achieve a buffed or suede texture.
GRAIN, EMBOSSED –
Grain, or leather, which has been embossed with a pattern or artificial grain
GRAINED LEATHER –
Leather that has had its natural grain altered or changed in the process of making it e.g. Corrected or Top Grain
A term used to describe the texture/feel of leather e.g. softness or fullness.
HAND ANTIQUED –
Also known as “hand rubbing”, this is the process in which craftsmen rub a contrasting colour on the surface of the leather, to emphasise the original grain or embossing, by hand
HEAVY LEATHER -
A broad term used to describe leather made from unsplit cattle hides; this includes belting and mechanical leathers.
A young female bovine that has not birthed a calf
IMITATION LEATHER –
Also known as “Fake”, “Faux”, "Vegan" or “Synthetic” leather, imitation leather is a material that may look or feel like leather but isn’t – it is a false copy made to look like the real deal.
A material made from the skins/hides of animals, most commonly cattle.
Leatherette is another term used to describe man-made or imitation leather.
A word used to describe the feeling of leather or something that feels like leather.
This is the process in which hides are soaked in an alkaline solution to remove interfibrillar proteins.
MATTE/MATT FINISH –
A matte finish has a flat or dull appearance as opposed to a surface that is shiny or glossy.
The process in which tanned hides are tumbled in large, rotating drums to soften the leather or enhance the grain using heat & misting water.
MINERAL TANNED –
When mineral salts such as aluminium, chromium or zirconium are used in the tanning process of hides.
(1) Vegetable tanned goatskin that has a naturally developed grain character. The most common & most characteristic grain is hard grain.
(2) Goatskin that has been vegetable tanned and hand boarded in a damp condition – it should be limited to goatskin tanned with sumac.
NAKED LEATHER -
Leather that has not been given a treatment or finish, which may change the natural state and appearance of the leather, other than dye
Made from unsplit sheepskin, lambskin or kidskin, Nappa leather is soft full grain clothing or gloving leather. It’s most often tanned with aluminium and chromium salts and dyed throughout.
NATURAL GRAIN –
The original grain on the surface that has been kept on the leather
NUBUCK LEATHER -
Similar to suede but of a higher quality; it is buffed or brushed on the grain side to create a velvety, napped surface.
OAK TANNED –
Leather was originally tanned almost entirely with oak bark, the term was later used to also describe tanning with a blend containing oak tannin.
OIL TANNED –
Certain fish oils may be used to tan the leather, resulting in very soft, pliable leather, like chamois.
PATENT LEATHER –
Leather that has been given a really glossy finish to give it a shiny, lustrous surface
A patina is the sheen and change in colour that forms after time and use of a leather product. It is known to be a hallmark of quality leather and is highly sought after because it adds character to the product.
PEARLIZED LEATHER –
Leather which has a sheen or pearl-like lustre, also known as “pearlescent leather”
This is the process of die cutting small holes to create a pattern; the holes and patterns can vary in size and density.
Pigmented leather is finished with a solid pigment to maintain consistency in colour and texture. Adding pigment can be used to add protection to the leather and also to hide imperfections.
PLATING/ PLATED LEATHER –
The process of using a hot metal plate to press leather under high pressure, this is another way imperfections can be covered
PRINTED LEATHER –
Leather which has been given a pattern on its surface, often done by embossing but can also be done through other methods such as silk screen printing
PRODUCTION RUN –
Production run leather is cheaper, ungraded leather which is sold to manufacturers to use in upholstery.
PROTECTED LEATHER –
Leather that has been treated with special chemicals to render it less liable to damage and/or deterioration via exposure to polluted atmospheres.
A term used to describe the behaviour of leather that has been treated with oils, waxes and dyes to the point that when it is stretched, the finish becomes lighter in those stretched areas. This is considered a mark of good quality.
PURE ANILINE –
Also known as “full aniline”, “naked aniline” or “naked leather”, pure aniline leather is aniline dyed and receives no additional colouring or treatment.
Raw hides are only treated to preserve them, or stop them from decomposing, before tanning.
RECONSTITUTED LEATHER –
Also known as “bonded leather”, reconstituted leather is made from scrap leather or leather fibres that are glued together with polyurethane.
A secondary or additional tannage that is applied after the first tanning process using similar or other tanning materials
ROUND HAND –
Another way to describe “full hand” leather, round hand leather is leather that is full bodied e.g. some combination tanned leathers.
SADDLE LEATHER –
Leather used to make saddles and harnesses made from vegetable tanned cattle hide, usually a natural tan colour and fairly flexible
Used to describe leather that has been aniline dyed and then slightly pigmented. This type of leather has colour consistency as well as stain and spill resistance.
Shearling is a hide from a recently sheared sheep or lamb, which is tanned with the wool intact.
SHOULDER LEATHER –
Leather taken from the shoulder area of the cow, this is a softer area of the hide and is often used in the manufacture of bags.
SHRUNKEN GRAIN LEATHER –
Leather, which has been specifically tanned in order to shrink the grain layer and give the grain surface uneven folds; it is another way to say “drawn grain”.
SIDE LEATHER –
This is a piece of grain leather which has been cut in half, in order to form the two sides, to accommodate tanning equipment more efficiently.
A term used to describe splitting or slicing the leather into a thin layer – commonly done with goatskin or calfskin.
SNUFFED LEATHER –
Usually done through the process of abrasion, if leather is snuffed it means that it has had its top surface removed.
SPLIT LEATHER (SPLIT) –
A split is a single layer that has been separated from the whole hide. For example, the grain split, used to make full grain and top grain leather, comes from the outer split or the outer layer of the hide. The inner split is trimmed and finished as suede or genuine leather.
Cutting leather into multiple layers or into side leather prior the tanning process
The size of a hide is known as the spread and is measured by a machine in square feet.
STEER HIDE –
Leather that has been made from the skin of steers, it has a tight grain structure.
STRAP LEATHER –
Used for industrial purposes, similar to belting leather, strap leather is heavyweight, thick and stiff due to its specific tanning process.
SUEDE/ SUEDE SPLIT –
Similar to nubuck in the sense that it has a nappy texture, suede is brushed to achieve a fuzzy surface. However, suede is of a lower quality to nubuck because it comes from the inside or flesh split of the hide.
The process of raising the fibres on the hide to create a velvety texture, this is also called the napping process.
TABLE DYEING –
Dyeing leather by laying out the material on a table and applying the dye with a brush – also known as “brush colouring”.
TABLE RUN –
Similar to “production run”, these leathers are not graded and are cheaply sold to manufacturers
Tannin is a general term for any products and solvents used in the tanning process.
The method of making putrescible, decomposable raw hides into leather
TOP COAT –
A clear, protective coating applied to the surface of the leather, which may give the leather a lustre or sheen
TOP GRAIN –
Top grain leather is made from the outer split of the hide but has had its surface layer buffed or sanded to reduce imperfections.
Removal of parts of the hide, which aren’t suitable for making leather, for example, the outer edges
UNFINISHED LEATHER –
Often used in reference to naked or aniline dyed leathers, which have been given no additional treatment or application to finish or colour the leather in a way that would alter the natural characteristics or appearance.
UPHOLSTERY LEATHER –
A broad term for leather that is processed for use in furniture, vehicles or aeroplanes
VAT DYEING –
Often confused with drum dyeing, vat dyeing is an older method of dying leather and is commonly carried out in a bucket or vat.
VEGETABLE LEATHER/VEGETABLE TANNING –
Converting rawhide into leather using vegetable-based tanning agents along with small amounts of other agents to assist the process. Vegetable tanning offers greater body and firmness than chromium tanning
The weight of the leather is measured in ounces per square foot.
WET BLUE LEATHER –
Leather that has been chrome tanned and given no further processing is left with a pale blue colour due to the chromium. Leather sold in this condition is known as “wet blue”.
The action of absorbing or dissipating moisture and heat through the fibre structure of the leather
The amount of usable leather produced from a hide.