Leather Furniture Types

Aniline:

Aniline leathers are top quality natural leathers in which the actual surface grain markings of the true leather (hide) are visible.  They have very little or no protective treatments applied.  Natural leathers can be classified as Natural, Pure and Unprotected.  These are usually colored with a transparent leather dye.  A variety of clear finishes such as oil, wax, nitrocellulose and urethane  protected coatings, which do not inhibit the softness or breathing of the leather, are applied to the surface.  These finishes allow the natural leather markings to show through the finish.  Aniline leathers require different cleaning procedures than protected eater due to its porous nature.  Aniline leather is prone to sun fading.  Identifying characteristics are following:  Very easy to scratch; water drops will darken the color and then dry back to the natural color.

Pigmented/Protected/Top Coated/Painted Leather:

This is the most common leather type used in furniture.  This leather has a uniform appearance and color.  The leather has an intense color and a definite pattern (grain).  Because a pigmented leather paint coat is applied to the surface, you cannot see any natural leather markings through the top coatings.  This type of leather is sealed with a durable finish and properly maintained will pride years of service.  Identifying characteristics:  uniform color and grain patterns; will not scratch easily; water drops will not change color.

NuBuck:

NuBuck are natural Aniline leathers that have been surface brushed or buffed on the "grain" side of the leather creating a nap and leaving a texture similar to velvet (softens of all leathers to the touch).  Usually, NuBuck has a natural finish, but may have a lither protective coat and a transparent leather dye for color.  This process increases the leather's surface exposure making it extremely absorbent to body oils and soil, and difficult to clean effectively.  Identifying characteristics:  very soft to the touch; will scratch or scuff very easily; water drops will darken the leather but it return to its original color after drying.

Before and after of leather recoloring.

Before and after of leather repair.