Types of Leather Explained

Types of Leather Explained

June 1, 2021

There are several different types of leather available in Baton Rouge, LA, used in everything from horse saddles to high quality leather accessories. On top of that, you can also choose from different types of leather finishes. If your exposure to leather has been limited to stopping by a store and picking out pre-made objects, you’re missing out. When you choose custom leather products, you’ll also get to pick the type of leather and finish you want—here’s an overview of what you might choose from.

Types of leather

There are five main types of leather, which refer to how much volume there is, and the layers of the original hide still present in the final product. These categories are broad—the quality and durability of leathers depend on the animal, how they were fed, how the leather was processed and other external factors:

  • Full grain: Only the hair is removed from this type of leather—it’s not sanded or buffed to remove imperfections. It’s strong and durable, with densely packed fibers.
  • Top grain: This is similar to full grain, but the top layer has been sanded or buffed to remove imperfections. This makes it more pliable, and it will absorb dye better. This is often used for high-end leather accessories.
  • Genuine (corrected) leather: This leather can come from any layer of the hide. It’s “corrected” by sanding or buffing to remove imperfections, then dyed, painted or otherwise finished.
  • Split grain: Split grain comes from the lower levels of the top grain area of the hide. It’s not quite as valuable or high quality, which is why it’s often dyed or embossed for aesthetic purposes.
  • Bonded (reconstituted) leather: This type of leather is made from scraps, which are bonded together to create a leather material. It’s the least expensive and lowest quality of the five types.

Types of leather finishes

There are many types of leather finishes available. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Aniline: This leather is dyed using a soluble dye, which allows the natural surface of the leather to show through.
  • Semi-aniline: Like aniline leather, the leather is dyed to let the natural imperfections show, but it’s much less pigmented than aniline leather.
  • Antique grain: This leather is artificially aged to create an old, worn look.
  • Brush colored: Pigments are applied to leather with a brush, which can create unique patterns and gradients.
  • Degrained: This has the grain layer removed, to create a smooth and consistent surface.
  • Double face: This type of leather has two finished sides, such as skin and wool.
  • Embossed: This finish has raised patterns, which are often stamped or pounded into the skin’s surface.
  • Metallic: This type of leather has had a metallic layer applied to the surface to create a shiny, metal-like finish.

Whatever types of leather finishes you’re looking for in Baton Rouge, LA, the team at Acadian Leather can help. Reach out to us today to learn more about our selection and to design your own piece. We look forward to working with you!

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