The three different types of leather finishes are aniline, semi-aniline, and pigmented or corrected. These finishes do not change the grain or grade of leather simply add to the properties of the leather material. Naturally the choice of finish will depend on the preference or style and application of the material. Aniline is a colorless oily liquid obtained from coal-tar and used mainly in dyes. It is also a term used in the leather industry for clear or transparent dyes used to bring back the natural color of the hide. Since leather overall is elegant and strong, the properties attributed to each finish would be the real choice.
Aniline or full aniline is the most natural of leather finishes. The leather will be soaked through with non-toxic soluble dyes that are clear or translucent, without pigmentation, which allows the natural color and texture to show through, blemishes and all, it does not have any protective coating. Although aniline leather, considered the most luxurious and pure of finishes, it is also more susceptible to dirt and fading.
Semi-aniline leather also called aniline-plus or protected aniline, processing begins the same as full aniline but adds a protective coating. This added light top coat while giving extra preservation also adds to the color uniformity by adding additional pigmentation. This second type of finish, semi-aniline leather, while giving a natural appearance and soft texture offers more durability and fade-resistant color for a more practical application.
Lastly, a pigmented leather finish, also known as corrected leather is the hardest wearing and color fast of the three. This pigmented leather is finished with a solid coloring to cover hide blemishes and create special colors. The exterior leather coated with a polymer, which contains the additional pigmentation, bonds to the leather giving it the durability fade resistance, and soil resistance that are necessary for its application. This extra surface layer allows the properties of the leather, color consistency or stain resistance, more easily controlled by the manufacturer.
These three finishes, aniline, semi-aniline, or pigmented utilized for clothing, bags, luggage, upholstery, wallets, belts, jewelry, hair accessories, phone cases, or numerous other items are the basis for all our choices. The overall durability and stain resistance of the finished leather will be the main concern when choosing the right finished leather. When considering the use of leather for any application you cannot go wrong with the unsurpassed beauty, texture, colors, and strength of the leather material.