How To Choose A Leather Finish
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Finished leathers are aniline, semi-aniline, or pigmented. Each offers similar but different properties. Choosing a good fit will depend on preference and application.

The three different ways leather is finished 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 that is 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 a 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 is soaked through with non-toxic soluble dyes that tend to be clear or translucent, without pigmentation, which allows the natural color and texture to show through, blemishes and all, it does not have any additional protective coating. Although aniline leather is 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 additional light top coat while giving extra preservation also adds to the color uniformity with 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 nontransparent coloring to cover hide blemishes and create special colors. The exterior is coated with a polymer which contains additional pigmentation that 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, to be more easily controlled by the manufacturer.

Any of these three finishes, aniline, semi-aniline, or pigmented, can be utilized for clothing, bags, luggage, upholstery, wallets, belts, jewelry, hair accessories, phone cases, or pretty much anything imaginable since leather of any finish is will make a statement. When considering the use of leather for any application you can not go wrong, the beauty, texture, colors, and strength of the leather material is unsurpassed. The only real decision is how much use the item will need to handle to determine which finish will work best.


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