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Upholstery Leather Offered by Classic Leather
All of the leathers we offer are top-grain. During the tanning process each hide is separated into sections. The top section (the top-grain) is the most valuable part of the hide, with exceptional strength and durability. The sections underneath are not suitable for leather upholstery and often referred to as “splits”, meaning they are split from the top-grain section. Classic Leather never uses splits on any part of their upholstery furniture.

After the tanning process the hides are separated into different categories based upon the amount of abrasions, scars, brands and other natural markings. The best hides are used to produce full aniline leather, which on average is only about 3%. Hides with minor imperfections are used to produce semi-aniline leather. The majority of the hides are used to produce corrected grain leather, which is the most prominent type of leather in today’s market place.

Full Aniline Leather (Natural)
This leather gets its name from the aniline dyes that are used to produce it. Hides are soaked or tumbled with aniline dyes in large rotating stainless steel drums. The translucent dyes permeate the leather giving it color without covering up any natural markings or grain pattern. The process is much like applying a stain to a wooden surface. Hides dyed in this manor vary in intensity of color due to the amount of dye that is absorbed by each hide. In the final milling process, the dyed hides are tumbled in large rotating drums to soften the hand or feel of the leather. Heat may also be added during the milling process to enhance the grain. The result of this tanning process is exceptionally soft leather in its most natural state. Color pigments or protective top coats are never added to full aniline leather.

Due to the lack of these additional steps, the aging characteristics of full anilines are different than other types of leathers. They will absorb moisture, oils and other spills that over time will produce a rich patina, much like a well-worn bomber jacket. Sunlight will readily fade full aniline leather therefore exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided. Due to the natural characteristics of these leathers, Classic Leather cannot assume responsibility for their long term wearing qualities. *See our Natural Leather Policy.

Semi-Aniline Leather (Protected)
The tanning process of semi-aniline and full aniline leathers begins in the same way. Semi-Anilines however, have the addition of color pigments applied to the surface followed by a clear finish. Therefore, these leathers are called semi-aniline.

After dying and milling, a pigment coat is sprayed or rolled onto the hide surface. The coating is very light and is generally just enough to produce a uniform surface color. The added color pigment helps to control shade variations from hide to hide and provides a greater degree of protection from fading. Finally, a top coat of synthetic, transparent resin is applied as a protective coating in either a high gloss or matte finish.

Corrected Grain Leather (Protected) This is the most prominent type of leather in today's marketplace. There are distinct differences that separate corrected grains from full anilines and semi-anilines. Full anilines and semi-aniline leathers are full grain, meaning that no alterations have been made to the surface of the leather. Corrected Grains, as their name implies, have been altered. These hides are slightly corrected or buffed and lightly embossed giving the surface a uniform grain. They are then aniline dyed and color pigments are applied followed by a top
coat or finish.

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