Leathercraft and Cates Cove Collection

Leather Terms

Understanding the Leathercraft process.

Leather Terms

aniline (an-a-lin) dyed:
the process of coloring leathers throughout with transparent dyes.
antiqued:
the light application of one color over another, (usually a darker color over a lighter color) to create highlights.
corrected grain leather:
leather whose natural surface texture has been altered.
drum-dyed:
a dyeing process in which leather is immersed in dye and tumbled in a rotating drum, allowing maximum dye penetration.
dyeing:
the application of color, either by spraying, hand-rubbing or immersion.
embossing:
a process in which design is added to leathers surface by pressure to alter or enhance the surface, resulting in uniform imitation grain or unique patterns.
finishing:
any post tanning treatment, such as: dyeing, rolling, pressing, spraying, lacquering, antiquing, waxing, buffing, embossing, glazing, waterproofing or flameproofing.
full grain:
a term which indicates that leather possesses its original, natural grain; leather which has not been altered.
grain:
the distinctive pore and wrinkle pattern of a hide; may be either natural or embossed.
hand:
a term used to describe the softness or feel of a leather.
hides:
skins of animals, usually cattle, sheep or water buffalo.
leather:
a generic term for all hides and skins which have been tanned and finished.
patina (pa-tee-na):
a lustre that develops with time and use.
premium select:
a term describing hides with very few scars or blemishes, usually less than 5% of all hides.
sanding:
refers to the removal of grain, scars and blemishes from a hide's surface.
semi-aniline (an-a-lin):
leathers which have been aniline dyed then top coated with matching pigments to even out the color (also called "aniline plus").
splits:
underlying layers of leather, usually used for suedes, not top grain.
splitting:
cutting a hide into two or more layers.
tanning:
treating raw hides to reduce their perishability.
top grain:
the top surface of the hide.
tumbling:
a process in which hides are tumbled in a rotating drum to soften the hand or enhance the grain.