What is Top Grain Leather?
What is Pigmented Leather?
What is Non-Pigmented Leather?
What is Pure Aniline Leather?
What is Protected Aniline Leather?
What is Semi-Aniline Leather?
What is Nubuk Leather?
What is distressed leather?
What is antiqued leather?
What is embossed leather?
Has the leather been dyed all the way through? Is the leather drum dyed?
How much leather do I need to cover my chair, sofa, car seat…?
May I buy less than a full hide of leather?
How do I care for leather and how do I clean leather?
A) How to care for and clean Pigmented Leathers.
B) How to care for and clean Non-Pigmented Leathers.
C) How to care for and clean Nubuk Leathers.


What is Top Grain Leather?
Top grain leather is leather from the uppermost layer of a hide. It is the highest quality part of the hide.

What is Pigmented Leather?
Pigmented Leather is any top grain leather to which a clear topcoat and pigments have been applied. The pigments are what usually give the shiny even top color to the leather. The leather may or may not be aniline dyed. Sometimes the pigments (color) are applied to a base crust of a different color and in this case the leather in not dyed all the way through. If the pigments are applied to a hide that has been aniline dyed and matched for color then this leather is called a Protected Aniline Leather. Leather is usually pigmented to give it durability and hide its natural blemishes. Pigmented leathers are easy to maintain and have maximum resistance to wear, soiling, and fading from light.

What is Non-Pigmented Leather?
Non-Pigmented leather is leather to which no pigments have been applied. These are usually hides of the very best quality and have been aniline dyed for color.

What is Pure Aniline Leather?
Pure Aniline is top grain leather that is dyed for color without any pigments applied. These hides will exhibit some natural characteristics such as healed scars, scratches, neck and belly wrinkles. Expect color variation from the swatch to the actual leather, due to the fact leather is a natural product and will absorb dye differently within the hide and from hide to hide. This leather will develop a rich patina over time and will fade with prolonged exposure to sunlight.

What is Protected Aniline Leather?
Protected aniline leather is a top grain leather that is dyed for color and then receives pigment to ensure color consistency. Without pigment a protected leather is not color consistent. The pigment also ensures fade resistance and helps the leather wear over time. A clear water based topcoat is applied for additional protection. The natural imperfections of the hide are also less noticeable. Hides average 50-55 square feet. Protected Aniline Leathers are easy to maintain and have maximum resistance to wear, soiling, and fading from light.

What is Semi-Aniline Leather?
Semi-Aniline leather is pure aniline leather that has a small amount of pigment or clear finish thus allowing the natural characteristics of the hide to still show through while offering some of the benefits of color consistency and increased wearability.

What is Nubuk Leather?
Nubuk is top grain leather that has been aniline dyed for color and then polished to create a nap. Since Nubuk leathers have no pigment applied these hides will exhibit color variation from hide to hide and dye lot to dye lot. Some natural markings are visible throughout these hides. Prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause these leathers to fade.

What is distressed leather?
Distressed Leather is aniline dyed leather with an artificially worn and aged appearance in which the natural characteristics of the hide such as healed scars, scratches, and wrinkles are considered a positive characteristic.

What is antiqued leather?
Antiqued Leather is leather that is dyed with one color over another to create highlights and an aged appearance.

What is embossed leather?
Embossed leather is leather that has been stamped using heat and high pressure to create a pattern or design in the hide. The variety is tremendous ranging from alligator, crocodile, ostrich, flowers, geometric and Indian designs, to name just a few.

Has the leather been dyed all the way through? Is the leather drum dyed?
Aniline dyed leather is soaked in a large drum to allow the dye to penetrate all the way through the hide. This is where these terms originate. All aniline dyed leathers are drum dyed all the way through so that is if the top should scratch the layer underneath will be the same color.

How much leather do I need to cover my chair, sofa, car seat…?
Most upholstery leather comes from a cowhide that is shaped irregularly and not all of it is suitable for use. The hide is approximately 7 feet x 7 feet.

If you are experienced in working with fabric you can refer to the chart below for the proper conversion for different widths of fabric (18 square feet leather = 1 yard of 54 inch fabric). This takes into account any waste you will have due to the irregular shape of the leather. If you need very large cuttings you may need additional hides.

Each yard of 54" fabric requires 18 square feet of leather.
Each yard of 50" fabric requires 16 square feet of leather.
Each yard of 36" fabric requires 12 square feet of leather.

If you are not experienced at using different fabrics you can calculate how much leather you will need in the following way. Calculate the number of square feet you want to cover. By the time you are done cutting the hide roughly 20-25% will not be useable. You must take this into account when ordering the leather, so you need to add 25% to the number of square feet you originally calculated. An easy way to do that is to calculate the number of square feet you want to cover and multiply that number by 1.25. That is approximately how many square feet of leather you will need to order. This is not an exact science.

(Number of Square feet you want to cover) x (1.25) = (Approximate amount of leather you need to order)

Each cowhide is a different size and it is rarely possible for us to ship you exactly the number of square feet you request. We will come as close as possible. Often you must choose if you want us to go a little over or a little under the footage you had originally requested.

May I buy less than a full hide of leather?
Leather must normally be purchased one hide at a time.
The average hide is approximately 7 feet by 7 feet.

In some cases,
for some types of leather,
for an additional charge,
we will make exceptions and sell less than a full hide of leather.

How do I care for leather and how do I clean leather?
How to care for leather and how to clean leather depends entirely upon what type of leather you have. And remember, cleaning leather is an imperfect art at best. We can break this down into three categories. If you are uncertain about something don’t hesitate to ask us!

A) How to care for and clean Pigmented Leathers.
B) How to care for and clean Non-Pigmented Leathers.
C) How to care for and clean Nubuk Leathers.

A) How to care for and clean Pigmented Leathers (including Protected Aniline Leathers).
Pigmented leather is the easiest to care for and to clean. In general it can be identified by its shiny and glossy surface, however there are exceptions so be careful. It requires very little care. Use lukewarm water and mild soap, but nothing abrasive. Work up some suds and go over the surface with a soft cloth. Rinse off any soap film with clean water and toweling. It may dry dull, but normal gloss can be restored by rubbing with clean toweling.
Never use saddle soap, furniture polish, oil, varnish, ammonia, or cleaning solvents.
If you get ink or lipstick on your pigmented leather there are special products that can help remove these marks. For additional care and protection consider one of our Professional Cleaning Products.

Professional Cleaning Products: Tender Leather Care Cleaning Kits

B) How to care for and clean Non-Pigmented Leathers (including Pure Aniline, Semi-Aniline Leathers).
Non-Pigmented Leathers are more difficult to care for and to clean. It is important to note that a Semi-Aniline Leather falls into this category even though it has a small amount of pigment in it. In general non-pigmented leather can be identified by the lack of a shiny and glossy surface, however this is not a foolproof method of identification. This type or leather tends to absorb oils and stains and develops a patina over time as the leather ages. If you get any type of food on it, get it off as best you can with a dry cloth, without wiping it into the leather, and then leave it alone! The spot should dissipate into the leather in a short time. Do not try to clean with water. Never use saddle soap, furniture polish, oil, varnish, ammonia, or cleaning solvents. For additional care at the time of purchase, and we do recommend this, especially for non-pigmented leathers, consider one of our Professional Cleaning Products.

Professional Cleaning Products: Tender Leather Care Cleaning Kits

C) How do I care for and clean Nubuk and Suede Leather?
Nubuk and Suede are both difficult to care for and clean. Nubuk is top grain leather in which to grain has been buffed to resemble a suede-like appearance. Both are nearly impossible to clean. We recommend that you consider our Nubuk and Suede kit. This product contains a Nubuk foam cleaner, “mooncloth” and protection spray. This will give you a limited amount of protection to normal wear and prolong the life of your leather but will not prevent damage from major accidents. It is important to use this prior to any damage preferably at the time of purchase.

Professional Cleaning Products: Tender Leather Care Cleaning Kits

For more information call: 1-800-521-4833 or Fax: 1-800-685-0955
Or send an e-mail to:
rodenleather@gmail.com






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