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Leather Type Identification

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Aniline - Cleaning Code A

(Also called Natural, Pure, Naked, or Unprotected)

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Aniline leathers are colored with transparent dye. This leather has little or no protective treatment applied to it. It has a really soft, glove-like feel. There are two ways to tell aniline dyed leather from others.

Identifying Characteristics:
  • Lightly scratch the surface to see if it leaves a light scratch mark
  • Lightly wet your finger, rub on leather lightly to see if it darkens

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Pigmented - Cleaning Code P

(Also called Finished, Semi-Aniline, Everyday, Protected, or Fainted)

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This is the most common leather type used in furniture, approximately 90% of the market. This leather has a uniform appearance and color. The leather has an intense color and a definite pattern (grain).

You cannot see any natural leather markings through the top coatings, because a pigmented leather paint coat is applied to the surface. It is then sealed with a durable finish. Properly maintained, this finish will provide years of cleaning ability and durability.

Identifying Characteristics:
  • Uniform color and grain patterns
  • Will not scratch easily
  • Water drops will not change color

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Nubuck - Cleaning Code N

(Also called Chaps, Distressed, Bomber or Suede)

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These are natural Aniline leathers that have been surface brushed or buffed on the grain side of the leather creating a nap and leaving a texture similar to velvet (softess of all leathers to the touch).

Usually Nubuck has a natural finish, but may have a light protective coat and a transparent leather dye for color. This process increases the leathers surface exposure making it extremely absorbent to body oils and soil, and difficult to clean effectively.

Identifying Characteristics:
  • Very soft to the touch
  • Will scratch or scuff very easily
  • Water drops will darken the leather but it returns to its original color after drying

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For waxed surfaces, rub an area of the leather several times with a sponge. This removes the wax to see if the leather meets test one or two.

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