Types of Leather

To clean and/or repair any type of leather arcticle it is of fundamental importance to understand the different types of finishing in order to determine the best way to treat it.

ANILINE (also known as ‘Natural’)


The surface of this leather is dyed with transparent dyes.

This effect of transparency is similar to the one observed by looking at a piece of colored wood, where the color does not cover, but enhances, the nodes and natural grain of the wood. In fact, the top grain remains natural and very visible. The aniline leather will then have some imperfections that naturally occur ensuring that each piece is unique. Leather of this type has only minimal coverage on its surface, so it is more sensitive to the effects of wear.

To maintain its natural beauty it is absolutely necessary to follow a a cleaning and protection routine from the beginning of its use.


  • Natural appearance
  • Excellent feel
  • Natural, top grain and minor defects
  • Very soft and breathable
  • Other features:

  • Visibility of natural defects
  • Variations in color
  • Expensive
  • Hard to keep clean
  • Poor resistance to light
  • Unevenness of grain
  • Protection is essential!



    This type of leather is covered by a slightly pigmented finishing, to make the color more uniform and hide small defects.

    To preserve the natural look of the leather, they are then sprayed with bright, transparent colors.

    This coating only provides a light protection so the application of Leather Protector is highly recommended.


  • Natural grain finish
  • Pleasant feel and appearance
  • Improved lightfastness compared to pure aniline leather
  • More practical than aniline leather
  • Breathable
  • Disadvantages:

  • Visibility of major natural defects
  • Slight variations in color
  • Needs maintenance


    This is the most widely used finishing technique consisting of a uniform surface of a basecoat of pigments and resins followed by a protective topcoat. They can be identified by their consistent color and uniformity.

    This type of leather is ideal for frequently used items like furniture and automotive seats especially when a ‘child friendly’ solution is required.

    FENICE’s leather care products provide an easy care solution for all these types of leather.

    Full refinishing is possible whenever restoration is necessary.


  • Uniform color and covering
  • Good coverage of defects
  • Light-resistant
  • Economical
  • Easy to maintain
  • Disadvantages:

  • Looks less natural than aniline leather


    Nubuck is actually aniline leather that has a sanded surface to give a fine, velvety surface. The look and feel of this leather are incomparable and work well for infrequent use.

    FENICE’s exclusive, highly specialized care products are ideal for the care, protection and preservation routine required by nubuck leather throughout its life.


  • Velvety appearance and touch
  • Very soft, warm and natural
  • Soft and breathable
  • Disadvantages:

  • Expensive
  • Sensitive to stains which are difficult to remove
  • PULL UP (Wax &/o oil)


    Fashions come and go, but waxy, oiled leather is here to stay!

    'Pull up' was originally used to describe the effect on a type of leather known as “Timberland” after the well-known footwear producer made this type of article famous.

    This leather lightens when stretched, folded or “pulled up”.


  • Great look and feel
  • Vintage effect
  • Unique streaked lightening effect when pulled or folded
  • Disadvantages:

  • Requires regular maintenance


    This leather type requires a completely different system of finishing or enhancing ‘split’ or ‘heavily buffed’ leather which maintains uniform thickness and softness.

    The technique consists of creating a finishing film on a continual support of release paper. An adhesive is applied to the film, then the film is pressed onto the leather. The finished leather is then removed from the release paper displaying a perfectly uniform surface.

    When bycast leather is stretched, a lighter color is visible which disappears once it is not pulled.

    This stretching action is sometimes used to identify bycast leather.


  • More resistant than ‘split’ / ‘heavily buffed’ leather
  • Economical
  • Disadvantages:

  • An unnatural look and feel
  • Requires protection from skin oils
  • S5 Box




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