black leather

Quality / price of Leather


Why is there such a difference in price between different types of leather? Price depends on the amount of natural marks visible on the leather at the time of slaughter. Hides totally free of natural markings are rare and therefore very expensive.

quality price

Countries of origin

Some countries have a thriving livestock industry. Leather is a byproduct of the meat industry.

There would be no benefit to kill an animal just for its leather. South America is currently the largest provider of meat and leather in the world.

The largest producers of leather are:

  • USA

Natural markings

These are found very frequently in animals and are caused by:

  • Insect bites
  • Tarola (insect lava)
  • Open scars
  • Healed scars
  • Blind grain
  • Wrinkles
  • Branding iron scars

Natural markings 

How leather is made


STAGE 1: Liming



  • Hides are preserved by salting after slaughter.
  • Natural dirt is removed by washing with water.
  • The original water content is restored to 65%.
  • During the liming process fats and other unnecessary natural substances are removed.
  • The high pH value during this process loosens and dissolves the hair chemically.



A hide after the liming process














Liming process


STAGE 2: Splitting

A moving blade is used to split the leather horizontally (like a sandwich) creating 2 layers:

  • The top grain /the outer part where there the hair was
  • The split / the inner part.


Splitting machine blade


Bovine leather cross section

bovine leather

Note that the fibers in the top grain are much more compact than the ones in the split.

The top grain is therefore softer, much more resistant to tearing and as a result more expensive.


STAGE 3: Tanning


  • Tanning preserves leather over time avoiding decomposition.
  • Tanning can be done using different tanning agents, the most common of which is chromium that produces a bluish color, hence the name ‘wet blue’ given to tanned leather. 


STAGE 4: Dyeing


  • Dyeing involves immersing the leather in penetrating dyes which color all its surfaces and sections.
  • Then the ‘wet blue’ dye becomes “crust”. 




STAGE 5: Selection

  • Leather is selected based on the presence of different natural characteristics and intended use.
    • Aniline
    • Semi Aniline
    • Pull Up (Waxed)
    • Suede (Nubuck)
    • Pigmented
    • Bycast

tabella how identify


STAGE 6: Stucco application

(only for pigmented leather)


  • Leather often has a number of natural markings which require removal to ensure they are desirable to customers.


  • This is done by filling or covering them with a white paste called ‘stucco’  before removing the top part of the grain.



STAGE 7: Stucco Application


  • The upper part of the top grain is then removed using abrasive paper to smooth the surface removing most of the natural markings.
FULL GRAIN LEATHER is UNbuffed and therefore more valuable than BUFFED leather which has been filled and sanded.















STAGE 8: Finishing

 (only for pigmented leather)

  1. Color the basecoat with pigments to cover all defects and to create a uniform finish.
  2. Emboss with a hot plate or a roller to achieve the desired texture and hide any further visible natural markings.
  3. Apply a transparent top coat to block any transfer of color, protect the leather and confer the feel and opacity desired.

















STAGE 9: Protection of Topcoats


  • The top coat protects the sofa from stains and prevents any possible transfer of color to clothing.
  • The use of non-specialized cleaning agents (e.g. alcohol or soaps) removes the top coat, irreparably damaging the sofa.
  • After removing the top coat, the sofa seems to be clean, but it is sticky and the color will transfer to clothing.
  • Applying Leather Protector to sofas before use is essential to protect their topcoats.



How Bycast is made

  • A polyurethane film is created on a strip of printed paper by reversing the normal finishing procedure: first the top coat, then the base coat.
  • Once the film has dried, it is pasted over a split, creating Bycast.



S5 Box




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