We are experiencing a delay in the orders due to a high demand for the season. Please allow us 15 - 20 days for international deliveries.

Leather Glossary Part 3

Here we are, this is the last part of our glossary. Let's see the last terms you need to know if you are a leather lover.

Matte Finish

A flat or dull finish.

Metalized Leather

Leather given a metallic lustre by the application of metallic foils or powders.


A process that produces suppleness in hides.


  1. Vegetable tanned goat skin leather with characteristic grain pattern developed naturally or by hand boarding or graining only. The most common and most characteristic grain is hard grain.
  2. By long usage, especially in the fancy goods trade. Goatskin of any vegetable tannage that has been hand boarded in the damp condition, but in the strict sense it should be limited to goatskin tanned exclusively with sumac.

Naked Leather

A dyed leather that has received no topical application that may mask or alter the natural state of the leather.


Soft full grain gloving or clothing leather made from unsplit sheep or lambskin or kid-skin. It is usually tanned with alum and chromium salts and dyed throughout its substance.

Natural Grain

A leather which retains the full original grain.


A brushed, grain-sueded leather.

Patent Leather

Leather, one surface of which is covered with an integral, flexible, waterproof film which has a lustrous mirror-like surface. The coating was formerly built up by the application of various daubs, varnishes and lacquers, pigmented or non-pigmented, based on linseed oil. Today these may include nitrocellulose and/or synthetic resins. Laminates coated with a plastics film less than 0.15mm thick may also be classed as patent leather.


A luster or shine that develops with use over time. Usually associated with fine antiques and vintage furniture.

Pearlized Leather

Colored leather with a pearl-like luster. Pearlescent Leather Coloured leather with a pearl-like luster.


In leather, the process of die cutting small holes to form a pattern. The holes can vary in size, density, and pattern.


Leather that is finished with a solid pigment coating for consistency of color and texture. A pigment may be used to cover imperfections, as well as add protection.

Plating, Plated Leather

Pressing leather with a heated metal plate under high pressure. Most furniture leather is usually sanded, pigmented and plated to cover imperfections.

Printed Leather

Leather, bearing a surface pattern, produced usually by embossing, but sometimes by other methods, e.g. by silkscreen printing.

Protected Leather

Leather in which certain special chemicals have been incorporated to render it less liable to deterioration through exposure to polluted atmospheres.


Describes the behavior of leather that has been treated with oils, waxes, and dyes in such a way that when the leather is pulled or stretched (i.e. on upholstery), the finish becomes lighter in the stretched areas. Considered a mark of high quality.

Pure Aniline

Leather that is aniline dyed and receives no additional coloring. Also called full aniline, naked aniline or naked leather.

Raw Hide

A hide which has only been treated to preserve it prior to tanning.


A modifying secondary tannage applied after intermediate operations following the primary tanning.

Round Hand

A full-handed leather, usually slightly swelled as with vegetable tanning.

Saddle Leather

Vegetable-tanned cattlehide leather for harnesses and saddles, usually of a natural tan shade and rather flexible.


A semi-aniline leather has been aniline dyed, then slightly pigmented. Because pigment is solid, this type of leather ensures color consistency while having stain and spill resistance.


Wooled sheep and lambskins, tanned with the wool intact.

Shrunken Grain Leather

A full, natural-grain leather which is shrunken to enlarge and enhance the grain of the leather.

Side Leather

Grain leather which has been cut in half, forming two sides in order to better accommodate tannery equipment.


To slice or split into a thin layer, or to reduce leather to a specific thickness.


The grain surface is abraded with brushes, emery wheel or sandpaper. Leather is snuffed for the purpose of removing defective grain, or for sueding the surface of the leather.


A single layer from a hide or skin that has been separated over its whole area into two or more layers. The layers thus obtained are termed: (a) top grain split (outer split); (b) flesh split (inner split); (c) in heavy hides there can also be middle split.

Split Leather

Skin sliced in layers to give a uniform thickness to the piece (grainside). Split leather (inside) is trimmed and finished as suede. Cheap leathers are sometimes pigmented splits with embossed imitation grain.


Cutting leather into two or more layers, or cutting leather into two sides preparatory to tanning.

Steer Hide

A castrated bull whose hide shows a tight grain structure, making it the ideal choice for leather upholstery.


Leathers that are finished by buffing the flesh side (opposite the grain side) to produce a nap.


The process of raising fibers on the grain side of a hide or skin to give a velvet nap effect. This is generally called nubuck or grain suede.

Suede Split

Leather made from the flesh split of hide or skin and finished with a velvet-like nap normally on the split surface.

Table Run

Leathers which are not graded. Cheaper, ungraded leathers sold to manufacturers.


The process whereby putrescible (perishable) raw hides and skins are converted into leather.

Top Coat

A transparent, protective coating applied to the leather surface. May also impart luster to the surface.

Top Grain

The term intended to define genuine grain leather, as opposed to split leather which has been pigmented and embossed with a new grain. In reality, top-grain leather usually has had the original grain removed and an imitation grain embossed into the surface.

Unfinished Leather

Normally defines aniline dyed, naked leathers with no additional application intended to finish, color or treat in any way that would alter the natural characteristics of the leather.

Upholstery Leather

A general term for leather processed for use in furniture, automobiles, and airplanes.

Unprotected Leather

This leather does not have a protective coating. Unprotected leather features more natural characteristics of the leather, it is typically softer than treated or protected leather. They are more susceptible to fading, staining or soiling.

Vegetable Tanning

The conversion of rawhide into leather with a greater body and firmness than the more general method of chromium tanning.


The weight of leather is measured in ounces per square foot.

Wet Blue Leather

Leather which after chrome tanning has not been further processed and is sold in the wet condition. We hope you have enjoyed this glossary of leather terms. If you are a student or a very interested person in leather we know this will be helpful.