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Types of Leather All of Your Questions Answered

When it comes to leather furniture, there are several different types of leather available. Instead of looking at the color of texture of the leather used in furniture construction, consider looking at the specific type instead. By looking at the type of leather used, you can rest assured that you are making a well informed decision on a piece of furniture that is sure to last you for many years to come.

Top Grain Leather

The grain of the leather plays a huge part in the specific types of leather available. The highest quality of leather available is by far top grain leather. This type of leather comes from the uppermost layer of the hide, making it durable and beautiful. However, this type of leather is also the most expensive, although the cost will ensure you that the piece will last for years with the proper maintenance.

Pure Aniline Leather

Top grain leather that has been dyed without pigment is called pure aniline leather. This leather embraces the look of natural leather, but allows it to be available in several different colors. Furthermore, the natural grain and any characteristic markings in the leather will be visible. Many individuals prefer pure aniline leather because of its natural look and the patina that develops over time.

Semi Aniline Leather

If you want the best of both worlds, a natural look that will hold up to daily wear and tear, then consider choosing semi aniline leather. This type of leather uses a tiny amount of pigment or sometimes a clear finish so that the leather maintains the look of pure aniline leather, but has durable properties unlike the afore-mentioned type of leather. Furthermore, the consistency of the color is much more even with semi aniline leather, making it preferred by many individuals interested in a rich, even color.

Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather is quite similar to aniline leather, as it is also top grain leather that has no pigment. However, after the dying process, nubuck leather is polished so that a unique texture appears. This nap creates a soft look that is preferred by many individuals who would like to soften the typically hard appearance of traditional leather furniture. Since these types of leather are dyed without pigment, exposure to the sun can increase the possibility of fading.

Distressed Leather

A unique trend currently on the market is distressed leather. This leather is typically top grain that is aniline dyed, but later goes through a distressing process to make the leather appear aged. If you desire an antique look, but do not have the time to wait around until your leather furniture ages naturally, then distressed leather may be your best choice.


Suede has the nappy appearance of nubuck leather, but is typically made using smaller skins. The texture is incredibly soft and using suede on your furniture will prove to be warm and inviting. However, caring for suede can be more difficult than caring for regular top grain leather, as the soft texture can trap stains and spills. Furthermore, you may need to hire a professional to care for your suede furnishings.