Leather Terminology - A Glossary

In order to help you better understand and evaluate our product selection, here is a brief glossary of terms used on this site and within the leather industry.

Altered Leather

Leather that has had the original surface of the skin removed (usually due to imperfections) and a new grain embossed into the leather. This is also called corrected grain. Most top grain leathers have altered or corrected grain surfaces.


Colorless, oily, slightly water-soluble liquid used in the synthesis of dyes and resins.

Aniline Dye

Any of a large number of synthetic dyes derived from aniline, usually obtained from coal tar.

Aniline Dyed or Aniline Leather

Leather that has been dyed in a bath with dye penetration.


Animal of the ox or cow family.


The grain and pore structure of full grain leather allows it to breathe – adjusting to temperature and wicking away moisture and body heat.

Buffed Leather

Process in which an abrasive or bladed cylinder is used to remove a grain so that it can be corrected.

Chrome Tannage

Tanning process using both chrome and vegetable tannage.

Corrected Grain

(Top grain) heavily pigmented, lacking an intact full grain surface.


Leather tanned from hides of animals of the bovine species.


Transfer of color from the leather surface.

Drum Dyeing

The immersion of leather in a drum of dye that is tumbled allowing full dye penetration.

Embossed Leather

A corrected grain in which a pattern is applied using extreme pressure to give it a unique design.

Enhanced Full Grain

A leather that has received minor surface alterations to improve the full grain appearance.

Fat Wrinkle

Wrinkles in leather caused by fat deposits in the animal.


Processes that are applied to the leather after the tanning process.

Full Grain

Leather in which the dermis layer is in a natural state and has not been altered, allowing the hide its own distinctive appearance.

Full Hand

(Round hand) full bodied and robust leather.


Upper part of a hide consisting of pores, cells, wrinkles and other characteristics constituting natural texture.

Grain Character

Natural markings on leather.

Grain Embossed

Process in which the original grain is removed and an artificial grain is pressed into the surface of top grain leather.

Grain Sueded

Buffing process to raise the fibres on the grain side of a hide producing a velvet-like finish (Nubuck leather).


Term used in describing the feel of leather.


Hide from a grass fed, immature bovine.


The skin of an animal prepared for use by tanning.


A manufactured imitation leather.


Process preparing the hides for tanning including the removal of hair.

Matte Finish

Dull, flat finish.


Process that adds suppleness to a hide.

Naked Leather

Dyed leather with no topical application masking or other alteration of the natural state of the leather.

Natural Grain

Full original grain leather.


Polished, grain sueded leather.

Oak Tannage

Heavy leather tanned with vegetable extracts.

Patent Leather

Glossy impermeable finish using drying oils, varnish or synthetic resins.


Natural characteristic of full grain leather that develops over time.


Process of die cutting small holes into a hide forming a pattern


Leather that is sprayed with a opaque finish.


Natural characteristic of full grain leather that develops over time.


The process of die cutting small holes into a hide forming a pattern.


Leather that is sprayed with a opaque finish.