When you are shopping for leather, you might be overwhelmed by all the different types of leather that are possible for your items to be made out of. It also doesn’t help that the names of the types of leather often don’t help you know if it is good or not.
For example, genuine leather sounds like it is what you want in a leather product. However, for those who know their leather, they would know that this is actually the worst quality leather product.
The grades of leather from the best to worst are top grain, full grain, split grain, and bonded leather. Full aniline leather is made from the top grain grade leather and is considered one of the best types of leather you can possibly buy.
Full Aniline Leather
Full aniline leather is a very high quality leather product. Full aniline leather is made from top grain leather that has been dyed using aniline dyes. In order to make full aniline leather, the animal’s hide is placed in a large drum that contains the aniline dyes.
Aniline dye is a very specific type of dye that does not contain any pigment, or coloring. This means that the dye preserves the natural grain, marking, scars, and wrinkles that are present in the hide without coloring it at all. In addition, during this process, the leather is not usually a uniform color because the hide absorbs the dye at different rates. Even though there is no pigment in the dye, the oils that the aniline is mixed with still change the color slightly. This process keeps the natural character of the leather, and makes full aniline leather one of the most sought after types of leather.
Advantages and Disadvantages
While full aniline leather is the most sought after of all the types of leather, it still has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of full aniline leather are first and foremost the look of it. It is one of the most high quality materials that products can be made out of and that definitely shows in its appearance. It has the tendency to develop a patina over time when it absorbs oils from your body and it remains soft and supple since it lacks any extra processing or coating materials that make the leather stiff.
One of the main disadvantages of full aniline leather is the price. As it is one of the most sought after types of fabrics, you will pay an often hefty price for that. In addition, It requires a little bit more care than other types of leather because it lacks the protective coating. It can get stains and other marks easily which means it has to be regularly cleaned. In addition, it will fade in direct sunlight. If you have purchased a product like a belt or bag that you will be wearing outside, even if it is just walking from building to building, it will need to be conditioned in order to prevent the leather from drying out.
Overall, full aniline leather is a beautiful, high quality product that does require some care to keep it nice, but if you can afford the price tag, it is worth it to maintain such a beautiful piece.