Leather or Vinyl?
Top Coated or Protected Leather
This is the
most common leather type used in furniture, approximately 90% of
the market. This leather has a uniform appearance and color. The
leather has an intense color and a definite pattern (grain). You
cannot see any natural leather markings through the top coatings,
because a pigmented leather paint coat is applied to the surface.
It is then sealed with a durable finish. Properly maintained, this
finish will provide years of cleaning ability and durability.
characteristics: uniform color and grain patterns; will not
scratch easily; water drops will not change color.
This is a
man-made fabric of plastic and cloth. You can identify vinyl by
its highly uniform grain pattern. The surface will have a slick
feel to it. The backside of the vinyl is lined with a cloth/fabric
backing. If you have any cracks or cuts, you can see the fabric
backing (usually white in color).
Aniline (Not recommended for
leathers are top quality natural leathers in which the actual
surface grain markings of the true leather (hide) are visible.
They have very little or no protective treatments applied. Natural
leathers can be classified as Natural, Pure, & Un-Protected and
are usually colored with a transparent leather dye. A variety of
clear finishes such as oil, wax, nitrocellulose and urethane
protective coatings, which do not inhibit the softness or
breathing of leather, are applied to the surface. These finishes
allow the natural leather markings to show through the finish.
Aniline leathers require different cleaning procedures than
protected leather due to its porous nature. Aniline leather is
prone to sun fading.
characteristics: very easy to scratch; water drops will darken the
color and then dry back to natural color.
recommended for "Do-it-Yourself" repair)
natural Aniline leathers that have been surface brushed or buffed
on the “grain” side of the leather creating a nap and leaving a
texture similar to velvet (softness of all leathers to the touch).
Usually Nubuck has a natural finish, but may have a light
protective coat and a transparent leather dye for color. This
process increases the leather’s surface exposure making it
extremely absorbent to body oils and soil, and difficult to clean
characteristics: very soft to the touch, will scratch or scuff
very easily; water drops will darken the leather but it returns to
its original color after drying.