Full grain leather is made from premium raw material, top skin that has not been touched up to cover imperfections. Also called Aniline or Semi-aniline if it has been dyed this leather is full of natural characteristics it is a popular upholstery choice. Carrying a distinctive smell, the soft yet strong texture is hard wearing and will age well to look more attractive over time, making it an ideal choice for home furnishings.
Full grain leather is often available with an aniline or semi-aniline finish. The aniline finish is created when the leather is submerged in a transparent dye, this colours the leather all the way through without loosing the natural grain. The semi-aniline finish is similar to the aniline except for a thin layer of protective coating that helps prevent stains.
A very popular choice for upholstery, although it comes with a much higher price tag than any other leather type. It is an attractive finish for products such as bar stools, chairs, sofas etc.
This refers to a piece of leather that has been split from the skin of the hide. Depending on the thickness of the hide it can often be split down further. This type of leather can be more fragile than the full grain leather, but is often treated to make it more hard wearing.
Split leathers can often have a pattern embossed or be buffed to create a suede.
This is created by either removing the grain, or by means of a splitting operation between the hide and skin, where the grain and drop split are separated. This leather is normally buffed and brushed to create a soft fuzzy surface.
Suede can be cheaper than full grain leather, as several pieces of suede can be divided down from one drop split, whereas there is only one top grain per skin.
This leather can be hard to protect and will damage easily when it comes in contact with liquid.
This is not a popular choice for contract or domestic products to be upholstered in, due to it's fragile nature.
This leather uses a low grade or regenerated leather, which then has a thick layer of polyurethane applied to it. This coating makes the material strong and highly durable, perfect for constant use, particularly for commercial bar stools, chairs and other products that may be upholstered.
Please Note : Do not use normal leather creams on the top surface as it has a high polyurethane finish.
It can be hard to tell the difference between real leather and a man-made leather imitation as they have similar textures and qualities. However, because it is made from synthetic materials, faux leather is more durable making it ideally suited for bar stools and dining chairs etc, used in the commercial market.
On a side note- a black leather bar stool in a dark wood is absolutely fine, in fact, it's a beautiful, moody colour combination with a real designer edge.