Tips on How To Differentiate Aniline leather From Semi Aniline Leather

What is Aniline Leather

History tells us that leathercraft has been around for centuries, and is one of the oldest human interests. Taken from animal skins, leathers are known to provide clothing, tents, carpet, and other convenient things that satisfy the needs of humans.

Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, North American Indians had developed techniques to turn animal skins into leather goods, which produced footwear, belts, container for liquids, and even armors.


Getting to know the Aniline and Semi-Aniline Leather

Although leather is hard-wearing, it has also a disadvantage. During the cold weather, leather becomes stiff, and in summer, it rots away. It is for this reason that men tried to invent ways on how to make leather more flexible during the change in seasons.

The first leather tanning process was made by applying animal fats into the leather. Another option was the process of smoking, made from burning green leaves and branches.Nowadays, leathers are mainly used for clothing, shoes, apparels, and furniture because of its unique advantages and benefits.

Leather is durable, easy to clean, long lasting, and produces a natural beauty that cannot be matched by synthetic manufactured products. Because leather is considered a valued commodity, a lot of modifications, creativity, and styles have been developed by the leather industry.

Leather Types

It should always be remembered that leather is a natural merchandise. The characteristics and properties of leather can be maintained for many years, given that the product is protected from strong heat, sheltered from direct sunlight, and also protected from water.

In the leather industry, there are many types of leathers, but it is usually categorized into three types:

  • Aniline Leather
  • Semi-Aniline Leather
  • Pigmented Leather

These three types of leather have their own usage, appearance, quality, and style. By identifying the different leather types, buyers can choose the leather which suits them best. However, for the purpose of differentiating Aniline and Semi-Aniline leather, we will only be discussing these two.

So What Is Aniline Leather?

Aniline Leather

Aniline leather is made from thick full grain hides, and is ranked as the finest leather available today. Aniline leather can be full or top grain leather, and comes in different prices.

Top grain leather shows certain markings which can be a scar, insect bite, wrinkle, or veining. These markings are natural characteristics of a genuine leather.

Full Grain Leather refers to the leather that show few blemishes. It is not a surprise that only 5 percent in the upholstery industry produced globally, can be attributed to full grain leather. The hides of the full grain leather have not been sanded, buffed, or snuffed, and its imperfections are not intentionally removed on the hide’s surface.

Because Aniline considered the very best, this high end leather is extremely beautiful, soft, supple and rich in color. Aniline leather is classed as “unfinished” because of how it is colored with dye. It is applied strictly with dyes and does not go through secondary coloring process, thus, its natural look remains.

Unlike other leathers that have undergone secondary or tertiary coloring processes, Aniline leather is considered as authentic because it preserves the original texture from the cowhide. Once the Aniline is colored with dye, it gives the leather a natural beauty, which is very attractive to people who prefer nature inspired colors.

Pros and Cons of Aniline Leather

The grains of the Aniline Leather provide fiber strength, durability and breathability. Because of its breathability advantage, it does not easily wear out from constant contact with moisture. It has a smooth and luxurious surface.

Although the Aniline Leather is extremely nice, and produced from the finest selection of raw hide, it is no doubt, presents a very expensive price tag. They also have no protective coating, and stains easily. The light resistance of aniline is very poor, and there’s too much elasticity. To avoid stains, aniline leather go through numerous a water treatment process, but must be cleaned right away after any spill.

What is Semi-Aniline Leather

Semi-Aniline Leather

Semi Aniline Leather is a leather that resembles the Aniline leather, but with a slight modification. Just like the Aniline, it is produced from the finest raw hide. Semi Aniline leather are treated with dye in the same way as Aniline, but there’s an added treatment of protective coating to help the leather maintain its natural color. Semi aniline leather is applied with an organic pigment.

The process of dyeing is done to make sure that color uniformity is achieved, and to increase resistance to wear, resistance to light, and resistance to stain.

A combination of softness and the feel of aniline leather is present in the semi aniline, plus the protective benefits of a surface finish.

The protective coating is a polyurethane coating, and buyers have the option to choose glossy or matte finish. Because of the protective coating of the semi aniline leather, the semi aniline leather is designed to tolerate rigidities, especially if the leather product is to be used regularly.

Pros and Cons of Semi Aniline Leather

Semi Aniline leather is suitable for active people, and for families that are into raising pets. This is a low maintenance leather because of the protective coating of the leather’s surface. The extra protection applied to the semi aniline is done for easier cleaning, absorbs less moisture, and provide a slight shine to the finished product. It does not stain easily unlike the Aniline leather.

People who are always busy would manage their time efficiently because semi aniline leathers are easier to clean. On top of that, the color does not easily fade. Semi Aniline leathers are more durable than aniline at the same time, retaining its natural appearance. Aside from retaining the uniqueness of the aniline leather, semi aniline retains a more rich color.

On the other hand, the semi aniline leather does not show natural look, and the markings on the surface are not noticeable. It is a major challenge for leather producers to maintain a high resistant product, but maintaining the softness and suppleness of the aniline.


    My name is M. K, owner of this awesome blog. Passionate on leather forces me to write this blog. Hope you can find a lot of good information. Enjoy.

    Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
    Brysen - October 23, 2016 Reply

    Stellar work there evoneery. I’ll keep on reading.

      M.K - October 28, 2016 Reply

      Thanks Brysen,
      Let’s wait for next great topics about leather stuffs 🙂

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