There are so many incredible types of leather available. Each has it’s own unique qualities that will benefit different project types or working styles. The types of leather available include full grain, top grain, genuine, bicast, and bonded. Leather finishes include aniline, semi-aniline, brush-colored, degrained, die-cut, embossed, embroidered, hand-worked, metallic, nappa, nubuck, oily, patent, pigmented, printed, split, suede, and waxy. It’s important to choose the right leather for your project to help ensure a great result. Let’s get familiar with all the different types.
What is a Leather Hide?
Great! Let’s start here. The leather hide is the skin removed from an animal. Since it is a natural substance, it has unique characteristics and qualities that help it serve a purpose for the animal it was a part of. It usually forms a protective barrier. This keeps the internal parts of the animal safe. It also, along with hair or fur, guards from external elements such as sun, water, abrasions, and other things in daily life.
Leather Hide – The Grain The grain is the outermost surface of the leather hide. It is comprised of tight, dense fibers. The grain is the layer that was exposed to the elements (air, rain, sun, etc.), and is usually very strong and smooth once the hair is removed.
Leather Hide – The Grain and Corium Junction The grain and corium junction is where the tight, outer layer of the leather blends into the looser fibers of the corium. This junction is a mix of the very desirable grain layer, and the more fibrous and looser fibers of the corium layer.
Leather Hide – Corium The corium is a layer within animal hides that is comprised mainly of collagen fibers. These are looser and more open than in the grain layer. Though, this layer is highly usable for producing leather. The corium is usually the thickest layer within an animal hide. Thus, after splitting a hide, parts of the corium might be present in either top grain or genuine leather products.
Leather Hide – Flesh The flesh is the layer of the hide that consists mainly of muscle and fatty tissues. It is not very valuable for end leather uses. As such, leather is usually split to remove the layers above it, yielding useable material of different grades and qualities for the production of leather goods.