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Leather Finishing Techniques: Understanding the Different Types of Leather

by Antarctic Leathers 0 Comments

Leather is a popular material for clothing, shoes, and accessories, but not all leather is created equal. Different finishing techniques can affect the feel, durability, and appearance of the leather, giving you a wide range of options to choose from. Here are some of the most common types of leather finishing:

Aniline Leather

This type of leather is treated with aniline dye, which preserves the natural characteristics of the hide, including any scars or wrinkles. Aniline leather has a soft, supple feel, but it can also be more susceptible to staining and fading than other types of leather.

Semi Aniline Leather

As the name suggests, this type of leather is somewhere between aniline and full-grain leather. It is dyed with aniline dye, but a coating is applied to the surface to provide more protection from stains and fading. Semi aniline leather has a similar look and feel to aniline leather, but it is more durable.

Burnishing Leather

Leather can be burnished, or buffed, to give it a glossy, shiny finish. Burnishing can be done by hand or machine, and the result is a smooth, polished surface.

Embossed Leather

This type of leather is pressed with a heated die to create a raised design on the surface. Embossing can be used to create intricate patterns and designs, and it can be done on both full-grain and corrected-grain leather.

Nappa Leather

Nappa leather is made from the hides of sheep, lambs, and goats. It is known for its soft, supple feel and its resistance to water and stains. Nappa leather can be finished in a variety of ways, including aniline, semi-aniline, and pigmented.

Nubuck Leather

Nubuck is a type of full-grain leather that has been sanded to create a velvet-like surface. It is often used to make shoes, jackets, and other items that require a smooth, luxurious feel.

Patent Leather

Patent leather is given a high-gloss finish by coating it with a plastic or resin layer. The coating makes patent leather resistant to water and stains, but it can also make it stiff and less breathable.

Suede Leather

Suede is a type of corrected-grain leather that is made from the underside of the hide. It has a soft, velvety nap that can be prone to staining and discoloration. Suede is often used to make shoes, bags, and other accessories.


Leather is a versatile and durable material that is used to make a wide range of products, from clothing and shoes to accessories and furniture. The finishing techniques used on the leather can greatly affect its appearance, feel, and durability. Aniline, semi-aniline, burnishing, embossed, nappa, nubuck, patent, and suede are just some of the different types of leather finishing techniques available. It's important to understand the characteristics of each of these types of leather when choosing a product, to ensure it meets your needs and preferences.


If you're looking for a real leather jacket or other leather items, be sure to check out our store! We carry a wide selection of leather jackets and we can even create custom leather jackets for you. Whether you're looking for a classic bomber jacket or a modern motorcycle jacket, we have something for everyone. Don't forget to check out our wide range of leather finishing options available before you make your purchase!

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