Leather furniture is made using many diverse types of leather that are produced using different processes. This is what amounts for the different look, feel and essence of leather furniture.
Leather proceeds from many various origins. Some are simple, such as cattle, sheep and pigs, and some not so apparent, such as stingrays and ostriches. However, it is how leather is prepared that determines which of three main sections it falls into aniline, semi-aniline, and preserved or pigmented leather.
Protected leather is the most durable type of leather, and for that reason, it is the generally used leather in assembling of furniture and car upholstery. Protected leather has a polymer surface cover including pigments. Pigmented leather has differences in the surface cover, but by adding it as part of the process, the manufacturer has more restraint over the pieces of the leather. The coating also adds more camouflage to scuffing or fading.
Benefits: Pigmented leather is manageable to maintain and holds up to various conditions and uses. There are several levels of security, and you should be able to find a type that suits your needs best.
Aniline leather is profoundly prized for the way it looks. It is the most natural-looking variety of leather and holds unique surface features like pores scars. Aniline leather is dyed by soaking the hide in a plain dye bath, but the look of the surface is kept because it is not coated with any additional polymers or pigments. Only the very best hides, about 5 per cent or so, are practised for aniline leather because all surface marks remain evident. This is also the reason it is often regarded to as "naked leather."
Benefits: Aniline leather is comfortable and smooth to the touch. Since it holds all the different markings and components of the hide, each piece is distinct from another one.
Semi-aniline leather is just a little bit tighter than aniline leather because its cover has been handled with a light layer that contains some pigment, which makes it more soil- and stain-resistant. That makes the impact of disappearing a bit inconsistent because even the slightest bit of difference in the process creates a distinctive result.
Benefits: While it retains the uniqueness of aniline leather, semi-aniline leather has a more harmonious colour and is more immune to stains. It can stand up to more caustic conditions and isn't maligned as easily. Pieces draped in semi-aniline leather might also be a bit less high-priced.