Full grain is produced from the top side of the leather, that is the outside of the skin - the surface will be smooth and polish able.
Suede is produced from the underside of the skin and has a distinctive nap. The nap can be altered to be very fine, or long and almost hairy in appearance.
The highest quality material. Its colour is just from the dye process. Aniline leathers are literally "naked" allowing the natural beauty of the grain to show through. All skins will have some faults - even aniline leathers - slight scratches or surface marks are part of what makes up a natural material and should be regarded as such. They will not affect the performance of the leather.
Pigmented leathers have a light surface spray of colour added at the final stage. This produces a uniform appearance, good for more formal shoes or leather goods.
This type of leather has the surface buffed away - taking with it any imperfections. A glossy appearance is created by applying a smooth coating of finish colour. Although a less expensive type of leather, corrected grain nevertheless requires skilled manufacturing to ensure consistency and durability.
Nubuck is produced from full grain leathers. The grain is abraded away to create a light surface nap. This can be adjusted to be very fine, or a longer, softer effect can be produced.
Printed leathers can have any type of pattern/design placed onto the surface. The designs are embossed onto the surface of the leather under pressure and add to the character of the material. The structure of the leather is not affected.
Foiled leather is used primarily for dancing shoes. A coloured metallic foil is placed on the grain side of the leather and permanently bonded to the leather, offering comfort with elegant shoes.
Oiled and waxed
Oils and waxes are coated onto the surface of the leather to produce a tacky finish that gives improved grip. They can be used in many sports e.g. American football gloves.
Laminating leather to other materials is a means of creating a product that has unique properties. The properties can be varied by selecting different laminates with their own special properties.