Leather Types Blog Thumbnail

Types of Leather

Leather Types

Old Tanned Leather

Vegetable Tanned Leather - Tanned Leather - Vegetable tanning Leather tanned with vegetable tanning agents . Quebracho wood, mimosa bark, oak wood etc. Tanning process: 20-30 months. Per hide approx. 30 kg bark or 20 kg fruit or 90 kg oak wood.

Aniline leather

Leather dyed with aniline dyes that reveal the natural texture of the hide material. It has a waxy feel and a matt surface. Very expensive leather. The surface is usually not oversprayed (without pigment finish) or corrected.

Antique leather

Antique leather is created by a special dyeing technique of nappa leather, which gives the leather an "old", "antique" appearance. The leather has been given an old-style appearance by pressing or wiping (wipe leather, Chesterfield leather). It is usually two-coloured.

Blank leather

Natural or dyed vegetable dyed cowhide. It is moderately greased and sometimes waxed.


Boxcalfis a full chrome tanned, also crimped, smooth, soft calfskin for bags and shoes. Traditionally black in England.

Buffalo leather

Leather made from buffalo hides, usually slightly buffed on the grain side.

Chamois leather

Chamois leather is a particularly soft, fat-tanned (tanning) chamois or goat leather with good absorbency.

Elk leather - Elk leather

As a rule, elk leather is chamois, i.e. tanned leather for trousers, jackets and costumes. Damage caused by the botfly and also thorn cracks are typical and are regarded as a sign of authenticity. Chamois leather - Wash leather This refers to chamois-tanned split leather, mostly from sheep. Such leathers are usually sold as "wash leather".

Originally, this type of leather was used almost exclusively for cleaning windows. Today it is partly used as clothing leather.

Smooth leather

Smooth leather is the term used for all types of leather whose grain side (upper side) is not sanded to the outside.


Deer skin is primarily used to make trouser leather. It is tanned in a chamois (tran) process and can be recognised by its yellow inner side. As far as light skins are concerned, they are also made into jackets and costumes. Elk also belong to the deer family. The hides of these animals always make suede.

Hunting leather

Hunting leather is another name for suede.

Russia leather

Russia leather is a soft and waterproof, dyed and tanned calf or cow leather. In the past, Russia leather was impregnated with birch tar oil, which also gave it its well-known scent.

Crumpled patent leather

Crumpled patent leather is a nappa leather that has been varnished on the surface or coated with a thin synthetic film and then crimped.

Crocodile leather

Only the belly skin and hides of younger crocodiles are processed into leather. Crocodile leather is usually used to make precious shoes and handbags.

Patent leather

Patent leather is a high-gloss leather that has been varnished on the surface or covered with a shiny, mirror-smooth film.

Nappa leather

Nappa leather is the general term for leather made from the hides of various animals, which is processed with the hair side facing outwards, i.e. on the grain side. Nappa leather is usually a non-slip, elastic and full-grain leather. The grain side is finished with opaque dyes and given a matt sheen by plushing. Full-grain, usually chrome-tanned, dyed smooth leather with pigment finish. Vegetable-dyed nappa leathers are usually not dyed through. These leathers are natural brown on the reverse side.

Nubuck leather

A firm calf or cow leather with a velvety surface, sanded on the grain side. Parchment Parchment leather is the translucent, dried raw hides that are used untanned and merely oiled as book covers, lampshades and drum skins. It is made from sheep, goat or calf skins as well as from pig, buffalo or donkey skins. The pelt is dried without any tanning. The material is oiled, greased and smoothed during the manufacturing process.

Pull-up leather - Pullup leather

Cowhide that retains its character through special processing. Through use (bending, stretching, abrasion, etc.), strong signs of wear or patina quickly form. Pull-UP is an aniline-dyed, soft cowhide nubuck leather with a fat handle

Rough leather - Rough leather

Rough leather is a collective term for leather with a more or less rough surface. Chamois leather Chamois leather is leather produced by oxidation of Tran or fish oil in sheepskins or lambskins whose grain has been split off or shed. It is either purely tran tanned (genuine chamois) or formaldehyde pre-tanned with a tran retanning (neo-sawn). In Germany, the term "chamois leather" covers tanned suede from sheep, lamb, deer, roe deer, chamois, goat, kid and reindeer skins as well as from cow splits. France and the USA restrict the term chamois leather to the flesh split of sheepskins tanned only with Tran.


Snake skins are usually used in the bag and shoe industry. Pigskin - Porcleder A distinction is made between the leather of domestic pigs, commonly called pork, and that of wild boar, whose most important representative for the leather industry is peccary. The European domestic pig in particular produces a leather that is extremely rich in fat. Nevertheless, it is usually quite durable. Domestic pigs are only slightly hairy. The characteristic grain is determined not only by the hair pores but also by the bristly structure of the surface tissue. The leather of the peccary is mainly used to make high-quality glove leather.

Semi-aniline leather

Leather which is aniline-dyed using small amounts of pigment dyes. The natural grain pattern should not be concealed.

Split leather - grain split - core split - flesh split

If a hide or skin is split into several layers over the entire surface, this process is called splitting. Often thicker leathers - especially from cattle - are split. The layers obtained in this way are called grain split (outer split), flesh split (lower split) and, in the case of heavier hides, core split (middle split or intermediate split) may also occur. In the case of leathers made from meat split or middle split, the word "split" must be part of the name, e.g. cow split, pig split etc., as this split leather is usually not as valuable and of such high quality as the grain split.

Wash Leather

Suede tanned leather and washable leather is called wash leather. Wash leather articles can be washed with leather detergents. The detergents are dissolved in lukewarm water.

Suede Leather

Suede is the collective term for leather from animals that live in the wild (e.g. deer, elk, antelope, chamois, etc.). Goatsuede Pure chrome-tanned goatsuede with a velvet-like cut on the flesh side.

Back to blog


Really impressive literature. Are you doing upholstery leather in cow and buffalo ? We need here in China and Turkey for furniture production.


Thank you for sharing such a good article. I’m reading this https://leatherjacketorigin.blogspot.com you must read this blog it’s very informative about leather jackets.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.