Know your Leather


So you are thinking about buying a new leather sofa or chair?


Quality leather is an elegant and practical choice, which provides long-lasting durability, and is easily cleaned and maintained.


Know the Type of Leather

With so many different types of leather available for furniture, cars, and even clothing, bags, and shoes, which may seem similar on the surface, not all leathers are created equal. Often its not easy to identify the difference between the leathers used, and leather can vary greatly in quality, how it looks, feels, and how it performs. Selecting the most appropriate leather requires an understanding of the characteristics of each leather type.

Hopefully we can help you understand some of the options available, and allow you to make an informed decision on what best suits your lifestyle.

All of the D.A.Lewis leathers are sourced from both New Zealand and International Tanneries, employing state-of-the-art technologies, with all production complying with International Safety and Environmental Standards.



Leather Categories


To simplify the leather types, they are divided into 4 Categories:


  1. Corrected Grain Leather (Sealed or Top Finished)

  2. Semi-Analine Leather (Lightly Finished)

  3. Analine, Nubuck Leather (Not Sealed)

  4. Waxed Oil or Pull-up Leather


In all categories, the leather is dyed to a colour which is related to the intended finished colour, but then undergo a variety of finishing processes which define its performance.



Corrected Grain leather

(Corrected Grain, Sealed or Top Finished, Pigmented Leather)

Active families require leather that offers a high degree of protection and is particularly forgiving. Corrected Grain leather is highly resistant to liquids, soiling, and sunlight, and handles the wear and tear that an active lifestyle demands. Generally, it has very few obvious natural characteristics, such as growth marks and scars, and has a clear Sealer coat to enhance its performance. This leather is Dyed, then has an application of Pigment, and a coating of coloured resin, with a clear Sealer coat to finish.


Semi-Aniline leather

(Semi-Analine, Lightly Finished, Pigmented Leather)

For those that are not so active, yet everyday users, who enjoy the luxury of feeling soft leather. A semi-aniline leather combines softness and durability. It shows all of the distinct markings of the animal’s life, retaining the many beautiful natural characteristics of leather. The light protective layer gives resistant to liquids, soiling, and sunlight, with the leather retaining the soft handle of natural leather. Solvents, abrasives and oils may leave marks on Semi-Analine leather, but they can generally be easily removed, leaving no permanent staining. This leather is Dyed, then has an light application of Pigment, with a clear Sealer coat to finish.



Full Aniline Leather

(Analine, Nubuck, Not-Sealed Leather)

This leather possesses natural beauty and softness and is the most valuable of leathers. Only the very best raw hides can qualify for this type, and have minimal processing. Aniline hides proudly display the hallmarks of genuine leather such as fat wrinkles, growth marks, healed scars, insect bites and scratches. Analine hides develop a patina and improve with age, but are more sensitive to sunlight and require more maintenance This leather is Dyed only. They may have a lite toning of pigment dye to enhance their resistance to dirt.



Leather Hallmarks

Now that you are familiar with the options around the types of leather available, hopefully we can also help you understand what to expect with a new item of quality Leather furniture. Leather is a natural product that improves with age, becoming more comfortable and personal. It is soft and supple yet highly durable and versatile. It breathes, keeping cool in summer and warm during winter. Because of its organic properties, no two animals are the same, and the hallmarks of genuine leather is its natural markings and imperfections & natures signature. From horn wounds and barbwire scratches, to thickness variations, these markings make your piece unique.


Healed Scars                   

Grain Variations

Horn Butts & Scrapes

Grain wrinkles, stretch marks, and closed scars are also typical characteristics of leather, the result of age, movement and comfortable wear. The further stamps its authenticity as a natural product, and are not considered defects in any way.


Colour Variation

Insect Tick Bites          

Vein Line Marks     

Corrected Grain Leather will have less imperfections and natural markings as the finishing coats, and grain correcting, hide a number of these markings. Similarly, Semi-Analine. Analine, Nubuck, Waxed Oil or Pull-up Leathers, will showcase more of the natural characteristics and features of the hide.


We are here to help, at DA Lewis. If you are unsure about which type of leather is best for your lifestyle, please get in touch.

Luxurious Leather Sofas & Lounge Chairs | DA Lewis Furniture