One of the common problems when looking to purchase leather garments is the misleading labelling found on virtually all leather garments which effectively does not allow the consumer to make an informed judgement on the product they are purchasing.
Unfortunately both State and Federal legislation in Australia only requires manufacturers to label according to type of material.
ie. Any animal hide can legally be called leather.
This problem with labelling allows cheaper and inferior grades of leather to be used.
The use of split, buffalo and compounded leather, both of which are significantly cheaper to manufacture and use in comparison to top grain / full grain cowhide, is widespread throughout the manufacturing industry.
Making leather clothing / garments down to a price has become very common place. Unless you have had experience with leather, being readily able to pick the difference between the different leathers can be a nightmare. To start with, any leather showing hair folicle holes is a split, most any leather with an oily appearance is most likely buffalo and any leather that will stretch any way and lacks a grain is most likely a compounded leather.
What is Top Grain Leather ?
Top grain leather is leather from the uppermost layer of a hide. It is the highest quality part of the hide.
What is Pure Aniline Leather ?
Pure Aniline is top grain leather that is dyed for colour without any pigments applied. These hides will exhibit some natural characteristics such as healed scars,scratches, neck and belly wrinkles. Expect colour variation from the swatch to the actual leather, due to the fact leather is a natural product and will absorb dye differently within the hide and from hide to hide. This leather will develop a rich patina over time and will fade with prolonged exposure to sunlight.
What is Nubuk Leather ?
Nubuk is top grain leather that has been aniline dyed for colour and then polished to create a nap. Since Nubuk leathers have no pigment applied these hides will exhibit colour variation from hide to hide and dye lot to dye lot. Some natural markings are visible throughout these hides. Prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause these leathers to fade.
What is Distressed Leather?
Distressed Leather is aniline dyed leather with an artificially worn and aged appearance in which the natural characteristics of the hide such as healed scars, scratches, and wrinkles are considered a positive characteristic.