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June 16, 2022 4 min read

by April Quibido

A wife, a mom, and a definite homebody who loves writing about all sorts of interesting things online. She loves fashion, interior design, and other creative pursuits—writing included. She also has entrepreneurial endeavors and, like everyone else, wants to thrive and grow in all aspects of life.


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Leather is one of the most common types of fabrics out there. They can be seen in jackets, shoes, bags, belts, and hats. The fabric exudes a certain level of sophistication and confidence, so leather products can make one look very stylish.

Upon choosing a leather product (let’s say a jacket), you have to know a bit more to get your money’s worth. If you can get confused by the salesperson or retailer, don’t worry. This article will guide you by learning the common terms to know before buying a leather jacket.

Categories And Terminologies

Learning about leather jackets starts from knowing where the leather came from until how leather is processed to become a wearable product. Here are the common categories you should know more about leather and their respective definitions:

  • Sources
  • Layers
  • Types
  • Finishes
  • Cuts

What Are The Sources Of Leather?

All-natural leather products come from the skin of the following animals:

  • Cattle
  • Pig
  • Sheep
  • Goat
  • Horse

Leathers can also come from other animals, like the reptiles. The term “hide” refers to the skin of larger animals that is enough to make numerous leather products. The term “tanning” refers to treating the animal hide to be made into leather fabric.

What Are The Layers Of Leather Hide?

As the animal hide is about to be processed into leather fabric, there can be many types formed depending on how much thickness is being utilized. That thickness refers to the layer of the hide. Here is a breakdown of the layers of a leather hide:

  • Grain:The outermost layer, which comprises dense and tight fibers
  • Grain And Corium Junction:The layer where the grain, the strongest and most dense layer, is being joined with the corium
  • Corium:The inner layer which comprises the looser collagen fibers
  • Flesh:The innermost layer, which comprises fatty and muscle tissues

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What Are The Types Of Leather?

Leather is classified according to which layer of the hide is being utilized. This category can also be referred to as “grades of leather.”

  • Full Grain:Leather that contains the grain layer in which there is no sanding involved and hair is the only thing removed; this is the best type of leather
  • Top Grain:similar to full-grain leather, but the topmost layer is being sanded, often used on high-end leather products.
  • Genuine or Corrected: Leather from any layer of the hide and being “corrected,” or adjusted to a more uniform appearance, through sanding and embossing; used mainly for common leather products
  • Split Grain:Leather comprises a portion from the grain layer and also from the inner layers; used in low-cost garments
  • Bonded: Leather made from the scraps of other leather hides that are combined; this is the worst type of leather.
The Language of leather

What Are The Different Leather Finishes?

After the tanning process of the animal hide and cutting them into different grades, the leather fabric will now undergo “finishing.” This refers to the application of a coating substance to the grain. Here are different leather finishes:

  • Aniline:Leather dyed with soluble dye only; used for high-quality products
  • Semi-Aniline: Similar to aniline but pigmented; more protected from soiling
  • Bicast:Split leather with a polyurethane or vinyl coating
  • Brush-Colored:Leather wherein the pigment is applied using a brush for creative appeal
  • Degrained:Leather wherein the grain layer is removed; vulnerable to moisture
  • Embossed:Leather wherein raised patterns are being produced through the application of pressure; used for more visual creativity
  • Embroidered:Leather wherein patterns are being produced through the application of embroidery; used for aesthetics
  • Faux:Synthetic leather
  • Interwoven:Leather that is being braided together; used in straps or belts
  • Metallic:Leather finished with a metal layer
  • Nappa:A full-grain leather but smoothen
  • Nubuck: A top-grain leather but buffed
  • Oily; Waxy: Leather finished with oils or waxes; creates a reflective layer
  • Patent:Leather with high-gloss finish; creates a highly-reflective layer
  • Pigmented:Leather finished with paint and a clear protective sealer
  • Printed: Leather that is being stamped with patterns
  • Suede:A split-grain leather but sanded

What Are The Different Leather Cuts?

Leather products can be formed from different parts of the leather hide. However, some products require several qualities that can only be gotten from a particular part of the hide. Here are the different leather cuts one can get.

  • Whole Leather Cut:Encompasses the entire or almost all of the hide
  • Side Leather Cut:Side of a lengthwise-cut hide
  • Shoulder / Double Shoulder:The shoulder portion; is used for tooling
  • Bend / Double Bend:Area from the spine towards the belly; best leather portion
  • Butt / Double Butt:The hind leg portion; the thickest yet firmest area
  • Belly / Double Belly: Either the right or left edges; softer and more stretchy area

Conclusion

After reading this article, can you say you’re now a bit more knowledgeable about leather? I hope you are. Familiarizing the common terms can help you make better choices in purchasing leather fabrics and leather products. Furthermore, you can make adjustments also in terms of design and budget. If you think this is helpful, leave a positive comment below and share this.


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