25 Aug 2022

【D&A Knowledge Hub】Common Types of Leather and Maintenance

August 25, 2022

Leather products, such as leather handbags, leather shoes, leather garments, leather sofas, etc,  can be seen everywhere in our daily life. These require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep the leather looking new and prolong its leather life.


Before maintaining and caring for our beloved leather goods, we need to have some knowledge on how to distinguish several common types of leather.


Common Types of Leather


Aniline Leather

Aniline leather is a full-grain leather made with high-quality leather (no damage on the surface and uniform grain), which has only minimal coverage on its surface and largely remains the original quality and natural grain of the leather.

  • Natural appearance
  • Very soft and breathable
  • Variations in color
  • Hard to keep clean
Maintenance focus:
  • As there is no protective coating on the surface of aniline leather, it is recommended to apply a leather protector before use.
  • Specific Aniline Leather Cleaner is recommended to avoid the darkening of the leather in the process of cleaning.
  • Apply with Leather Refreshing Cream regularly for nourish treatment.


Semi-Aniline Leather

Semi-aniline leather is covered by a slightly pigmented finishing, to make the color more uniform and hide small defects. This help to preserve the natural look of the leather while providing light protection for the leather.

  • Maintain natural grain finish
  • Pleasant feel and breathable
  • More practical than aniline leather
Maintenance focus:
  • The application of Leather Protector regularly is essential despite the light finishing coating on the leather surface.
  • In the selection of cleaners, it is necessary to choose a water-based cleaner with gentle cleaning power. Otherwise, it will remove the leather finish easily.
  • Apply with Leather Refreshing Cream regularly for nourish treatment.


Pigmented Leather

Pigmented Leather adopts the most widely used finishing technique consisting of a uniform surface of a basecoat of pigments and resins followed by a protective topcoat.

  • Uniform color and good coverage of defects
  • Economical, easy to maintain
Maintenance focus:
  • Since the surface of the leather is covered with protective coatings, it can be treated with most types of leather cleaners. Please choose the proper strength of cleaner according to the stain.
  • Application of Leather Protector every 3-6 months.


Suede & Nubuck

Nubuck is actually aniline leather that has a sanded surface to give a fine, velvety surface. The look and feel of this leather are incomparable.

  • Velvety appearance and touch
  • Soft and breathable
Maintenance focus:
  • As there is no protective coating on the surface of suede and nubuck, it is recommended to apply Water-based Repellent regularly for necessary protection.
  • Specific Suede and Nubuck Cleaner is recommended to avoid the darkening of the leather in the process of cleaning.


Patent Leather

The surface of patent leather is coated with heavy high-gloss resin to create a mirror-like smooth and shiny look.

  • Natural and glossy shine
  • Easy maintenance
Maintenance focus:
  • Light-colored patent leather goods should be stored separately from other dark-colored items to avoid color transfer.
  • Patent leather goods should be stored in a cool and ventilated place to avoid sticky surface.
  • It is recommended to use a specific Patent Leather Cleaner for cleaning, which helps to restore the brightness of the leather and prevents fingerprints.


Bycast Leather

Bycast leather is made from split leather with loose fibres. It is sprayed with chemical materials or pressed a PVC or PU film onto the leather.

  • Practical and economical, easy for maintenance
  • Water and stain resistance 
Maintenance focus:
  • Since the leather surface is covered with a film, it is necessary to regularly grease the leather surface to avoid cracking.


General Leather Maintenance Process:

  1. Before using any kind of leather cleaner, always test the color fastness of the leather. Dampen a soft white cloth with water only. Lightly rub the leather to see if color is transferred to the cloth. If color is removed with water, it is certain that any product will also remove color. Do not use the cleaner but contract a specialist. However, if there is no color transfer from water, repeat the test with Leather Cleaner and make sure you are satisfied with the result.
  2. The most delicate cleaner should always be used first, following by products of increasing potency as necessary to achieve the result required.
  3. Apply proper leather conditioner or leather protector according to different leather types.