The Leather Glossary

Sure, most people are familiar with suede or cowhide. But have you ever heard of an aniline finish? What about corrected grain? At Eric Scott, we’re fluent in leather. Just take a look at our detailed glossary of terms and you’ll see what we mean.

Hide from a mature female bovine that has produced a calf.
Calf Hide
Hide  from an immature bovine; male or female. Calf hides are broken down further based on size of the hide. Kip is calf hide that is less than 14.75 square feet and extreme is calf hide that is between 14.75 sq ft and 18 sq ft
Hide from pigs or hogs, commonly used for suede.
Hide from a young goat.
Chrome Tanned
Leather tanned in chromium salts resulting in soft and mellow hides receptive to excellent color variety.
Vegetable Tanned
Leather which has been tanned with vegetable materials that are derived from certain plants and woods.
Aniline Finish
Full-grain leather which has been colored with dyestuffs rather than pigments.  Usually topped with protein, resin or lacquer protective coating.
Pure aniline leather that has a small amount of pigment or clear finish thus allowing the natural characteristics of the hide to still show through while offering some of the benefits of color consistency and increased wearability.
Glazed Finish
Surface of the leather that is polished to a high luster by the action of glass or steel rollers under tremendous pressure.
Embossed or Plated
Leather that has been stamped using heat and high pressure to create a pattern or design in the hide. The variety ranges from alligator, crocodile, ostrich, flowers, geometric and Indian. Some will use this term interchangeably with words like plated.
Leather in which only the hair has been removed, but otherwise has not been corrected or altered. Usually finished with a glazed or aniline finish.
Top-Grain Leather
Leather that has been sanded/buffed, usually embossed with a texture to remove scars and blemishes.
Corrected Grain
Leather that has been sanded or abraded to minimize faults.  It is then pigmented and printed with an artificial grain and sealed with a spray sealer topcoat.  Corrected grain material is usually called top grain.
Split Leather
Leather made from the lower (inner or flesh side) layers of a hide that have been split away from the upper, or grain, layers. Split leather has an artificial layer applied to the surface and is embossed with a leather grain. Splits are also used to create suede.
Bonded Leather
Bonded leather is made  from 100% genuine leather fibers that are bonded together with adhesive and pressed into flat sheets.  The top surface can be completed by applying a direct finish or polyurethane top coat.
Leathers that are finished by buffing the flesh side (opposite the grain side) to produce a nap.
Full grain leather that is lightly buffed to produce a very fine velvet-like nap,  smoother than suede.