From our Types of Leather article, you’ll notice that we gave praise to Aniline leather for it’s natural characteristics and it being of the better types of leather. You might also be wondering what Aniline leather is exactly and what is the difference between Pure Aniline and Semi Aniline.
Aniline leather is a type of leather dyed exclusively with soluble dyes without covering the surface with a topcoat paint or insoluble pigments. The resulting product retains the hide's natural surface, such as visible pores, scars and the like. Typically, leather is dyed both for aesthetic reasons and to conceal blemishes. The dye colors leather without producing the uniform surface of pigmented leather. Any visible variations on the surface of the undyed leather such as natural blemishes will remain visible and can be seen as a way of identifying that your leather furniture is indeed genuine aniline leather.
Aniline leather is the most luxurious leather cover for a sofa. It has a warm, inviting feel and is very soft to the touch. As leather is a natural product, different parts of the hide will absorb different quantities of aniline dye, so you will see lots of shade variation.
As aniline leather undergoes little treatment, great care must be taken to keep this leather looking its best. An aniline leather sofa is not advisable for homes with young children or pets, or rooms where food and drink is consumed. Semi-aniline leather is produced through a very similar process to full-aniline, but has a thin protective top coat added to protect it from wear and staining. Like aniline leather, it is often manufactured from better-quality hides with fewer natural markings.
Semi-aniline leather tends to have a waxy feel though still soft like aniline leather, since only a thin layer of pigment is used to coat its surface. This also allows natural markings in the leather to show through in the way pure aniline does. Semi-aniline leather sofas are suitable for people who want to see the natural beauty of leather, but would also like the durability and some of the color consistency that comes with corrected grain leather.
Both pure aniline and semi-aniline are made of the highest quality grain leather. Aniline has the advantage in it’s fully natural qualities, and semi-aniline has the advantage in a bit more durability. In the end, it comes down to which is best for you. Which room your new leather sofa is going to be in as well as what the room is primarily used for; these are the things to consider when buying leather furniture and we at Signature Leather are more than happy to help you decide which type is best for you and your room.