Aniline Finish

Full grain leather which has been colored with dyestuffs rather than pigments. Usually topped with a protein, resin, or lacquer protective coating; can also be waxed.

Bag, Case, & Strap

Cattle hide leather used to make travel bags and suitcases. Does not include Handbag leather.

Bark Tanned

See Vegetable Tanned


Leather from which waist belts are made. Not to be confused with Belting leather.

Belting Leather

Heavy cattle hide leather used to make belts for the transfer of power in machinery.


A grain effect produced by folding a skin grain against grain and mechanically rolling the two surfaces back and forth against each other.


Used for covering books, picture frames, etc.


Leather which has been smoothed or sueded by mechanical sanding.


See Bag, Case, & Strap


The product of oil tanning the underneath layer (called a "flesher") that has been split from a sheepskin.

Chrome Tanned

Leathers which have been tanned with soluble chromium salts, primarily basic chromium sulfate. Currently the most widely used tannage in the U.S.A.

Combination Tanned

Leathers tanned with more than one tanning agent. For example, initially chrome-tanned followed by a second tannage (called Retan) with vegetable materials.


Usually vegetable tanned sheepskin used in making diplomas.


A mechanical process of permanently imprinting a great variety of unique grain effects into the leather surface. Done under considerable heat and pressure.

Full Grain

Grain leather in which only the hair has been removed. Usually carries either an aniline or glazed finish.

Glazed Finish

Similar to an aniline finish except that the leather surface is polished to a high luster by the action of glass or steel rollers under tremendous pressure.


Sheep, pig, deer, and kidskin that has been tanned to produce a soft, stretchy leather for dress gloves. Also, cattle hide splits, sheepskin, and others that are tanned for garden and work gloves.

Grain Leather

Hides and skins which have been processed with the grain, or outer surface, dressed for end use.


Any of a variety of leathers used for women's handbags.


Vegetable tanned cattle hide leather finished for harness and saddlery use.


Vegetable tanned calf or sheepskin leather used for hat sweatbands.


A variety of materials which have been made to resemble genuine leather. The great bulk of these are rubber or plastic-coated fabrics. It is unlawful to use terms connoting leather to describe imitations.


A shoe leather used for the inner sole which the foot rests upon. Usually form cattle hide.


The pelt of an animal which has been transformed by tanning into a non-putrescible, useful material.


A shoe leather used for the inside portions. Made from all kinds of hides and skins, either grain or suede finished.

Mineral Tanned

Leathers which have been tanned by any of several mineral substances, notably the salts of chromium, aluminum, and zirconium.


Any of a variety of leathers, frequently vegetable tanned, used for billfold and small leather goods.

Oil Tanned

Leathers tanned with certain fish oils. Produces a very soft, pliable leather such as chamois.


A shoe leather used for the outer soles. From vegetable tanned cattle hide, often quite thick.


A shoe leather, heavily finished to give a highly lustrous, baked-enamel type appearance, used for shoe uppers. Generally from cattle hide.

Pigment Finish

A process of coloring and coating the leather surface with colored pigments dispersed in film-forming chemicals called binders. The latter can be tailor-made to produce surfaces that are highly resistant to wear, fading, etc.


See Combination Tanned


General term including all upper, lining, and sole leathers.

Side Leather

Cattle hide grain leather which, prior to processing, has been cut in half forming two "sides". Purpose is to reduce the size to better accommodate tannery equipment. Represents the largest volume of commercial leather currently produced.


Cowhide and sheepskin leathers, usually chrome tanned, used for slipper uppers.


Grain leather which, in addition to hair removal, has had the outer surface removed by light buffing.


See Insole and Outsole


The underneath layer of side leather which has been "split" off. Devoid of a natural grain, it may be either sueded or pigment finished and embossed.


See Bag, Case, & Strap


Leathers that are finished by buffing the flesh side (opposite the grain side) to produce a nap. The term refers to the napping process and is unrelated to the type of skin used.


See Hat


See Imitation

Top Grain

See Full Grain


Large cattle hide, split thin, and tanned for use as furniture and automobile set coverings.


A shoe leather used for the upper portions. Predominantly from cattle hide and calf skins, although a great variety of skins are used. Usually combination tanned.

Vegetable Tanned

Leathers which have been tanned with vegetable materials that are derived from certain plants and woods, often called Bark Tannins.