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As there are so many different types of leathers on the market,
Aniline is top grain leather that is dyed for colour without any pigments applied. These hides will exhibit some natural characteristics such as healed scars, scratches, neck and belly wrinkles. Expect colour variation from the swatch to the actual leather, due to the fact leather is a natural product and will absorb dye differently within the hide and from hide to hide. This leather will develop a rich patina over time and will fade with prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Semi-Aniline leather is 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 colour consistency and increased usability.
Corrected grain leather can be durable and have all the quality of a top aniline leather. The difference is that the outer most layer is scrapped away revealing a uniform surface below. This is then pressure embossed with an artificial grain. This removes any surface imperfections. A better solution where faults can’t be tolerated – e.g. clothing or shoes. Corrected grain leathers may also be subject to other treatments such as pigmentation.
Bicast leather is not a hide. It is produced from reconstituted finely ground off-cuts from the tanning process. This is bonded together under pressure using glue and then coated with a polyurethane layer. This material derives nearly all its strength and colour from the polyurethane coating. Once this coating is damaged then the material loses its strength.
This is similar to bicast leather but the application of a polyurethane coating is less important. This material gains more strength from the adhesive used to bond the reconstituted leather. This is at the direct expense of any flexibility. You might find bonded leather in applications such as book covers and coasters where pliability are not important. This material is typically very difficult to work and thick examples are cut with saws not scissors.
Faux leather is essentially imitation leather. Instead of being made of animal skins, these fabrics are made of other materials and may receive numerous treatments so that they replicate the look of leather and some of its common attributes. Some consumers avoid real leather for ethical reasons, as might vegans or vegetarians. Faux leather products are often lighter and much easier to clean than real leather products.