Leather Tanning Process Terms

ANALINE FINISH - Full grain leather which has been colored with dyestuffs rather than pigments. Usually topped with protein, resin, or lacquer protective coating.

BUFFED - Lather which has been smoothed or suede by mechanical sanding.

CHROME TANNED - Leathers that have been tanned with soluble chromium salts, primarily basic chromium sulfate.

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

EMBOSSED - A mechanical process of permanently imprinting a great variety of unique 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 an analine or glazed finish.

GLAZED FINISH -  Similar to an analine finish except that the leather surface is polished to a high lustre by the action of glass or steel rollers under tremendous pressure.

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

MINERAL TANNED - Leathers which have been tanned by any of the several mineral substances, notable the salts of chromium, aluminum, and zirconium.

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

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

SIDE LEATHER - Cattlehide 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.

SPLIT - 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.

SUEDE - Leathers that are finished by buffing the flesh side (opposite the grain side) to produce a nap.

VEGETABLE TANNED - Leathers which have been tanned with vegetable materials that are derived from certain plants and woods, often called BARK tannins.









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