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Various Types of Leather Finishes


When purchasing a leather suite, it is important to consider the different finishes that are available to you. The pros of buying leather are its extreme durability, strength and richness in color. Leather is finished in order to ensure that it stays looking as new and beautiful as the when you bought it and to seal the leather from the oils in our bodies and other external pollutions which may stain the leather.

The process of finishing leather begins with a thin coat of particular finishes spread over the leather. After this is applied, wet skins are laid over the coated leather enhancing the soft feel of the leather. After this, the leather may be dyed to various colors or re-tanned to ensure it is finished to an acceptable standard.

The benefits of finished leather are many.  Finishing leather increases its durability and strength and protects it from stains. Finished leather looks shiner and is more flexible and, therefore, more comfortable than non-finished leather. The process of finishing leather also increases the life of the color after the leather is dyed and, finally, finishing leather leaves the leather looking softer and more lustrous than non-finished leather.

Although there are many different types of finishes for leather, there are five major ones.

  1. Fully Pigmented Finish – This is the most popular finish for leather and also the most straight-forward. This finish is simply many coats of color and sealer. This creates a rich single color and a soft feel to the leather.
  2. Antique Finish – This finish is often comprised of two different colors. First a lighter base coat is applied. This is often repeated many times to deepen the color. Once the base color is the desired hue, a thin layer of a darker color is applied. This results in a final two-toned color. Finally a sealer is applied
  3. Wyper Finish – This technique is very similar to the antique finish, but instead of leaving the second, darker color where it sits after it is applied, the wyper finish requires that it be wiped off with a special solution. This adds some texture to the two-toned leather. Again, a sealant is applied once the color is satisfactory.
  4. Corrected Grain Finish – To create this finish, the leather is scarred and warped using an artificial grain. This creates an embossed finish that leaves the leather looking similar to vinyl and is very lustrous.
  5. Full Grain Finish – This last finish is the softest and most natural looking. Generally the leather is not dyed or changed in any way, just sealed to ensure it lasts as long as your love for it.

Knowing the various finishes of leather and their benefits helps you make a more informed decision when you decide to buy a leather sofa, suite, or any other leather furniture.