You may be shocked at how good that rhymes.
Leather can look pretty simple at first. Take a closer look, and soon you’ll be asking questions like, “what is aniline leather? Is it better than other types of leather?” Oh look, an article that answers your question! What are the chances?
Aniline leather is high quality material, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. It comes with its own disadvantages that you should consider when comparing it against other leathers. But before I get to that, let’s look at what aniline leather really is all about.
What Is Aniline Leather?
To understand what aniline leather is, you must first understand that aniline is a set of dyes used to add to the final stage of the leather jacket, much like frosting is placed onto a handmade cake (I have a sweet tooth). Once the hide is tanned, aniline is used to specially treat the leather and make it stand out.
Quality of Aniline Leather
Aniline leather, sometimes called napa leather, is one of the best types of leather available today. Its high quality finish pulls in those with deep pockets since it costs more than other leathers and needs more care and maintenance.
Its high cost and quality is attributed to the dye being used for the highest-quality leather hides. If there are any scratches or markings to the hide, it will not be used for the aniline process to create a leather jacket. The aniline dye is mixed with oils that soaks into the leather jacket and provides it with a supple shine. An additional semi-aniline process protects the leather jacket from stains and wear with a thin protective coat.
Look, Feel, and Texture of Aniline Leather
An aniline leather jacket will show colors natural to that of the animal’s skin used as the main hide. If the hide is brown, the leather will also show the same true color. The jacket shows the natural markings of the animal such as scars, wrinkles, and blemishes, and, if you’ve ever scratched a leather shoe before and saw a mark, the same happens if you scratch aniline leather.
Even though there may be natural markings on the leather, only perfect hides are processed as any damage to the surface of the hide will fully show in aniline leather. As you might find out later (or just now), a good number of hides do have some scars or damage, so those that are flawless are only used in the production process. If you own aniline leather, you can say you’re the top 5% since less than that amount are actually produced.
How To Tell If Your Leather Jacket Is Made From Aniline Leather
Look no further for a more natural-looking leather jacket than aniline. An aniline leather jacket is soft to the touch, warm, and gives off a matte look. It also can be considered having a waxy grip yet be porous and smooth. Don’t worry, if you own an aniline leather jacket and are afraid of the rain ruining your fun outdoors, you can look at my quick tips on how to work around it.
Aniline Leather Jacket Making Process
Just like above, aniline is a dye that is translucent and water-soluble and gives the tanned animal hide its natural color to form the leather jacket you wear today. During the dyeing process, markings, scars, and other features are brought out within the leather. Another form of processing includes coating the leather jacket with oil or wax to make it look more distressed.
Pros and Cons of Aniline Leather
– High quality
– Soft and supple
– Natural color and appearance
– Highly sought after
– Stains and gets worn easily (e.g., water, grease/oil)
– Fades in direct sunlight over time
– Needs regular care such as conditioning to prevent drying out
Common Aniline Leather Products Besides Leather Jackets
Luxury products use aniline leather since it’s known for its beautiful finish and natural features. They are:
– sofas / couches
– handbags / backpacks
– car seats (though not really suitable unless it has a protective coating)
– other types of furniture
How To Clean and Protect Aniline Leather
One of the cons about aniline leather jackets is that it needs more care than other types of leather finishes since it can stain and fade more easily. However, simply conditioning the jacket from time to time will ensure it’s protected from drying out and looking its best.
You can find many aniline leather cleaning products online that remove body oils and dirt from your leather jacket. If you’re unsure or your jacket is already dry, you can also find a leather jacket restorer who will hydrate your leather and make it soft and natural again.
The Top 5% Needs Care, But Provides The Luxury
Aniline leather jackets provide a fantastic look and feel to the wearer and is often known to be of the best quality leather. It has its setbacks but nothing that a little conditioning and care can’t take care of if you don’t mind spending the time of keeping your jacket looking its best.
What are your thoughts on aniline leather?