In fact pigments are fine particles used in the finish of some leathers. This gives additional colour to the dyed hides. Like paint, the pigment particles are very strong. In fully pigment finished leathers (e.g. PUCCINI and ROMA and MESSINA), they give the surface topcoat of the leather excellent resistance to wear, soiling and fading. Naturally, the Italian pigments are very lightfast and strong.
Aniline leather is the most natural form of colouring leather, as the leather is only drum dyed, without having additional colour added by pigment. A fantastic example is the SILK range.
A drum dyed leather that is enhanced with a very light pigment colour to complement the dyed colour. Unlike fully pigmented leather where you generally don’t see the dyed colour beneath, on semi-aniline, the light pigment coat is usually partially transparent, allowing the dyed colour of the hide to be seen also.
Corrected grain have an embossed grain stamped under pressure, or rolled likewise, which gives a uniform grain pattern over the entire hide. These are usually applied to fully pigmented leathers. As such, the advantage of corrected grain is that it aids cutting yield over a natural grain leather which may have scars and grain variation that needs to be cut around.
Full grain have the natural (non-corrected) grain surface only, which can either be pigment finished or aniline.
Top grain is used when only the genuine top layer of the cowhide, with the natural grain layer, is used for the finished article. Our Italian suppliers only use top grain hides, as opposed to some very cheap leathers which use a “split”, which is the second cut of the hide under the top layer. These cheap split leathers are always totally covered in a thick layer of pigment, and then embossed, and can be confused as being like our own corrected grain products. We only use Top-Grain hides, as this is the layer of the hide that gives strength and durability.
This kind of finish uses a Two-Tone colour, a darker colour over a lighter. When the leather is stretched on some parts of the furniture, the top darker colour will open up a little. This allows the lighter colour underneath to “pull-up” and show through. This effect is also seen as the darker topcoat colour is worn, also showing more of the lighter colour beneath.
As such the overall effect gives an attractive antiqued appearance.