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Leather Terms Are Important-
It is important to know the terminology used in the leather trade so as to understand what you are shopping for and are able to compare the various features and the quality being offered when purchasing leather goods. Why is it important?
It is important to know for example what you are buying if you compare an item that is Bonded Leather as opposed to Top Grain leather. The difference is substantial, if I was to use a comparison of the construction trade and wood products. Bonded leather is analogous to particle board whereas Top Grain leather would be equivalent to solid walnut. Would you say that there is a difference in what you were getting for the money? Absolutely! Bonded leather is made from ground up scrap or pieces of leather that are glued back together to form a sheet. Where "Top Grain" leather is genuine leather. Be informed!

Terms used in the Leather industry


A type of dye that is translucent and allows the natural grain as well as imperfections to show.

Chrome Tanning

Curing leather hides with a chromium salt solution.

Vegetable Tanned

Curing leather hides with vegetable extracts such as oak tannin.

Top Grain

Hides are split into several layers, the outer most layer of the hide is the �Top Grain� which is the outer surface which is the most durable but also may show branding marks, barbed wire, or bug bite scars that have healed.

Corrected Grain

This is a process that may buff the surface or emboss the surface so as to hide markings and imperfections.

Drum Dyed

Leather along with dye is sealed in a large drum that rotates, tumbling the leather within the dye for a period long enough to soak the leather coloring it thoroughly.


This is a term used to describe the feel or suppleness of the leather


This is a process of tumbling the leather in a drum that makes it soft.

Oil Tanned

Leather tanned with fish oils. This offers a soft pliable leather.


Leather thickness is graded by weight in ounces per square foot. 2 � ounce leather means that one square foot of that leather weighs 2 � ounces. It can also be measured in millimeters.

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