Choosing Leather Hides
A lot of people who are new to leather do not know how to purchase leather hides. Leather is not a complicated product but it is good to have some knowledge before buying. Leather is a natural product that usually comes from cowhide and once it is finished is called a “hide”. Genuine leather does not come on rolls but comes in hides which averages 40-60 square feet. There is some waste involved when cutting leather but a good rule of thumb is 18 square feet equals 1 yard. The first thing to consider is what type of leather to purchase. There are three main types of leather: protected, semi-aniline and aniline. Below we will outline each type of leather and should help you decide when buying:
Protected – this type of leather is the most durable kind and will have a pigmented finish that will not scratch. These type of leathers are perfect for high traffic areas and are kid friendly. The only disadvantage to having a protected leather is you lose some of the natural beauty that other types of leather have due to the pigmented color and protected finish.
Semi-Aniline – this type of leather is also durable but will not receive as much finish as a protected leather. Semi-aniline leather is good for daily use but will also retain some the natural beauty that is found in leather. Most semi-aniline’s will be aniline dyed for color then receive a subtle pigment for protection or color effect. The only disadvantage to a semi-aniline is sometimes the color can fade if put in direct sunlight.
Aniline – this is the finest and purest type of leather. Aniline leathers are usually only dyed for color and that’s it! These leathers will be the softest but will not offer any protection, meaning they can scratch very easily. We recommend these type of leathers for high-end customers who really want a natural feel and look and aren’t bothered by its lack of wear and durability.
This short guide only covers the basics of leather and should be a good reference when looking for leather hides for sale. We have a leather education area on our website which is a great resource for any questions you might have. Please contact Carroll Leather for any questions that you may have, we have over 40 years of experience in the industry and constantly want to provide our customers with the best information. You can also check our blog page which is updated weekly for updated information and trend forecasting.