Leather is a natural, soft, durable and indissoluble material. Pores on leather help the air and water circulation and thus it can “breathe” by absorbing moisture and then discharging it. Leather is also flexible to a certain degree.
Leather consists of 50.2% carbon, 25.4% oxygen, 17.8% nitrogen, 4.6% hydrogen and 2% sulfur. Leather is a very healthy material owing to its ability to “breathe”. It doesn’t wear out or get torn easily. It can adopt the shape of the body thanks to its flexible nature and prevents sweating thanks to its porous structure. It never goes out of style since it is a high quality material. On the other hand, leather is not waterproof due to this porous structure. If it doesn’t undergo any protection process, leather is not very useful in rainy and snowy weather.
The first thing to be careful is to determine if the material is genuine leather. Artificial leather is made of plastic and thus smells of plastic. Contrarily, genuine leather has the specific smell which can be recognized by anyone.
You can assess the quality of leather by touching it. The main distinction between genuine and artificial leather is the porous structure. Artificial leather doesn’t have pores. Genuine leather always has pores and the type and distribution of pores vary depending on the kind of its origin. For instance, leather made from the chest or back parts of the animal is usually thicker and has a different type of pores. Thus, it is normal for the same piece of leather to have pores of different size. The more advanced chemicals are used, the higher quality leather is produced. If you want to buy leather of high quality, the best choice would be the leather dealers which are experts in this art.
Leather is divided into two primary categories depending on whether the grain (outer part) of the leather is processed or not. Zig and Nappa are the two conventional, smooth types of leather.
These two have some sub-categories as Aniline, Semi-Aniline, Suede and Nubuck. Aniline is produced from the highest quality leather without the application of much finishing work. It is extremely soft. While it is of highest quality and cost, it is also prone to water stains and scratches due to the lack of artificial protective layers. Aniline Care Kit is a good choice for the care of your aniline products.
Semi-Aniline is produced from lower quality leather and there is coating or embroidery on it in order to hide the faults on its surface, which gives a plastic feeling. It has a colder touch. The pores may be unclear. It can be easily mistaken for artificial leather.
Suede is produced by processing the flesh (inner side) of the hide. Therefore, its surface feels more different than other kinds of leather. Its surface is fuzzy and napped resembling the billiard cloth. If the fluff is noticeable, the material is suede. If the fluff is thinner and resembles sand it is nubuck. Both can be protected from external conditions by using Nubuck Care Kit.