The “Naked” Truth

It seems counterintuitive that pure aniline leathers are often times higher priced, even though they have less surface protection. Surface finishes on semi-aniline leathers provide added protection, as well as visual barriers. The finish may hide natural markings commonly found on genuine leather. Pure aniline leathers, on the other hand, represent leather in its most pure form. Natural markings are highlighted and displayed proudly. Therefore, the raw materials for pure aniline leathers must be of the highest quality, so that the distinctive markings actually add to the beauty of the product. There are many benefits to purchasing pure aniline leathers, including their natural beauty, soft feel, product variety, and longevity.

Purchasing pure aniline leather is a wise investment for many reasons. First, pure aniline leather has the same natural, intricate fiber structure as semi-aniline leather, providing a highly flexible material that is incredibly strong and durable. Man-made products attempt to mimic this organic structure, but its complexity cannot be duplicated. Fabrics and vinyl are uniform in weave and therefore, will not offer the same strength.

Second, with little to no surface finish applied, pure aniline leather offers a much softer hand and more luxurious feel than its semi-aniline counterparts. For instance, judging by appearance alone, Garrett Sierra® looks a lot like semi-aniline leather. However, once you touch and feel Sierra, there is no mistaking it is pure aniline. Sierra’s incredibly soft hand and natural striations are tell-tale signs that it is pure aniline. Signs of wear are evident on all pure aniline leather, adding to the unique characteristics and individuality of each upholstered piece.

Third, the absence of heavier finishes allows for more freedom to bring out unique characteristics of the product. For example, Garrett Distressed® is lightly tumbled with paraffin waxes to create a well-worn, comfortable look and beautiful variations in color and shading. Distressed is easily recognizable by appearance alone. Likewise, a specially formulated mixture of oils and waxes is used to create Garrett Vintage®. These hides have a high gloss surface with very light, transparent finish. These soft, full bodied hides offer depth of color and a lightly worn appearance.

The well-worn look of leather is reminiscent of the past and conjures up memories of our history and traditions. Leather is a classic material that has been created and used for centuries. It is comforting to embrace the ageless look and feel of leather from yesteryear. Garrett Native is the perfect option for those seeking a more rugged leather with timeless style. Native is hand-buffed to create a mottled appearance and matte surface. Some areas of each hide appear “sueded” as a result of the hand-buffing process. Variations in shading and color give each hide its own unique character. With pure anilines, variety is ubiquitous, for no two hides are exactly alike.

Another type of pure aniline is nubuck. Nubuck has a soft nap and provides an elegant alternative to smaller suede hides. Garrett Kenya® has an accentuated grain and velvety texture. The large hide sizes provide excellent cutting yields. Water and stain repellents are dyed into the leather for added protection. Special nubuck cleaning cloths and care kits are available to maintain and revitalize the feel of the nap. Proper care will keep your nubuck leather looking fresh for years.

Finally, investing in pure aniline leather provides longevity. Pure anilines age beautifully, with a rich patina developing over time. While other materials deteriorate with age, pure aniline leather improves; becoming softer, more pliable, more comfortable and more beautiful as time goes by.

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