Water Resistant vs Waterproof Leather

Are you looking for waterproof leather? We are often asked if leather is safe to use in areas around water, such as yacht interiors, summer homes, and beach-side resorts. The answer is yes, if it is the appropriate type of leather.



Leather is an excellent covering to use for multiple applications. To assist designers in selecting suitable leather for various projects, Garrett Leather presents LeatherShield. LeatherShield is a special classification designated to a select group of Garrett Leather products that are made to withstand the demands of high traffic areas. These products are treated during the tanning process to provide flame, water, and stain resistance, as well as UV and anti-bacterial protection, with no additional treatment or added costs. While 14 different product collections fall into this LeatherShield category, only one product, Torino, is waterproof. What is the difference?

Water Resistant Leather

Leather is a natural, porous material. After tanning, some types of leather receive a protective finish. For LeatherShield products, this water resistant finish provides a barrier against liquid absorption. No additional treatment is required. If water or other liquid is spilled onto LeatherShield leather, the liquid will puddle on top of the surface. Simply blot the spill immediately with a dry, clean cloth. If the spill is allowed to sit for hours or even days, the liquid would eventually seep through the tiny pores of the leather. Because these leathers are mineral tanned, even if water penetrates, the leather has been preserved and will not degrade.Therefore, these types of leather are considered water resistant. LeatherShield products provide extra protection against spills and superior durability compared to most fabrics that absorb spills immediately upon contact.

Waterproof Leather

Torino is LeatherShield leather that has a waterproof finish. This finish protects against spills regardless of how long the spill sits on the surface. To demonstrate, we draped Torino leather over a vase and filled it with water. Over the course of three days, none of the water penetrated the finish of the leather. While this demonstration is a bit extreme, it offers peace-of-mind to those seeking true waterproof protection. While Torino is a popular option for yachts, summer homes, and beach-side resorts, any of our water-resistant, semi-aniline products are recommended for these same types of applications.

Waterproof Leather

TO 1444 Torino Regatta


If you have additional questions regarding appropriate types of leather for various applications, please feel free to contact us.


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