The British Standards Institute defines leather as follows: “Hide or skin with its original fibrous structure more or less intact, tanned to be imputrescible. The hair or wool may, or may not, have been removed. Leather is also made from a hide or skin that has been split into layers or segmented either before or after tanning.”
Types of Leather
There are 3 basic types of genuine leather.
Grade 1 or “full grain”; clear, supple and clean, consistent in colour, has the highest yield of over 90% and the surface is smooth.
Grade 2; less consistent in colour, has a yield of 78% and the surface is slightly imperfect.
Grade3; blotchy very inconsistent in colour, has a yield of 40% and the surface is very imperfect and will feel stiff, excessive coating needed to hide imperfections. Regarding the leather dyes, sometime it is surface dyed and sometime it is aniline dyed leather.
So, the natural beauty of High-Quality leather is visible through a Sheer, rich Aniline dye. For the assessment of leather, always use your sense organs (eye and nose) like:
Look at the seams and needle marks, if they seem to be a different colour than the garment itself this could mean that the garment is dyed on the surface only and as we have mentioned above that it must be dyed on both sides i.e., dyed on both sides.
* The garments should smell like leather not chemicals, so not to be treated with Azo Dye( Nitrogen containing Dyes) as these are toxic and has been linked to many skin reactions
* Lastly, feel it, must be soft to touch, and smooth, free of any bumps, should flex easily, and should not be stiff and hard to bend.