Explore key terminology used to describe our leather products and processes. If you have more questions, contact a Garrett Leather representative for personalized support. Our team of experts will help you understand the characteristics and advantages of leather options based on your unique application needs.

Aniline FiberDye®

The dyeing process that results in true color permanence. Transparent dyes penetrate the cell layers throughout the thickness of the hide, producing deep, vibrant, and durable colors. It conceals none of the natural characteristics or markings. Look for the Fiberdye® logo when purchasing quality leather.

Antiqued / Distressed

Common descriptive terms for leather that shows signs of natural aging and wear created in the finishing process.

Enhanced Grain

Leather that is lightly buffed to improve the surface and embossed to simulate an attractive grain or to add decorative texture.

Full Grain

Leather that has the original, natural grain intact.

Natural Markings

Common imperfections that appear on the hide. Examples of natural markings include shading variations, healed scratches, neck wrinkles, insect bites, barbed wire marks, stretch marks, vein marks and brands.


Aniline dyed leather that is buffed to create a soft nap. Nubuck is not a true suede, which is made from the less desirable split hide. Especially vulnerable to stains, nubuck is often lightly finished for protection.


A luster or shine that develops with use over time. The term is usually associated with fine antiques and vintage furniture.

Pigmented Leather

Leather that is finished with a solid pigment coating for consistency of color and texture. Pigment may be used to cover imperfections, as well as to add protection. Generally used to denote a more promotional leather. Sometimes called "painted" leather.


A full grain, aniline dyed leather that is waxed or oiled. When pulled, the oils/waxes cause the color to migrate and become lighter in the pulled areas. A look associated with quality leather.

Pure Aniline

Leather that is aniline dyed and receives no additional coloring. Also called full aniline, naked aniline or naked leather.

Sauvage / Mottling

A marbled, tone-on-tone effect created by blending similar colors. Used to add depth and character to leather.


Leather that is aniline dyed and coated with matching pigment and/or other topical finishes to even out the color and add protection.


The bottom layers of the hide that have been split off from the top layer, then pigmented or sueded. Splits are generally stiffer and less durable than leather made from the top layer of the hide.

Top Coat

A transparent, protective coating applied to the leather surface. May also impart luster to the surface.

Top Grain

The uppermost layer of the hide.