Split: All leather hides have to be split because a hide is too thick to upholster or use in any type of
manufacturing. The hide goes into a machine where a blade slices the hide into two hides. The bottom
hide is known as split leather. This hide can be sanded down (corrected) and embossed with a
consistent graining pattern to be used on the outside back and sides of sofa for a slight cost saving to
achieve certain price points. A split leather is still 100% leather, and has all the same finishing treatments
as the top grain portion.
Top Grain: In the above process the top portion of the hide is the top grain portion. It is generally used
in the areas that receive more wear since the fiber of top grain is more compact than that of split grain.
Full Grain is top grain leather that uses the natural grain of the hide. No correction is made to the grain.
Corrected Grain: Top grain leather that has been sanded down to reduce some of the visual natural
characteristics. Of the various types of corrections, the most common is to sand down, and completely
remove the natural grain and then emboss a consistent graining pattern. Another type of correction is to
lightly buff the hide to remove the peaks and valleys of the grain.
Embossed Grain: a consistent grain pattern is “pressed” into the leather using rollers. It can be as
subtle as a small natural looking grain pattern, or as different as a crocodile pattern.
Grades of Leather: the main determining factor of a grade of leather is the origin of the raw hide. The
grade of the leather determines its price.
Pull-up: Aniline – dyed leather that has been waxed or oiled. When the leather is pulled, the oil/wax
separates, causing the color to lighten.