How Leather is Made | Danfield Inc., Leather

How Leather is Made

The Danfield Inc. difference is in knowing where leather comes from and how leather is made. We help local business and designer grow using sustainable and locally produced leather hides.

Tanning: Leather Tanning is the process of converting raw hides or skins into leather. Leathers can be tanned using either mineral or natural ingredients.

Vegetable Tanned Leather: This leather is tanned using natural tannins and ingredients found in vegetable and raw materials such as tree bark, wood, leaves, fruit and roots. Vegetable tanned leather hides usually have a firmer body. 

Finishing:  This is what we do at Danfield Inc., Leather! This is the final stage in the process to developing a beautiful finished leather hide ready for use.  This final step includes all the all the operations to be carried out on a dried skin to improve and protect the properties of the leather hide.   This process involves changing the surface, aesthetic, texture and color of the leather hide, through embossing, polishing, tumbling, milling, and spraying. The art and skill of finishing lies in working with the leather hide while maintaining its natural characteristics and supple feel.  

Drum Dyed: Drum Dying is the process dying the leather by immersing it in dye and tumbling the leather in a rotating drum. 

Semi-Aniline: This is part of the finishing process. This is the process of the leather hide being dyed all the way through with the same color, producing the same color on the front and the back of the leather hide. After the leather is dyed all the way through, a pigment color is applied to the top of the leather hide to guarantee an even and consistent color on the surface of the hide. This process if followed by additional finishes to provide special effects to the leather such as an antique look, a penalized, matt or high shine finish. A protective coat is also applied to the leather to protect against stains and sun damage. 

Pure- Aniline: In this process the leather hide is also dyed all the way through, however there are no additional pigments added to the leather. The absence of protective layer will create inconsistency and variations in color throughout the hides surface and make the hide more susceptible to stains and sun damage. A pure-aniline hide may have a hand antique finish added to it or distressing to create a Nubuk leather. 

Embossing:  Embossing is the process of adding a raised design and texture to the leather. 

Debossing: Debossing is the opposite of embossing. This is the process of creating imprints into the leather. 

Milled Leather: Milled leather is the product of a leather after it undergoing milling in a leather milling machine. In a milling machine the leather is tumbled in a rotating drum in order to soften the leather and naturally intensify fine lines the leather may possess.  

Top Grain:  This is the top portion of the leather hide. Top-Grain leather is a high quality and durable leather. This is the best quality leather to use for furniture upholstery. 

Suede / Split: This is the product of splitting the leather hide into two layers.  The bottom lather, the layer without the grain surface becomes suede or it can have an artificial layer of grain texture applied through embossing.  Split leather has a stiff texture.