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Choose the best leather for upholstery

7 March 2012  |  Admin

If you're looking for new leather furniture, or reupholstery in leather, we have an excellent range of Hide leather - choose the right leather for your project. 

Types of Upholstery Leather

There are four main types of upholstery leather: Aniline, Nubuck, Semi-Aniline and Pigmented.


All aniline leathers are delicate and sensitive hides that are dyed through with only a light surface finish / protection leaving a very natural feel and appearance but are also vulnerable to marking, scratching and fading. Nature's markings are part of the appeal of this type of leather and should be appreciated.

Healed scars, bug bites, neck and belly wrinkle all contribute to the character of these very elegant leathers. Colour variation is a natural characteristic of any aniline leather and colours will vary from hide to hide and dye-lot to dye-lot. When pulled, stretched or used in tightly upholstered applications, expect the colour and sheen to vary on pull-up and distressed leathers.

Anilines are not as colourfast as pigmented hides. Prolonged exposure to light and heat will cause aniline leathers to fade. A more careful maintenance and understanding of this type of leather is required by the customer to ensure that the leather is fit for purpose.


A top-grain aniline leather (description as per aniline) that has been buffed or sanded on the grain side, to give a slight nap of short protein fibres, producing a velvet-like surface.

Nubuck is an unprotected leather and is more subject to staining than an aniline due to the brushed fibres. A more careful maintenance and understanding of this type of leather is required bu the customer to ensure that the leather is fit for purpose.


These hides are dyed through and then given a light pigment coating. This maintains the natural look, luxurious touch and also makes the leather more durable and easier to care for than an aniline. It is however still a fairly delicate leather.


These hides undergo the same processes as aniline and semi-aniline leather, but are then given additional pigmented finishes and treatments to enhance the yield and durability to make the leather easier to clean and maintain. Leather is a 100% natural product.

Each hide is truly unique and individual bearing the distinctive marks and characteristics of its natural origin which will vary from hide to hide. These are its beauty and give leather its authenticity, luxurious good looks, style, comfort and will develop a patina over time.


Kirkhouse Leather Upholstery Guide
Range Type High Resistance Medium Resistance Low Resistance
Cardinal Pigmented *    
Highway Pigmented *    
Madras Pigmented *    
Medal Pigmented *    
Apollo Semi-Aniline   *  
Broadway Semi-Aniline   *  
Havana Semi-Aniline   *  
Oregon Semi-Aniline   *  
Picasso Semi-Aniline   *  
Tango Semi-Aniline   *  
Taos Semi-Aniline   *  
Windsor Semi-Aniline   *  
Rub-Off Semi-Aniline   *  
Brulee Aniline     *
Cowboy Aniline     *
Cuba Aniline     *
Galaxy Aniline     *
Lincoln Aniline     *
Marlay Aniline     *
New Delhi Aniline     *
Rancher Aniline     *
Tuscon Aniline     *
Ascot Aniline     *
Buffalo Aniline     *
Conway Aniline     *
Rustic Aniline     *
Tudor Aniline     *
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