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Types of leather

Not all leather is the same. There are different types of leather such as smooth leather, nappa leather, nubuck leather, suede, split leather and many more. The structure is different and it feels different. But what is nubuck leather? What is nappa leather? What is split leather? You are curious and want to know more about leather types? Then you have clicked on exactly the right link! Be curious and learn more about leather types. How do I recognize the right leather types?

Some types of leather are more familiar to us than others and they all have very special characteristics, a different feel and a different area of application. Most of the time we are told that leather is leather. This is a black leather bag and that is a brown leather couch. A fitting, simple example of this from a completely different area would be pasta. Pasta actually looks the same, except for the different shape. It is mostly made of flour and tastes just super delicious. But if we ask a true pasta lover, he will be able to tell us tens of characteristics and differences of pasta varieties. From the consistency to the ingredients and many more. Yes, pasta is a science in itself. It's the same way with our leather types.

The biggest distinction to take a step in the direction of how to tell leather apart would be to identify faux leather and genuine leather. The first step on how to easily identify what leather it is, is the symbol. High quality leather items are usually marked with a symbol that underpins the quality feature of genuine leather.

The surface, appearance - Now this could get a little trickier, as nowadays equally high quality faux leather items are manufactured. Significant to genuine leather is the fibrous grain side/interfaces. Genuine leather has a supple surface that is unmistakably different from a faux leather surface when stroked over it. Feel - The feel of a product is a very important characteristic in making purchasing decisions. The more refined a product feels, the higher value we attribute to it. Faux leather tends to feel smooth and rigid, while genuine leather has a velvety and supple surface.

Smell - What you can feel can also be smelled! A less high-quality processed leather product, you can also recognize by the smell. So if you detect a plastic smell in your nose, then it is most likely fake leather. However, this tip should be taken with a grain of salt, as there are well-manufactured faux leather products that do not have the typical plastic smell. Real leather, on the other hand, has a smell of its own that you will recognize when you are more familiar with the subject!

Test - This tip is sure to make you a new leather expert. Just do a water test by wetting the surface with a little water. If the material is rather water repellent, you can assume that it is artificial leather. However, if you see that the liquid tends to soak into the leather, you can assume that it is genuine leather.

Price - this would be our last tip for you. While genuine leather is offered at higher prices, you can find imitation leather products in lower price categories. However, the principle should always be that it depends not least on the quality of workmanship and also a leatherette product can be offered at the price of a genuine leather product.

So, you are now on the trail of the differences between the various types of leather and with the guideline you will become a true leather expert.

What is meant by suede?


Tu parles français? No? Not bad, we'll explain it to you. Velours comes from the French and means "velvet". In Germany, suede is also often referred to as wild leather.

Let's first start with the question, "What is suede?" Suede is a well-known, high-quality material and is often used in the fashion industry. Whether a stylish leather jacket in velour look or incorporated into elegant cushions. Velour has something noble and soft, which is appreciated by many. It is the same with leather accessories, such as PICARD's trendy series "Stockholm". The fashionable evening bag has a mix of suede and smooth leather. The trademark of the material suede is the roughened and very soft surface. How is this special surface created? The basis for it is created by roughening the surface of genuine leather with the help of sandpaper. Et voilà, you have already produced the high-quality material. It doesn't matter what type of leather is used for this look. It can be made from goatskin, deerskin, lambskin or cowhide, so suede belongs to the genuine leather.

Difference between suede and nubuck leather

The two types of leather have one thing in common. They are among the soft types of leather. Nubuck leather is also buffed, which gives the material a soft and supple surface. It is believed that the term nubuck is derived from the English term "buckskin", which means suede and describes the similarity of both materials due to their roughened surface. Just like suede, it is often made from cattle skin or deer skin. It has a very soft and velvety surface. In contrast, nubuck leather is a very sensitive material and requires intensive care. Nubuck belongs to the sensitive types of leather. UV resistance is much lower than other leathers, which can quickly cause them to fade.

All in all, suede counts as a true trend material, already very popular in the 80s and 90s, the trend material has prevailed up to our present time.

Leather types in comparison

So now it goes into the direct battle of the leather types. Our first step was to identify properties, characteristics and differences. We have already learned that the surface plays a very important role. Basically, we distinguish between smooth leather and suede leather. These two types of leather differ in terms of their processing. While roughened leather leather is sanded like suede, smooth leather, such as aniline leather, is not characterized by the smooth surface, but by the recognizable pores of the leather skin, because for the production of smooth leather, the upper side of the skin is used.

Advantages of smooth leather and suede

Just like any comparison, both types of leather have their advantages and disadvantages. Smooth leather comes in many designs, whether natural or dyed through. You have the possibility to buy leather accessories according to your taste. If you are more the fashionable type, go for an aniline leather, which is dyed through. Are you more the stylish, timeless type? Then a natural aniline leather is the perfect individual leather accessory for you. A very important advantage is that it belongs to the types of leather that are particularly robust and water-repellent.

Leather types like nubuck are characterized by the roughened surface. Rough leather is also one of the types of leather that are very sturdy and particularly durable.

Special features of smooth leather and suede

Leather is a natural material and therefore naturally requires the right care if you want to keep your new favorite piece for a long time. Leather develops its own unique look over time - this is called patina. The patina describes the natural aging of the leather, thereby slightly changing the color and the grain may come through more strongly. Thus, over time, each piece of leather becomes unique. Leather simply must be appreciated and loved and you will be rewarded with a leather accessory that will accompany you for many years.

While smooth leather usually has the advantage that stains, as long as they are fresh, can simply be wiped off with a damp cloth, suede reacts somewhat differently. Due to the roughened surface, liquids can penetrate deeper into the material and leave more stubborn stains. However, these stains can also be removed with the right leather cleaner. When choosing the cleaner, make sure that it is specifically suitable for this type of leather, so that the sensitive material is not affected.

What types of leather for upholstered furniture?


At least as important as our closet is our interior design. Our home is our personal retreat, where we feel safe and secure. What could be better than coming home from work and the first thing we do is put our feet up, continue watching our favorite series and just relax. There are hardly anything better than that. But for that you need a comfortable couch. As we know, sofas can be a science in itself. Which shape? Which material? Not without reason, you may be asking yourself "Which leather for a couch?" Then pay close attention now, we have 3 hot tips for you on which types of leather are the best for your new gem.

Tip 1: is for the uncomplicated. For all those who don't feel like constant cleaning etc. and love it easy to maintain: The pigmented smooth leather. You can also enjoy a pizza on the couch. Because the stylish smooth leather is super easy to clean and is therefore a favorite among the leather sofas.

Tip 2: as with almost every ranking, there is also here the golden middle ground. The all-rounder. Namely, the Napa or the semi-aniline leather. It is the perfect combination between the natural leather and the pigmented leather. It has a great, modern look. Plus point: with such upholstered furniture, you can see the pores of the fine leather skin even better.

Tip 3: The crème de la crème. The 100% natural smooth leather, such as pure aniline leather. So, those who love elegant and noble, in any case, can not do without a sofa made of aniline leather! From the look a 10/10, it requires of course, in the case of a sofa, a special, exclusive care. One thing is guaranteed, the time spent on care will pay off!

High quality leather goods at PICARD


We love leather! Not for nothing are we a traditional, German leather goods manufacturer with a lot of responsibility and a lot of experience. Because just as the different types of leather have been described in this article, quality is always a very important aspect that PICARD never loses sight of.

The first thought of leather that comes to mind is noble. Leather is simply elegant, high-end, classy and has an unbelievable quality. It is truly one of the original pieces of the fashion world because leather is versatile and always on trend. For a long time, leather has been appreciated for its robustness, durability, wearing comfort and versatile applications.

You are interested in fashion, accessories and like to chase the latest trends? Then PICARD is the right place for you! Take a look around our online store and find your new favorite leather accessory.

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