Aniline (Cleaning Code A)
Aniline leathers are top quality natural leathers in which the actual surface grain markings of the true leather (hide) are visible. They have very little or no protective treatments applied. Natural leathers can be classified as Natural, Pure, & Un-Protected and are usually colored with a transparent leather dye. A variety of clear finishes such as oil, wax, nitrocellulose and urethane protective coatings, which do not inhibit the softness or breathing of leather, are applied to the surface. These finishes allow the natural leather markings to show through the finish. Aniline leathers require different cleaning procedures than protected leather due to its porous nature. Aniline leather is prone to sun fading.
Identifying characteristics: very easy to scratch; water drops will darken the color and then dry back to natural color.
Pigmented/Protected/Top Coated/Painted (Cleaning Code P)
This is the most common leather type used in furniture, approximately 90% of the market. This leather has a uniform appearance and color. The leather has an intense color and a definite pattern (grain). You cannot see any natural leather markings through the top coatings, because a pigmented leather paint coat is applied to the surface. It is then sealed with a durable finish. Properly maintained, this finish will provide years of cleaning ability and durability.
Identifying characteristics: uniform color and grain patterns; will not scratch easily; water drops will not change color.
NuBuck (Cleaning Code N
These are natural Aniline leathers that have been surface brushed or buffed on the grained side of the leather creating a nap and leaving a texture similar to velvet (softess of all leathers to the touch). Usually Nubuck has a natural finish, but may have a light protective coat and a transparent leather dye for color. This process increases the leather surface exposure making it extremely absorbent to body oils and soil, and difficult to clean effectively.
Identifying characteristics: very soft to the touch, will scratch or scuff very easily; water drops will darken the leather but it returns to its original color after drying.
This is a man-made fabric of plastic and cloth. You can identify vinyl by its highly uniform grain pattern. The surface will have a slick feel to it. The backside of the vinyl is lined with a cloth/fabric backing. If you have any cracks or cuts, you can see the fabric backing (usually white in color).