There are many features of leather which make it so attractive to consumers the world over. One of these features is leather’s resilience. A properly maintained leather will never look old and will therefore outwear textiles many times over. Since fabrics are woven, changes in their appearance from age and use detract from their beauty. Leather will actually absorb body oils during use. These oils, which are damaging to textiles, will actually enhance the leather’s appearance making it more beautiful over time. This improvement in appearance is called patina.
Full grain, aniline leather is undemanding. It breathes, has a life of its own, and requires little care. It should not be abused by harsh cleaners or substances such as wax or mink oils which will clog the pores. A periodic wipe with a damp cloth is a sufficient means of cleaning under normal conditions. When additional cleaning becomes necessary, cleaning products should be chosen which are specifically designed for that particular type of leather. Various aspects such as pH levels and grain and finish characteristics should be accounted for.
Spinneybeck full grain leathers are superior to corrected leathers and split leathers because:
- They are stronger
Full grain leathers have greater tensile strength and are less likely to “puddle” than leathers which have lost the surface layers. This is especially true of chromium tanned upholstery leathers which have been cut thin and softened for buyer appeal. Leathers which have had the upper portion of the dermis removed have lost the strongest, tightest, and most dense part of the hide. These leathers are not as strong as full grain leathers and will not exhibit the same tensile strength. They will permanently stretch over time.
- They are more comfortable
Full grain leathers breathe and ventilate body heat away from the body, allowing them to remain cool and comfortable in the summer while at the same time not becoming cold and rigid in the winter. Corrected grain and reticular leathers have their surfaces clogged with heavy applications of finish and will not wick away heat.
- They are more beautiful
Full grain leathers produced from the highest quality of raw materials have depth of color and require less finish, allowing their natural markings to show. Corrected grain leathers receive heavy coats of finish which will not only mask the natural characteristics of the hide, but also the depth of color which comes from expensive dyestuffs that have been absorbed into the hide.
- They are more supple
Full grain leathers are natural, supple and provide a robust hand. This natural characteristic adds to the luxury, value and comfort of the leather. This feature is not evident in lower grade corrected grain leathers.
- They are longer lasting
Full grain leathers which have all of their natural properties intact will breathe and will maintain a high moisture content and a proper pH balance. Lower grade corrected grain leathers receive heavy applications of finish which seal the surface, preventing breathablility and allowing for the fiber structure of the hide to break down.