Aniline Dye

Leather Terminology / Other Leather Terms


Definition of Aniline Dye

Aniline dye is a colorless to brown oily dye made from aniline (a common byproduct of coal tar) that’s used to change or enhance the color of leather.

The dye was invented in the mid-nineteenth century by a young chemistry student called William Henry Perkin.

In his attempt to create a chemically identical artificial version of quinine, a plant-based drug used to treat Malaria, Perkin accidentally produced a potent purple dye using aniline and other chemical compounds.

This dye, which he called Mauveine, became the first mass produced chemical dye.

After several advancements on the product, aniline dye has become a household name in the dyeing industry, used not just for leather products but also in the woodworking and textile industries.

Leather dyed with aniline (aniline leather) is strong and considered to be of a higher quality than other dyed leather types.

quality aniline leather shoe

Example of Aniline Dye in a Sentence

"During the workshop, students finally had the chance to use their DIY leather tools on the products before applying a permanent color with aniline dye and beeswax."

Related Terms for Aniline Dye

Written by Ryan Popoff

Ryan Popoff is the creative mind behind Popov Leather wallets, iPhone cases, belts, watch bands and journals since 2013. With a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts, my leatherworking journey began at home. I wanted to create a simple leather wallet that could fit into my front pocket and — to my delight — it was a hit with family and friends. Hopefully you love our honest, quality leather goods too! Read more