Aniline Leather

Popov Leather’s toiletry bags made with aniline leather

Leather Terminology / Leather Finishes


Definition of Aniline Leather

Aniline leather is the king of luxury. It’s super soft to the touch, has a unique appearance, and is primarily used to make luxury leather accessories.

So if you want to invest in a one-of-a-kind leather accessory, consider choosing one with an aniline finish.

Aniline leather is derived purely from the finest and most natural organic hides. The leather begins as nappa leather, a full-grain leather tanned with chromium salts or aluminum sulfate to make it incredibly soft but strong enough to withstand wear and tear.

The napa leather is then dyed with a clear, water-soluble dye known as aniline. The dye is added to a drum, and as it spins, it soaks into the leather.

Due to their varying absorption rates, each part of the leather hide will absorb the dye quantity at a different rate, which accounts for the many shade variations in aniline leather.

quality leather coasters made with aniline leather

While aniline leather is an excellent choice for small accessories like wallets and coasters, it may not be the best choice for larger leather products like furniture or car seats. 

Using aniline leather on such products will give them an uneven appearance that will change more as they age and the leather patina sets in.

Example of Aniline Leather in a Sentence

"A wide variety of her leather accessories are made from aniline leather."

Related Terms for Aniline Leather

Did You Know?

Approximately only 5% of all rawhides are free from damage and can be processed into aniline leather. Since the natural grain remains visible on aniline leather, the skin must be flawless.

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