Antique Leather

antiqued leather folder before and after restoration

Leather Terminology / Leather Finishes


Definition of Antique Leather

Antique leather refers to leather that’s treated to give an aged or worn appearance.

There are two primary ways of achieving an antique finish. The first one involves applying a light-colored aniline dye evenly to the leather’s surface after it’s primed.

Dark pigmentation is then applied unevenly on the leather through dabbing, dotting, or swirling. The darker the pigmentation, the more dramatic the antique effect.

However, this technique is only recommended for skilled leather artisans. Not blending the dark pigmentation onto the lighter aniline dye appropriately can destroy the overall look.

The easier step for making antique leather is applying a uniform layer of the dark pigment over the lighter one, then partially rubbing off the dark pigment with a solvent.

The rubbed-off portions will be lighter, while the recessed areas will remain dark, creating a weathered look.

Example of Antique Leather in a Sentence

"The workshop contained some of the most beautiful antiqued leather goods we’d ever seen."

Synonyms: hand-rubbed leather, two-tone leather, distressed leather

Related Terms for Antique Leather

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