Leather Terminology / Other Leather Terms


Definition of Boarding

Boarding refers to a leather production process that aims to emphasize and reinforce leather grain. It produces a design on the leather’s grain surface and softens it with a series of creases forming on the hide's surface.

Boarding is done by folding the tanned and dried leather, grain side to grain side, and pressing the fold board knife across its surface.

A straight grain is achieved when the hide is boarded in one direction and a box (or cross) grain when the hide is boarded at right angles to the first.

Boarding the third time in a direction diagonal to the first two results in a pebbled-grain pattern. The final result is strong folds in the leather that are as durable as embossing.

Boarding can be done manually by hand, using a graining board, or as in most cases today, a boarding machine where leather is rolled between two cylinders, one covered with felt or rubber and the other with cock or rubber, as shown below.

schematic description of boarding

In the image, 1 represents one of the two rollers, while 2 stands for the leather being boarded. The third digit (3) represents the board sheet edge that the leather passes.

Example of Boarding in a Sentence

"She further softened her leather by boarding it with a boarding machine."

Related Terms for Boarding

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