Buffed Leather

Leather Terminology / Leather Types


Definition of Buffed Leather

Buffed leather is leather with the top grain surface removed by sanding before it’s embossed or coated with a pigment color layer. 

The result is a two-tone effect, with sections of the hide feeling smooth and suede-like, and other parts where the pebble is more pronounced.

Buffing is mainly done on leather to remove surface imperfections or irregularities and obtain a uniform grain pattern in an effort to reduce the cutting waste (what’s left over after cutting away the desired shape. See yield).

The process entails sanding the leather using abrasive brushes or wheels to create a smooth, even surface. That’s why buffed leather products have a uniform, polished surface appearance.

Buffing helps to remove marks, scratches, and surface scars, giving the leather an enhanced overall appearance. It also improves the leather’s flexibility and pliability, giving it a better feel and texture.

However, buffing alters some of leather’s natural characteristics like breathability and rich patina, making buffed leather less superior in quality.

Expert Tip: To test if a finished leather has been previously buffed, remove the finish with a solvent. If a nubuck-like surface appears, then the leather had been buffed before applying the finish.

Example of Buffed Leather in a Sentence

"The buffed leather shoes had a bright shine that made them more attractive."

Synonyms: buff leather

Related Terms for Buffed 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