Hand Rubbing

Leather Terminology / Other Leather Terms


Definition of Hand Rubbing

Hand rubbing leather is a leather finishing that gives the leather a desired final look and feel.

In this finishing method, the leather surface is physically rubbed with a brush, sponge, or cloth to create the desired finish.

To begin with, the leather is treated with a pigment, oil, or wax before it's rubbed to evenly distribute the finish and display its natural texture and grain.

The final result will depend on the degree of rubbing applied or the type of finish used, such as a polished look, matte finish, or smooth shiny finish. The rubbing material used (sponge, cloth, or brush) will also affect the leather’s final look and feel.

Hand rubbing can be done by hand or using a specialized machinery. The method is mainly done to add depth and character, but it can also be used to restore the appearance of an old or worn leather.

The rubbing will eliminate scuffs, marks, scratches, and other visible signs of aging to bring out the original texture and grain of the leather, resulting in a rejuvenated look that will make the leather product look as good as new.

Hand rubbing, however, is a time-consuming and skilled process that requires utmost patience and will only produce excellent, long-lasting results if done by well-experienced artisans.

Example of Hand Rubbing in a Sentence

"Hand rubbing of leather should only be done by skilled artisans who understand the interplay of colors to achieve rich tones."

Related Terms for Hand Rubbing

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