What Is Pigmented Leather or Finished Leather?
The leather may be buffed (corrected) to reduce heavy natural scarring and blemishes in the hides. It is then coloured with a coating containing opaque pigments and embossed with a grain pattern to ensure a uniformity of colour and resistance to fading.
Pigmented leathers primary goal is to provide protection and make leather last longer.
Pigmented / Finished leather provides protection against wear, stains, moisture, colour loss, tears and much more.
Pigmented leathers don’t have that silky soft feel and touch that you do get with aniline leathers, this is due to the painted surface that’s applied to preserve the skin.
Looking at pigmented / finished leather through a microscope, you will see this is evenly coloured and will not vary in shade, you will also notice due to these hides being embossed with a grain pattern this will be very uniformed across the surface.
Placing a drop of water on here will also show that it’s waterproofed as it will not absorb the water, unlike an aniline leather that will absorb the water.
These are pigmented cow hide leather skins.
Pigmented leather goes through a tanning process, where the hide is dyed with aniline dyes so it’s a dyed through hide, then a pigmented binder coat is applied to the surface. This provides a protective coloured layer to the surface, this also enhances the embossed grain patterns.
Once this is carried out a further layer is added of topcoats / clear coats to protect the coloured layer underneath from wear and tear. This is providing a stable UV base to help against UV rays bleaching the coloured layer on the hide.
With any coating that is applied to a leather hide, this must not exceed 0.15mm thickness, if it does it can’t be sold as a leather hide.
Car leather never used to be dyed through like they are today, they were tanned and then a coloured layer applied to the surface, very much like connolising your leather.
Today car leather is dyed through first with aniline dyes and then a coloured coating applied and finally a topcoat clear lacquer is applied to give the hides waterproof properties.