What Is Unfinished Leather?
Unfinished leather is a different ball game altogether.
Unlike traditional finished leather where it has been aniline dyed and then finished with a pigmentation coating, unfinished leather is exactly as the name says.
Unfinished leather has a great deal more character than traditional finished leathers. It’s much softer to touch and it also allows the natural colouring to shine through the hide and shows all its hair follicles and grain structure perfectly.
Unfinished leather is very absorbent, so protection is prevention. Anything that is spilt or dropped onto the unfinished hide will be absorbed into the skin, once it goes into the skin it’s an almost impossible task to remove it again. The only option left is a re dye with aniline dyes to darken the skin slightly disguising the stains left from what was spilt on it.
Unfinished leather gets given many different names including naked leather or natural cow hide, it’s not just cow hides that can be unfinished, any skin can be left unfinished or can become veg tanned or aniline dyed, other names include virgin leather and pure leather.
A great deal of saddling leather is unfinished leather and can be left to gain its own characters over time and with the use of saddle soaps.
Unfinished leather is used in many industries including shoes, handbags, fashion goods, belts, furniture and in some cars.
It’s a problematic material to clean once stained, keeping unfinished leather protected is the key to avoid stains from taking place.
Cleaning unfinished leather is very different to pigmented leather, you can’t just any old leather cleaner. You have to use specific leather cleaners for this type of leather, to clean this leather this has to be done from seam to seam, naturally this may darken when it’s dried back to normal. You will also find unfinished leather gains a beautiful honey like affect as it ages and has a golden glow to it, this is very natural with this type of leather.