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What to expect from aniline leathers

What to expect from
aniline leathers

Steve Sechrest, COCOCOHome – Co-founder, Charlotte NC

About 75% of the leather furniture pieces we make for our customers are made from aniline dyed leathers. What is aniline leather? Aniline leathers are those that are “dyed in the drum” in the tannery, rather than having pigment applied after the tanning process. These aniline leathers are the most natural leathers and are typically made of the highest quality raw materials and are often referred to as “Full Grain” or “Top Grain” leathers.

With these leathers, the natural surface of the hide is left largely intact which allows the leather to breathe so that it adjusts to body temperature and is comfortable to sit on.

Oxford Tufted Leather Chair Mont Blanc Bermuda

With these natural full grain aniline leathers, you will also often get tremendous clarity. That is, you will see the marks and blemishes that reflect the life of the animal from which the hide was harvested. Cowhides will often have healed scars from bug bites, barbed wire or other minor injuries. Once healed these will often take the dye differently from unblemished portions of the hide which will result in what may appear as darker marks or even black. We have had customers call us and say things like “I love my new Chesterfield, but it looks like someone accidentally marked on it with a sharpie.”. These marks are not “on” the hides but are rather “in” the hides. Similarly, such leathers will often have “fat lines” which may appear as stripes in the leather. They are part of the natural character of a clear aniline leather.

With a top grain aniline leather such as Echo, Mont Blanc, Pure or Berkshire, you are going to get a ton of that sort of stuff and it is important that you recognize this before you order and make sure you can embrace that character. If not, please ask about alternatives that will hide such imperfections.

Color variations are another aspect of the clear aniline leathers we have been discussing. There are significant color variances from one batch of leather to the next and within a batch from one hide to another. In fact, there can be significant variation in the relative lightness or darkness of leather within a single hide. This picture of panels of Matera “Burnt Sienna” leather is a good example. Each of these was cut from a single hide. The lighter ones will tend to be nearer the spine where the leather is thinner and smoother and it does not take dye as heavily as the leather closer to the belly.

North Carolina

19725 Oak St #5
Cornelius, NC 28031
+1 (704) 892-6680
Email Us

STORE HOURS: Open MonFri 10-5 EST / Sat 10-4 EST / Sun by Appointment
Text: +1(704)996-4343 for after/off hour appointments

Note: Our Cornelius, NC showroom doubles as our corporate offices. Located just north of charlotte in the Lake Norman area, our showroom is 4500 square feet in a renovated cotton mill dating back to 1895. We display many of our styles and also may have samples for sale off of the floor. We have what is probably the largest selection of leathers anywhere and a wide selection of fabrics and colors.

Atlanta, GA

3072 Early Street at West Paces Ferry
Atlanta, GA 30305
+1 (404) 410-1169
Email Us

STORE HOURS: Open MonFri 10-6 EST / Sat 10-5 EST / Sun 12-5 EST
Text: +1(980) 229-5531 for after/off hour appointments

Note: Our Georgia showroom is located in the heart of Atlanta’s Buckhead Village near the Buckhead Atlanta project and right around the corner from RH’s new Atlanta showroom.

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Cornelius Showroom
North Carolina

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Charlotte, our Cornelius showroom is worth the drive. Come see our latest collections in a beautifully restored cotton mill. Look through hundreds of leathers and fabrics and work with our dedicated team to get the details “just right”.

Exterior of COCOCO Home Charlotte

19725 Oak Street
Suite 5
Cornelius, NC 28031
+1 (704) 892-6680
[email protected]

Our Cornelius location will be closed July 4th

For appointments during off hours please contact
[email protected]
Monday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday By Appointment
Sunday Closed

Charlotte Holiday Hours

Showroom Closed:

November 25th – 26th
December 24th – 27th
December 31st – January 2nd
By Appointment Only:

December 28th – 30th
**Our Cornelius showroom will be closed November 16th