Nappa leather is the general term for particularly soft, chrome tanned smooth leather of all animal skin types. A distinction is made between natural, slightly pigmented, pigmented and sanded leather. Natural nappa leather is also known as aniline leather. It is open-pored and imbued with aniline colourants.
Aniline leather – flawless, precious and very sensitive
The natural characteristics of the leather are well visible because they are not covered by paints and coatings. Therefore, the leather must not be damaged by tick bites, thorn scratches or other external causes. For this reason, this immaculate material is often very precious and expensive.
Aniline leathers are extremely sensitive to dirt and fat, as well as to bleaching out caused by sunlight due to the fact that the leather´s pores are not sealed. Just like aniline leather, slightly pigmented nappa leather is dyed through with water-soluble colourants to which pigments were added which makes the material more resistant to light and abrasion. Additionally, the surface appears to be more even.
A colour coat makes nappa even and insensitive
Both kinds of nappa leather are water-vapour permeable and therefore provide efficient heat exchange. With pigmented nappa leather, colourants are applied firmly to the grained leather surface by using a binding agent. This makes the material less breathable but easier to clean and less sensitive to dirt.
Nappa leather that has been sanded on the grained side gets an extremely smooth surface when colourants are applied. Its particularly natural features are almost lost completely by this process.