Frequently Asked Questions

What is performance or protected leather?

All Topics  |  Fabric and Leather

First of all, performance leather is real leather.

It is not polyurethane, faux leather, bonded leather, or any of that other junk.

Performance leather is semi-aniline leather. Like all semi-aniline leathers, its color is achieved using an opaque pigment to provide color uniformity and durability. Many performance leathers receive additional layers of coloring — using either opaque pigments or translucent dyes — that are typically applied by hand to create depth and character. Finally, a protective top coat is added to seal the leather against moisture and provide enhanced longevity.

Performance leather will not patina or age like aniline leathers. For this reason, a number of performance lines are available with vintage looks and feels. More modern styles are also available. Performance products are available with a variety of sheens, from glossy to flat.

Performance leather will offer protection against stains, fading, and scratching. Note that different leather lines may vary in the degree of protection they offer. Performance leather generally requires minimal maintenance beyond occasional dusting. Most spills can be cleaned with a damp cloth, although stronger cleaning products can often be used depending on manufacturer recommendations.

Can aniline leather be performance?

Not in this sense. Aniline leather can be very durable and can often be conditioned to keep it looking great for years, but it does not come with the built-in protections against stains, fading, and scratching that performance leather offers. This does not mean that there are no aniline leathers that don't do well against some or all of these types of wear, but none will match the durability of the performance lines.

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