Leather is rich in texture and complexity and can elevate your living space. However, each type of leather is vastly different, with its own set of strengths and weaknesses.

Want to know how to choose the best leather for your upholstery? Keep reading below. This guide will highlight the various leather options so you can make the best decision for your lifestyle and home.


What Are The Different Types Of Leather?

Getting the right type of fabric for your upholstery is essential. To help you make the best decision, here we weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of each leather.

Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather is the best quality you can buy. Why? Well, full grain leather is made using the highest quality hides with no visible blemishes. Full grain leather is your first stop if you’re looking for the luxury option.

When artisans make full grain leather, the manufacturer does not thin the hide, making this type of leather extraordinarily thick and durable. It is resistant to damage from machinery during the manufacturing process. However, full grain leather can be challenging to upholster furniture due to its thickness, as it can be tricky to bend and shape it over corners.

Full grain leather does not undergo any buffing processes, so when you buy full grain leather, you get to see every detail and unique feature of the hide used to make the leather.


Top Grain Leather

Top grain leather is similar to full grain leather; only it has been thinned and buffed. The thinning and buffing processes make top grain leather easier to work with, as it moulds around corners more easily.

Although top grain leather is easier to work with, it does not offer the same level of durability as full grain leather. The buffing process also alters the surface of the leather, meaning you will not get the same rich detail.

Top grain leather is the better choice if you’re looking for a coloured finish. Leather artisans can easily dye and colour top grain leather to create a more desirable finish.


Corrected Grain

Corrected grain leather is a beautiful embossed type of leather. Some artisans choose to recreate the texture of full grain leather by embossing top grain leather.

How can you tell the difference between top grain and corrected grain? Top grain will have unique flaws and intricacies, whereas corrected grain will be completely uniform.



Aniline leather is leather that has been treated with transparent dye without losing its original colouring. Aniline is the right choice if you want an authentic and rustic leather look.

Since aniline reveals the original colouring of the leather, you can use only the best and most high-quality leather as aniline leather. This is a coveted type of leather; only 5% of leathers are suitable for aniline treatment.

The thin layer of coating on aniline leather makes it more fragile, which means that it will be subject to damage and staining – so if you’re opting for aniline upholstery, be sure to treat it with care! If you love your aniline leather, it will love you right back. Aniline leather ages like a fine wine, showing more character and complexity as the years go by.



Semi-aniline leather is treated with dyes that make its colour more uniform and increase its durability. If you opt for semi-aniline, you will get a cheaper material with more durability – making it a more sound investment for commercial spaces with many visitors and households with pets and children. Your choice in fabric should be based on your lifestyle (you don’t want to be replacing your upholstery in less than a few years!).

The coloured dye used on semi-aniline leather does decrease the visibility of some of the natural marks and intricacies of the leather. But, the protective top coat on semi-aniline leather will give you peace of mind when sipping coffee or red wine during after-work drinks or with your friends on the sofa.



The best leather for your furniture depends on your budget, lifestyle, and preferences. Contact Sydney Upholstery today for assistance in weighing up your options for commercial and household use. We’ll make sure you choose a leather that you can enjoy for a long time!