How to Determine the Type of Leather Upholstery in your Car

There are different types of leather upholstery that you can use in your car. Just like technology, the use of leather has also changed over the years. Most car manufacturers use protected leather which contains pigmented color with polyurethane top coat. This type of leather is specially designed for automotive use.

Some car manufacturers use different types of leather on various parts of the seat. Most use suede on the main seat and pigmented leather on other areas. Others use vinyl on the back and sides of the seat.

A protective leather is not a high maintenance material and therefore it is easy to take care for. All you need to do is keep it clean, conditioned, and protected by using the KevianClean Leather Cleaner Conditioner. The leather’s finish is probably the most significant factor when used as an upholstery. The finish affects the leather’s properties and determines how you need to maintain it.

There are three main categories of leather: Aniline leather (Type A), Nubuck leather (Type N), and Pigmented leather (Type P).

How do you know what type of leather you are using on your vehicle? There are actually four ways to identify if it is Aniline, Nubuck or Pigmented leather. The different ways to examine each are through visual, moisture, scratch, and touch assessment.

1. Visual – If the leather has different colors, hues, and natural imperfections, you can classify it as Aniline and Nubuck leather. For materials with embossed grains with one color, you can categorize it as Pigmented leather which is more common in car upholstery.

2. Moisture - Drop a small portion of water on the surface of the leather. Most Aniline and Nubuck leather easily absorb the liquid. However, some of these leathers can be treated to resist the moisture. On the other hand, Pigmented leather will repel the water.

3. Scratch – Lightly scratch the surface of the leather using your fingernail. Do not press hard because it may damage the material. Both Aniline and Nubuck will leave you with a light scratch mark on the leather surface while Pigmented leather does not show any indication on it.

4. Touch – All kinds of leather have a certain feel to it. This helps clearly identify the different kinds of leather. An Aniline leather has a soft, warm, and smooth texture while the Nubuck has a velvet feel. The Pigmented leather, on the other hand, is quite similar to vinyl and appears glossy.

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