Leather Material: characteristics and differences with raw leather

Published : 09/12/2019 16:00:00
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What is meant by Leather Material

There are several concepts that need to be explained when talking of leather material and raw leather material:

  • Leather material not yet tanned, it is the raw leather that once left the slaughterhouse is usually put in salt to guarantee its conservation. The leather can be cut in various parts or left whole depending on the intended use and the items to be made.
  • Pre-tanned leather material, this category includes the leather that has undergone the first stage of tanning, usually it is called wet-blue or wet-white leather.
  • Leather material tanned but not fully finished, also known as "crust" leather, it is a leather that has passed through all stages of tanning but is not yet finished and therefore can be customized by the artisan through engravings, hand dyeing or immersion dyeing and other processing...

Leather material not tanned: Raw Leather

In this case, the term leather material still to be tanned is used as a synonym for raw leather, this include the skin put in salt, in order to slow down the rapid decomposition until the moment of tanning. There are also other methods of preservation, such as sun-drying or air-drying under canopies (methods that are prevalent in the equatorial and tropical countries), but today, that of salt is by far the most widespread.

raw leather

Leather Material tanned but not finished

The leather material tanned but not finished (also called crust leather) is instead the leather to which the hair has been removed and which has undergone the first two tanning phases but the finishing one. The skin that is in this state obviously sees its decomposition process arrested but has not yet assumed the final appearance of the article for which it was produced. This type of "virgin" material (usually found on the market in vegetable tanning) is the one that is best suited to various types of customization by the artisan, such as:

  • Dyeing by hand or by immersion;
  • Engravings and tooling;
  • Hot printing, laser printing or screen printing;
  • Hand drawings with dyes of various types (such as the creation of paintings).

leather material

Difference between Raw Leather and Leather Material

In conclusion, the raw leather is distinguished from the leather material because it refers only to the leather put under salt, while the leather material, even if used in some cases to refer to the usual concept of raw leather, makes mainly referring to a material, usually vegetable tanned, which can be customized by those who purchase it and not putrescibile.


On our site buyleatheronline.com, you will obviously find the second type of leather material, as the former is present inside the tanneries and kept just under salt to make sure it doesn't go bad. The leather material section includes various types of crust leather that will easily adapt to your every project where the customization of the leather intended as material is foreseen.

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