Leathers Natural Characteristics

Natural characteristics

Real leather is a natural product. It breathes, is warm and has individual characteristics which make each hide unique.

Leather will always bear the marks of its natural origin and these characteristics can show as healed scars, growth marks, areas of differing fibre density and hair pore structure. These hallmarks in no way detract from the wearing qualities of the leather. They are signs discerning owners cherish when buying leather. With the passing of time and use, it develops a patina which enhances its beauty.

Leather GrowthGrowth Marks and Veins - These are an indication of the age of the animal and in that respect are similar to the graining on a piece of timber. They range from often quite pronounced marks in the neck area to subtle bands across the hide perpendicular to the backbone. Heavy growth marks are often placed on the outside backs of seating.

Leather-scarsScars - These form usually as a result of barbed wire damage or by the horns of other cattle. In their healed form the new skin is as strong as the remainder of the hide but unhealed damage should be avoided as tension on these parts may cause the leather to split or burst.

Leather-shadeGrain Variation - The fibre texture varies greatly from being loose in the belly and flank areas to being relatively tight across the backbone. The looser areas consequently have more stretch. The variation in hair pore structure is particularly noticeable in untextured leathers where clusters of open pores can sometimes be seen.

Leather-variationShade Variation - No two hides are the same and due to the varying grain structure mentioned above the dyes and finishes penetrate to differing degrees in different parts of the hide to give an attractive variation. Whilst every attempt is made to achieve uniformity this is not always possible and sometimes not desirable. 


Andrew Muirhead & Son Limited
Registered Office and Tannery
Dalmarnock Leather Works
273-289 Dunn Street
G40 3EA
United Kingdom

Sales Team
To order any of our leathers, or to discuss how we can help you find the leather you're looking for please contact us at:


E-mail: sales@muirhead.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)141 550 6400 / +44 (0)141 554 3724

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