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Differences Between Protected & Unprotected Leather Options

Differences Between Protected & Unprotected Leather Options

Leather is a gorgeous material for home furnishings. You can get leather couches, leather settees, leather cushions, and so much more!

However, as much as you may love your leather furniture, did you know that there are two different types of leather? That’s right! When buying leather, you’ll need to think carefully about whether you want protected or unprotected leather furniture.

Protected Leather

Protected leather is also called pigmented leather. Essentially, this means that the leather has a coating over the surface of the furniture. Having a coating on the leather is great for keeping furniture clean and tidy looking.

Advantages of Protected Leather

One big advantage is that the coating on protected leather keeps the furniture free of stains and scratches. It’s much harder to nick a piece of furniture with sealing on it than one without!

Protected leather also doesn’t fade easily, making it a good choice if you’re planning to keep it for a long time.

Many cars use protected leather because of the durability of the material. Cars need to be able to withstand frequent wear and tear and long journeys.

Another advantage is that the manufacturer can control the properties of the leather. This means it can be more customized to your needs.

Disadvantages of Protected Leather

Protected leather does not look as natural as unprotected leather. It can be difficult to tell different leather types apart if they have been protected.

Unprotected Leather

Unprotected leather has a number of pseudonyms that you may see it called. Some of these include naked leather, crust, or aniline leather. Although there are many different names, it amounts to the same thing.

Aniline leather has not been given any coating to color the leather or give it a “finished” look. The result is that this leather looks raw and natural.


One major advantage of aniline leather is that it is extremely soft. Aniline is much softer than protected leather, making it a favorite for living room furnishings.

Aniline is also an extremely high-quality type of leather. Over time, the leather ages and develops a beautiful patina which many collectors look for.


Unfortunately, unprotected leather comes with disadvantages as well.

For one, unprotected leather easily absorbs moisture. For families with children, purchasing aniline leather furniture means that stains and scratches are inevitable. If you have a household where you know spills and scuffs will happen, unprotected leather is not the right choice.

Another issue with aniline leather is that it is difficult to clean. You need to be careful to use gentle cleaning products so as not to cause further damage to the leather.

It can be tricky to choose between high-quality aniline leather and durable protected leather. Before making a purchase, you need to think carefully about your lifestyle and family. You also need to think about what the purpose of your furniture is.

The good news is, we’re here to help! Here at Nassau Furniture we’ll walk you through all the options and make sure we find something that fits for you.