In order to talk effectively about leather in the office place, you must be familiar with how the words “grain” and “grade” are used to indicate leather’s qualities of price and durability:
• “Top Grain” is leather taken from the hide’s outer surface. This is considered most preferable.
• “Split Grain” refers to leathers that come from the lower surfaces of the animal. These are considered to be much weaker in strength and quality.
When looking for office furniture, you should always seek to find top-grain leathers. Top-grain leathers are graded according to the manufacturer’s process for preparing them.
Aniline leather (also referred to as “full” or “pure” leather) is soaked in aniline dye. It doesn’t have any other finishes or pigments applied to it. This is exceptionally soft leather for which only the best hides are used.
Semi-analine leathers (“protected” aniline are slightly better protection against fading and stains because of a light protective coating or pigment used on them. Pigmented leathers have been completely treated with surface color. These are stiffer than analines because they are made from lesser grade hides, but they are also more affordable and more resistant to scuffs and stains. These might actually be the best for office furniture.