Choosing Leather FurnitureLearning about natural leather markings

   Many times over the years I’ve gone out to a customers home to address a reported damage issue.  When I arrive, it turns out that the issue is not a damage but that the leather has markings on it that the customer thinks are damage.  Once I explain the natural markings of leather, most customers are understanding and happy to keep their leather with it’s unique markings.  On the other hand, if you don’t want leather with these markings be sure to look over the floor sample carefully and buy a "corrected" leather that has very few variations.  Here are pictures and descriptions of many normal leather markings.  The information is courtesy of the American Home Furnishings Alliance at 


Graining – The grain, similar to human fingerprints, is unique to each individual hide. It is the hallmark of full grain leather hides and can vary from hide to hide or even within one particular hide.


Branding Marks – Brand marks, or fire brands, are used as identification marks and are part of virtually every hide.

Stretch Marks – Stretch marks occur as a result of giving birth and become a permanent marking on the cow.

Fat Wrinkles – Wrinkles occur naturally in the loose skin around the neck and belly of all cows. The skin must be loose to allow the needed flexibility for grazing and overall growth.

Backbone – Natural furrows appear along the backbone of all hides due to the animal’s physiology.