What is Nappa leather: texture, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of the material

Nappa leather is a material particularly prized by car tuning experts. Clothes, exclusive accessories and other high-quality apparel products are made from it. Let’s consider its characteristics, range of use, differences from Nappa eco-leather as an artificial analogue of natural products, and care recommendations.

Nappa leather is a soft, visually smooth material made from sheepskin or cowhide. Its name is related to the American city of the same name. The material can be tanned using various techniques. Available in different colors, matte or glossy, thick or standard thin, textured or smooth.

Manufacturing: Tanning and Painting
Nappa leather is a leather product produced using water-soluble aniline dyes. Organic pigments have minimal impact on the selected primary raw materials, have no punctures and scars, retain the “face” of their natural form, and do not interfere with “breathing” after processing. But aniline leathers are very fickle: they get dirty quickly, especially from oily contaminants, and fade when exposed to direct sunlight.

Tanners can obtain fully or partially pigmented leather thanks to the use of additional pigments to prime and level the raw material and eliminate scratches. This is the most common and cheapest waterproof and stain-resistant material used for sewing clothes and installing car interiors.

After processing with fine abrasives, frosted colored nappa leather is obtained.

table. Comparison of aniline and semi-aniline impregnation of Nappa leather.

Signs of difference Aniline Semi-aniline
Manufacturing Technology The skin is cleansed and then coated with an antibacterial compound. The raw material is processed and coated with polymer.
Appearance The result is a material that retains its natural structure and all its irregularities. Perfectly smooth, flat surface.
Auto-Tune features a special, more durable Nappa leather treated with permanent pigments.

The advantages and disadvantages of
Natural Nappa leather has a beautiful, pronounced texture that is very clearly visible in the photos.

Its main advantages include:

Dimensional stability;
high level of scalability;
water resistance;
Wear resistance;
Nappa leather is a soft and comfortable material, but it also has its shortcomings, the main ones are:

Damage due to mechanical impact;
Stretch during use;
More care is required when using specialty chemicals;
Absorbs dirt, which is especially noticeable on light skin tones.
Over time, the wrinkles that inevitably form and damage natural leather must be repaired.

Ecological leather Nappa leather ─ The difference with natural leather
Nappa Eco Leather is an innovative material with excellent tactility as well as aesthetic and technical properties. It is based on microfiber fabric coated with polyurethane. The result is a flexible, soft, wear-resistant material with movable structures. The spatial grid of polyurethane “self-heals” under mechanical and temperature influences. The quality of eco-leather depends on the thickness of the polyurethane.

From the “pattern” point of view, there is no difference between ecological leather and natural leather. It can be easily machined, but not repaired. Scratches can cause damage to the top layer.

Few people can tell the difference between real animal skin and artificial leather. But if the first option is expensive, then the second option, even if treated with care, will have to be replaced after a few years.

Nappa leather is a popular material in sewers. It is used to make clothes, shoes, gloves, wallets, bags and business card holders, and is also used in the production of upholstered furniture.

Practical leather is used to cover the car seats, door trims, door cards, steering wheel and ceiling trim. Leather is used to make carpets, car keychains and upholstered dashboards. The material has high wear resistance, tensile strength and abrasion. Using leather other than auto leather can cause the interior to crack, fade, and ultimately harm your car’s dealer appearance.

Rules and care products
With frequent use, wear and tear on Nappa leather is inevitable. Simple things and following a few rules will improve the durability of your leather shoes, furniture, and car seats. The main thing is that they are regular, using special napkins, sponges, creams and cleaning foam. The foam removes dirt and the cream restores a delicate aniline shine.

For preventive cleaning of leather goods, it’s best to use a cold soapy solution and a soft brush. Use a soft cloth to remove moisture from the clean surface. Hot water and humid air can ruin Nappa leather.
Remove oil from skin promptly. Apply the dust and water repellent with a soft natural-bristle brush or sponge. In this case, it is recommended to use organic wax.
Use regular glycerin to get the rich color and shine of Nappa leather.
Scratches are best removed by rubbing.
A tough special rubber band will help handle grease. Alcohol or silicone-based cleaners and greasy creams should not be used.