Leather is an amazing natural material that lasts long and age beautifully.

High grade genuine leather is our passion and everything we do revolves around this exquisite material.

Leather is the hide or skin from animals that has undergone a tanning process in order to stop the natural decay and conserve the material for future use.

There is genuine leather, bonded leather and imitated leather and even within the category of genuine leather, there are different qualities. The tanning process is either vegetable tanning or chrome tanning.

Leather is in its natural tanned state quite pale and there are different methods of applying color to leather – from aniline dyed to coated.

All of Bosswik’s associated tanneries are either silver- og gold certified by Leather Working Group. Some of the tanneries are part of the Consorzio Vera Pelle Italiana Conciata al Vegetale, which preserves and quality controls original Italian vegetable tanning. Lastly most of the associated tanneries hold several ICEC certificats. ICEC is the only certification institute specialized exclusively in the leather sector.

Leather certificates

Leather qualities

Bosswik only uses genuine leather and we strive to use full-grain leather as much as possible.

Full-grain leather

This part of the leather is the upper part of the hide where the hair has grown. This is the most exquisite and durable part of the leather. The fibers are packed very dense to form a material that can last for ages.

With aniline dyes and a natural processing full-grain leather will develop a beautiful patina over time when being used.

Split leather

This is still real and genuine leather. However, this is the the lower level of the top grain.

The fibers are not quite as dense but still very durable. Most often the surface is covered either by applied dye, foil or a thin layer of polyurethane.

Suede / nubuck

Suede leather has a distinctive structure with loose fibres on the surface. It is typically made from split leather or the part just beneath the top grain called corium.

Nubuck can seem similar to suede but has shorter loose fibres. It is often made from split leather but it can also be made from full-grain leather. The surface is sanded to achieve a soft smooth surface.

Bonded leather

This type is a cheap alternative to genuine leather that contains shredded parts of leather mixed with a silicone based mass.

It is the leather equivalent to plywood. It has a poor durability and is prone to break under stress.

Faux leather / vegan leather

This is imitated leather that only looks like leather but has none of the qualities of genuine leather.

It is most often plastic based and has very poor durability.

Vegan leather is an alternative to genuine leather that is not based on animal product. There are different kinds of plant based fibres but they all use a plastic based material to imitate the look of leather.


Genuine leather can be tanned in different ways -it is still genuine leather. There are primarily two different kinds of tanning: Vegetable tanning and chrome tanning.

Tanning is necessary to stop the natural decay of the hides so it can be preserved for many years.

Vegetable tanning

Vegetable tanning is the oldest and most traditional way of tanning. The process has not changed much since the Ancient Egyptians did it or the people of the Roman Empire did it.

The tannins used to conserve the hide and stop the decay is based on natural elements such as bark, moss and chestnuts.

The process is relatively slow compared to chrome tanning, which makes it a more expensive approach to tanning. However, it is completely free of harmful substances.

Chrome tanning

Chrome tanning is the quickest and therefore the cheapest way of tanning leather. This has also made it by far the most common way of tanning.

However, the trade-off is a tanning process that contains the heavy metal chromium6 and chemicals that are envirnomentally harmful. The chromium6 can leave chrome residue in the finished product, which some people will react to.

Leather colors

The natural color of tanned leather is very pale.

There are different ways to apply color to leather, which most often correlates to the overall quality of the leather.

Aniline color

When leather is colored by aniline dye it preserves the open pores of the surface enabling the leather to breathe. This is particularly useful when dealing with full-grain leather.

The color is applied through a series of bathes of dye so that the fibres are colored throughout.

The surface is preserved with its natural characteristics and possible aesthetical flaws in the leather are visible.

Semi-aniline color

This way of coloring leather is like regular aniline coloring except extra color is applied to the surface. This could be to achieve a very specific color or a very radiant saturated color.

Small aesthetical flaws can be hidden this way.

Coated color

Leather color can also be applied by coating the leather in either foil or polyurethane. This encloses the leather and it loses many of it natural lovely characteristics.

This can also help hide major aesthetical flaws.