A distinctive feature or quality that makes an item stand out from its surroundings; a piece upholstered in Edelman leather stands out, changes a room, creates a mood, and enhances the quality of a setting with a special look away from the ordinary.

Andy Warhol

An American artist who was a leading figure in the “pop art” visual art movement. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished in the 1960s. Warhol did Teddy and Arthur Edelman’s graphic design as they rose to become the leading leather source for the fashion industry.

Aniline Leather

Leather that has been dyed through with aniline dyes. Sometimes topped with a protein, resin, or lacquer protective coating. May also be waxed.

Aniline(ANN-uh-lin) Dyed

The process of coloring leathers throughout with transparent dyes. The formulas for these dyes are precious to our professional dyers. Aniline dyes are temperamental and expensive but penetrate leather thoroughly so the leather wears in and not out.


The light application of one color over another (usually a darker color over a lighter color) to create highlights.

Arthur and Teddy (Theodora) Edelman

Husband and wife co-founders of Edelman Leather. Tanners since 1950, when they fell in love with the family’s specialty reptile leather business, creating art from animal hides. They grew to become the leading leather source for the fashion industry and won several awards. In 1981, they launched Edelman Leather for high-end upholstery.


Genuine, reliable, made or done a way that is true and faithful to tradition.


Bacterial Action

The breakdown of a hide due to bacteria.


A school of design founded in Germany in the early 20th century that feared the separation of creativity and manufacturing would lessen art’s purpose in society and strove to reunite art and industrial design.


Convex wooden frame where hides are placed to hand-trim excess waste.


The part of a hide below the belly line that passed through the front break and below the back break, the underside and upper part of the legs of an animal.


A back hide with the shoulder cut off at right angles to the backbone line at the fore flank.


Beating a salted hide to rid it of loose salt in the hair.


Transfer of materials or colors across surfaces that have come in contact with each other.


A flaw or mark that ruins the appearance of a hide; a blemished hide is often used in mass production tanneries where it is sanded to remove blemishes, losing its natural grain and beauty. Edelman buys only the best European hides so our leather is natural, unblemished, and untouched.


Often seen as “in the blue” which refers to the light blue color of hides that have been chrome-tanned.


Dulling or mottling a leather’s finish due to condensing moisture during the drying process.


Description of stiff, inflexible leather.

Bonded Leather

Leather fibers that have been bonded together with latex.


A permanent man-made mark on the hide to identify the animal, causes damage to the hide and unnatural imperfections to the leather that take away from the beauty and lowers the quality.


An advantage of full-grain leather and a pigment-free dying process, which leaves the grain and pores of a hide intact; lets the leather adjust to its climate and ultimately produces a better, more luxurious leather.


The conscious application of a concentration of crystallized dyes to give a metalized sheen to the leather.

Brush Coloring

The process of applying dyes to the top of the leather with a brush.


Part of the sueding process to remove the top surface of the grain.


Split leather covered with a protective polyurethane coating that has lost its elasticity and durability.


Calfskin Tannery

A calfskin tannery combines features of the vegetable and chrome tanneries. Here we handle our smaller, more refined calf hides. We tan calfskin in both vegetable tannage (for Luxe) and chrome tannage (Cashmere Calf, Silky Wonder Leather, and Fatted Calf). Individual attention is needed for these precious calfskins, for they are younger and smaller than the cows and bulls: calves average 28 square feet per hide; cows and bulls average 55 square feet. Calfskin is a remarkable combination of superbly soft and strong.

Center Cut Suede

Suede made from split leather that has been trimmed to leave the bends and shoulder, the best parts of the hide.

Chamois Leather

Soft, flexible leather usually made with oil-tanned sheep or lamb skin.

Chrome Tannage

A tannage facility that uses naturally-occurring Chromium III to provide leather with life-replacing fluids from minerals, rather than plants; larger, speedier, more commercial, and today the most common way of tanning. Leather responds to chrome in ways that create soft leathers, lighter weights, and gorgeous ranges of color. After tannage, the leather fibers are removed and formed into bricks which can then be turned into recycled, bonded leather and sold for scrap use such as belts, bags, etc.

NOTE: The Chromium that the world is scared of is Chromium VI; it is toxic and contains carcinogens, and is common in metal plating. Our tanneries NEVER use Chromium VI. Chromium III is safe in tannage. There are NO environmental or political restrictions from any organization on its use. Few tanneries specialize in providing “chrome-free” leather. There is no real environmental benefit with “chrome-free” leathers compared to properly tanned Chrome III leathers. Many tanneries avoid “chrome-free” tanning agents due to the special handling requirements associated with these products. 100% vegetable tanned leather is the closest to “chrome-free” leather.


Outstanding; of the highest quality, elegant, a style or method that is not subject to changes.


The primary protein fiber in a hide or skin.

Combination Tannage

The use of chrome and vegetable tanning to produce a supple hide.


The capability to connect or communicate; compatible. Edelman’s connectivity with our customers, our open and friendly customer service, is what sets us apart from our competitors.


Regular or steady, unchanging in achievement.


Modern; a person in the current time, a person involved and knowledgeable about current affairs and styles.


Firm, durable leather made from horse butts with a fine grain.

Corrected Leather

Sometimes called “enhanced”, “top grain”, “snuffed”, “buffed”, or “polished” leather. The hide has had its natural grain sanded off -- all of its natural characteristics, as well as brands, scars, damaged grain, and wrinkles. Large amounts of pigments, instead of aniline dyes, are then used to cover the new surface of the leather. And a heavy embossing is pressed on the pigmented surface to recreate a grain. A “corrected hide” no longer absorbs, cannot keep us comfortable in hot or cold weather. With its face to the world -- its uniqueness, its “feel” -- removed, it becomes UNNATURAL. It will not grow old gracefully, or age and develop a patina naturally. Instead, the pigment finish will crack and wear out instead of wearing in. You wear the finish instead of the leather. Corrected leather has lost all of the good things that natural leather possesses.

Coty Award

The Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award (awarded from 1943-1984) was given to those that promoted and celebrated the American fashion industry.

Country Hides

Hides from butchers or farmers that are often a lesser quality that packer’s hides because of less skilled flayers and curers.


An artist who is highly-skilled and knowledgeable in a particular trade or craft. Edelman employs these professionals because of their knowledge and skills, often handed down through generations in the art of tanning and dyeing.


Excessive finish and color that transfers off leather that has been incorrectly dyed.


Vegetable-tanned leather that has not had its finish applied yet.


Treating raw hides so that they will be ready for the tanning process and minimize putrefaction.

Custom Coloring

A large part of our color laboratory is devoted to custom coloring. This allows the customer total freedom to experiment with color. Our custom work is fast and enthusiastic. It merits applause.

Customer Service

Thorough knowledge of your inventory, experience with your products, and being able to help customers make the best choices for them. Good customer service is treating customers with a friendly, helpful attitude. Good customer service means helping customers efficiently, in a friendly manner. It’s one of the things that can set your business apart from the others of its kind.



Having the courage and conviction to try something new; adventurous; challenging old concepts in hopes of innovative improvement.


The imperfections that decrease the value and beauty of leather. These can include fiber quality, branding, cuts, damage, and scratches.


The process that loosens the hair of the hide so that the removal of the hair will not ruin the hide.


A purpose, planning, or intention that exists for the function and appearance of an action, fact, or object.

Distressed Leather

Also known as antiqued leather; leather that is created with a naturally worn appearance.


Post-tanning process before the finishing process that influences the color and hand of the leather


A dyeing process in which leather is immersed in dye and tumbled in a rotating drum, allowing maximum dye penetration. This dyes the leather through all its layers so the leather will now wear to the same color and never lose its beauty.

Dry Salting

A method of curing where the hides are covered in salt and then dried

Dye Lot

A dye lot is a record taken during the dyeing process to identify product that received its coloration in the same drum/vat at the same time. Manufacturers assign each lot a unique identification number and stamp it on the label before shipping.


The art of coloring hides in aniline dyes, either by spraying, hand-rubbing, or immersion. The purpose of dyeing leather is twofold: first, if the penetration is complete, the leather will wear to its same color. Second, the closer the color of the unfinished leather is to the desired end color, the less finish will be necessary to achieve the exact color wanted. And the less finish used, the more natural and beautiful the leather will be. The formulas of our professional dyers, who work near us using old oak drums for immersing hides, are as precious as life itself. We air-dry our hides slowly, placing wet hides on drying frames, getting just the right amount of stretch, never under- or overstraining the wet hides. Nothing takes color as beautifully or as vividly as a natural leather hide. Aniline dyes are very expensive and temperamental, and the entire process can take anywhere from 6 hours to 3 days, depending. Much Individual Attention is required.



An innovative technology that reliably protects Edelman Leather’s “core” products from damaging stains and marks without ruining the look, hand, and smell of the product for no extra charge

Embossed Leather

Leather with a unique design or imitation of full grain characteristics. Sometimes leathers are embossed to make them appear to be another leather.


A process in which design is added to leather’s surface by pressure to alter or enhance the surface, resulting in uniform imitation grain or unique patterns


Fancy Leather

Leather that is sought after because of the grain or finish of the hide such as snakeskin

Fat Wrinkle

A wrinkle in a hide caused by fat deposits; fat wrinkles create unique patterns in the leather and are not seen in imitation or highly corrected leather


Emulsion of oils and grease in water to lubricate leather fibers, keeping the leather from drying out


The dyes, lacquering, antiquing, waxes, embosses, glazes, waterproofing, and flame-proofing added to the tanned leather to protect it from water, chemicals, and wear; can be a gloss, matte, or flaky finish


Any post-tanning treatment, such as: dyeing, rolling, pressing, spraying, lacquering, antiquing, waxing, buffing, embossing, glazing, waterproofing, or flame-proofing to protect the leather


The ability and right to act and think as one sees fit. Our wide selection of different grains, finishes, and hands and our eagerness to match anything with our custom coloring option give our customers complete freedom with their design choices.

Full Grain

Natural leather that otherwise has not been corrected or altered. Full grain leather possesses the natural, original grain of the animal. The natural grain gives the leather character and its “feel”. Edelman only uses beautiful full grain leather.



An embossing process that creates soft upholstery leather where the pattern is applied from a roller under high heat and low pressure


The class of hide determined by its quality. A #3 grade hide has several holes, large holes, or has been damaged by machinery. This is often used for mass-produced leather. A #2 grade hide contains few or very small holes. A #1 grade hide is the best. There are no holes or visible grain defects. These are the hides that we use to make our leather at Edelman. Only the best hides can create the best leather.


The distinctive pore and wrinkle pattern of a hide that gives the hide its character and feel; may be either natural or embossed

GREENGUARD Certification

The production process and the product meet the GREENGUARD Program’s high standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); all Edelman leathers are GREENGUARD certified -- remind your clients that we did nothing to change the way we produce our leather in order to pass their tests.

The key GREEN selling point is that our hides originate 100% in Europe. EU regulations for leather tanning are the most stringent in the world. Hides not sourced from the EU are likely of lesser quality and are considered to be less environmentally acceptable.


Hair-on Leather

Leather tanned with the hair still attached to the hide


A term used to describe the softness or feel of a leather. Edelman has a wide range of hands to cover every situation.


An animal skin; split into three layers -- the top for smooth leather, the center for suede, and the bottom for industrial leather


Sincere, virtuous; earned through fair, hard work; simple and unpretentious



Innovation By Design Awards; celebrates ambitious and innovative designs that combine good business and cultural impact

Imitation Leather

Fabric coated with rubber or synthetic resin and then embossed with a grain to resemble leather; often contains protein fibers from real leather


Characteristics that keep an object from reaching perfection. These can positive or negative, as natural imperfections and markings such as the grain or color variation on leather is what distinguishes it from imitation leather and give it its beauty. Negative imperfections are defects such as branding, cuts, insect bites, and scars that are not naturally part of the hide. Edelman’s hides are #1 grade or premium select and only have natural markings that add to the leather’s beauty.

Individual Attention

Special care is given to each hide as it goes through the process of becoming leather. From the hide selection all the way to our customers, we give special regard to our product so that it will meet the quality standard we demand in all our products.


Progressive new ideas and methods ¬-- “ahead of their time”; our products are a mix of innovative new technology and old-world techniques with creative new styles and uses


To influence, motivate, or fill with the urge or ability to do or create something; Edelman’s products open up new and interesting possibilities to designers and free their inspiration




Hide from an immature bovine



Chemicals used for top coats to give the leather a high gloss shine


Animal hide that has been treated to be strong and long-lasting. Only material that has kept its original fiber structure can be called leather, as opposed to those that have broken down the fibers through mechanical or chemical means and rebuilt into sheets or other forms such as imitation leather.


Fiberboard made of at least 75% leather


Fabric that has been manufactured to imitate leather but ultimately does not hold up to premium full grain leather

Lifestyle Company

A company or business run with the intention of sustaining a certain level of income and not maximizing revenue; a company whose goal is to create quality over quantity. At Edelman we focus on quality. Individual attention is key!


Rich, grand, extravagant, elegant and refined in manner or appearance


A sign of great ease and comfort; elegance and refinement in appearance or manner



A smooth, flat finish that does not have any highlights

Metalized Leather

Leather that has been given a luster through the application of metallic foils or powders


The process in which hides are softened and have their grain enhanced through a treatment of water and heat during the drum-drying process

Mineral Tanned

Leather tanned with several minerals including chromium salts, aluminum, and zirconium


Present, up-to-date techniques, fashionable


Marbling or antiquing created by placing similar tones on top of each other to add more character to the leather


Naked Leather

Leather that has been dyed and tanned but has not had any finishes applied to it that would alter or mask the natural leather


A soft, raised, textured surface; part of what gives suede its luxurious feel

Native Hide

A hide without a brand

Nieman-Marcus Award

The Nieman-Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion is given to those who have had a significant impact on the fashion industry; Arthur & Teddy Edelman won this award in 1965


Aniline-dyed suede with a soft nap, made from split hide



Natural, not corrected or altered by humans; Edelman keeps this organic feel in its leathers by working with the leather’s natural beauty instead of against it


Packer Hides

Hides from meat processing and packaging companies


A range of colors or tones; there are over 750 choices in Edelman’s color palette and the custom-coloring option makes nearly all colors available to give our customers total freedom


The upper or top grain layer of a split hide


Hides that are slightly translucent and smooth and are often used for special documents, drum heads, or lamp shades


An intense desire or enthusiasm for something

Patent Leather

Leather given a glossy, impermeable finish by several coats of varnish, oils, and resins

Patina (pa-TEE-na)

A surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use; a luster that develops with time and use. Because of the way we tan and dye our leathers, Edelman’s products all will age with a beautiful patina.


Dyed leather that has a soft sheen or luster

Perforated Leather

A material on which patterns of holes are punched by pins


Dyes and paints that coat leather to give it color; used on lesser hides as the leather often cracks because the pores are covered in pigment and unable to take in moisture. Also can be worn down and lose its color as the pigments only coat the top of the leather and do not penetrate its layers for an even color throughout.


Tiny hole or depression in the grain of the leather that can be natural or caused by processing.

Plate Lines

Where the embossing plates meet and are occasionally visible.

Plating/ Plated Leather

Leather that has been pressed between heated metal plates under high pressure, often used for furniture leather to cover imperfections.

Premium Select

A term describing hides with very few scars or blemishes, usually less than 5% of all hides. All Edelman hides are #1 grade or premium select, and 100% originate in Europe, where regulations for leather tanning are the most stringent in the world.


Hide that is waxed or oiled and then pulled to create lighter areas of color.



Superiority of kind: an intellect of unquestioned quality; degree or grade of excellence. Edelman focuses on the quality of their product and gives individual attention to its hides and leather.


Reconstructed Leather

Softened hide pieces separated into fibers and made into a fibrous mat.


Elegant, luxurious, and cultured in appearance, manner, or taste; subtle or precise improvements.


Strong in a pleasing and attractive manner; Edelman leathers all have a rich color because of the dyeing process.


Compressing and smoothing the grain of a hide under a metal roller.

Roscoe Award

The highest industry award for furniture designers, given by Interior Design magazine.


Salt Stain

Discoloration on the hide from salt burns during the curing process.


One or more units of product from a lot to test the quality of the lot.


Refers to the removal of grain, scars, and blemishes from a hide’s surface, a process done by large mass production leather manufacturers so they can use lesser quality hides.


Remnants of hair, dirt, and tissue left in the follicles after unhairing.

Semi-Aniline (ANN-uhh-lin)

Leathers which have been aniline dyed then top coated with matching pigments to even out the color (also called “aniline plus”).


The leg portion of the animal and its hide.


Leather made often from sheepskin that was sheared before slaughter so the short wool or hair is left on the hide.


The thickest part of the hide that is created from the shoulder area of a cow, often the best and most productive part of a hide.

Shrunken Leather

Full grain leather that is shrunken to enhance and enlarge the natural grain of the leather.


A half hide cut along the backbone.


Creating a thin layer of hide through peeling, shaving, slicing, or dividing.


Harsher form of buffing in which the leather is abraded with brushes, an emery wheel, or sandpaper to get rid of defective grain or sueding.


The second layer or center cut of a hide that Edelman uses to make suede.


The size of the skin measured by a machine in square fee.


A certain level of quality that must be reached for a product to become qualified to be used for Edelman products. Our standards for our hides are high. Only 5% of all hides are of a high enough standard to be made into Edelman leather.


Kid or other leather finished with a soft, napped surface, on the flesh side or on the outer side after removal of a thin outer layer.


Pliant and flexible; supple leather is often more resilient and longer-lasting.


Table Run

Hides and leathers that have not been graded or cheap leathers sold to manufacturers.


Solvent or substance of organic origin used in tanning.


The art of preserving any skin hide.


Coloring a hide so that the base color is a solid, lighter color, and the “tips” on the hide are highlighted colors (e.g., ostrich).


The process of stretching skins on frames with toggles.

Top Coat

A coat applied over the finish coast to protect it.Made up largely of polyurethane, combined with another type of urethane to give the shine (to varying degrees). The protectant added (EDGE) is a silicone-based product. The basic steps: 1. Start with aniline crust. 2. Apply base coat to allow adhesion of the finiscoat and top coat to the leather. 3. Apply finish coat to get the required color, made up of pigments and aniline, depending on the product being made (e.g., aircraft is basically pigments). 4. The top coat is applied to protect the finish coat and adheres to the base coat.

Top Grain

The top surface of the hide.

Top-Grain Leather

Leather that has lost its natural grain due to manufacturing; same as corrected leather.


The handing down of knowledge and methods from generation to generation; a characteristic method or style.


Following or upholding the characteristics of the past that have been handed down from generation to generation.


The process in which the hide has the outer edges and imperfections not suitable for leather removed.


A process in which hides are tumbled in a rotating drum to soften the hand or enhance the grain.


Unfinished Leather

Aniline-dyed, naked hides with no intended finishes or color treatments.

Upholstery Leather

Term used to describe leather used for furniture, transportation, and architecture.


Vegetable Tannage

The oldest method of tanning and the most environmentally sound way to tan or cure hides. It is a long, slow process but it creates one of the most special types of leather in the world. It is a little heavier, more grabbable, resilient. Vegetable tanning is kind to the environment, using tanning agents almost exclusively of plant origin. The bark of trees is the main ingredient. Here, centuries-old craftsmanship is the key, not new technology or machines. Materials arethe same as 1,000 years ago.


Appearance of leather after buffing or shaving has closed or cut blood vessels and made them visible.



The weight of the hide measured in ounces per square foot.


A strip of leather sewn into a seam as reinforcement or trimming. Edelman’s new line “All the TRIMmings” give our customers 5 styles in 14 colors to choose from to give the perfect detail to any accent piece.

Whole Hide

A full hide as opposed to a side or half hide that is used often for upholstery leather.


Coloring a hide so that the base color is darker and the embossed areas or “peaks” are lighter.




The usable area of the hide after the trimming process.