A dye is a pigment dye that will penetrate the outer layer of the leather, then penetrate to the core of the fibers. It is applied to so-called "immersed" or aniline finished leathers. These are generally high-quality leathers with a particularly beautiful appearance.
Unlike dyeing, painting is a pigment dye that will uniformly cover the outer layer of your leather. This colouring is applied to smooth finished leather.
To determine the finish of your leather, use a cotton swab soaked in acetone or nail polish, then rub it on a hidden area of your leather. If the colour does not change or lightens slightly, your leather has a smooth finish. If a film starts to come off or if the leather darkens and absorbs the product, the dye on your leather sofa is aniline or semi-aniline.
Generally speaking, 90% of leather sofas have a smooth finish, with the exception of club chairs, however it is preferable to ensure that they are finished before any renovation.
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