Does Aniline Leather Scratch Easily? (3 Fixes & 6 Hacks)

Does Aniline Leather Scratch Easily?

Aniline leather is a type of leather that is highly sought after because of its natural appearance. It is often known to be delicate in terms of stains and heat damage. But does aniline leather also scratch easily? If so, can those pesky scratches be removed? And is there a way to prevent them?

To answer the question briefly, if a top-grain aniline finish is applied, scratches can be more likely as it does not have a sealant layer to protect it from everyday wear and tear. On the other hand, if a semi-aniline or full-aniline finish is used, it will be more resistant to scratching because of its protective layer.

Continue reading as I share details on the following;

  • reasons aniline leather scratch easily,
  • how to remove scratches from aniline leather, and
  • how to prevent scratches on aniline leather.

Reasons Aniline Leather Scratch Easily

Here are a few common reasons aniline leather can easily become scratched.

1. Aniline Leather Is Not Protected

One of the main reasons aniline leather scratch easily is that it is not protected. Aniline leather, also known as naked or uncoated leather, does not have any protective coating over the natural surface.

While this is to ensure that all the natural characteristics of the hide are retained, it does mean that the leather can be more prone to scratching and other damage.

Additionally, aniline leather can also be more susceptible to staining and other types of wear.

2. Aniline Leather Is Soft

Another factor that makes aniline leather susceptible to scratches is its natural softness.

Aniline leather is softer than protected or coated leather, making it less resistant to scratches and other damage.

This makes it more prone to scuffing and scratching, especially if it’s used often. We all love the luxurious feel of aniline leather, but it’s one of the common reasons aniline leather can easily become scratched.

3. Aniline Leather Has Low Abrasion Resistance

When I talk about abrasion resistance, I’m referring to a hide’s ability to resist scuffing, scratching, and general wear and tear.

Aniline leather does not have a high abrasion resistance largely due to its unprotected surface and softness.

In fact, it usually has one of the lowest levels of abrasion resistance out of all types of leather. By so doing, it can easily become scratched over time.

Generally, leather surfaces that have been treated will have the better abrasion resistance and be more resistant to scratches.

4. It May Already Have Tiny Scratches

Aniline leather may also come with tiny scratches already embedded in the material. While this is true for nearly all aniline leather, you can also see this in leather that has been used for a long time or if it’s vintage or antique.

These tiny scratches can be difficult to spot, but they are likely to become more noticeable over time.

It’s important to inspect aniline leather for any existing scratches before you buy and make sure it’s something you can deal with.

How to Remove Scratches from Aniline Leather

There isn’t a lot you can do regarding scratches on aniline leather. Fix one, and another will likely take its place in no time.

The best thing you can do is to embrace the collection of scratches that come with owning aniline leather as it gets older, as this is all part of the natural patina.

If you want to reduce the appearance of any existing scratches, here are a few things you can do;

Use A Leather Conditioner

You can use a leather conditioner to help smooth out the surface. These leather conditioners contain some amounts of waxes and oils that can help fill in any visible scratches, making them less noticeable.

It can also help protect the leather from further damage and keep it soft. Leather conditioners like Chamberlain’s Leather Milk are specifically formulated for untreated leather surfaces like aniline and semi-leather.

Simply follow the instructions on the product and apply it regularly to your leather surface. It is always important to clean your leather with a good leather cleaner before applying the conditioner.

Also, you want to make sure that you’re applying only thin layers at a time so the conditioning oils can gradually build up and fill up the scratches you’re trying to get rid of.

Polish the Area With a Soft Cloth

Another solution will be to polish the area with a soft cloth if applicable. This method is more effective for minor scratches but can also help hide any deep ones.

Simply use a dry cloth and apply some pressure to the scratched area in small circles until you see an improvement. Make sure not to scrub too hard, or you could make matters worse.

This works because the friction created by rubbing the surface generates warmth that softens the hide. This helps fill in gaps produced by scratches and can make them less noticeable.

Be sure to test this method out first on a small, unnoticeable area before going to work on the affected part.

Use Leather Repair Kit

There are a lot of leather repair kits on the market today with various tools and formulas designed to fix leather scratches, tears, and other minor damages.

These kits usually contain pigments that you can use to color the leather and make any scratches less visible.

They can also come with polishing compounds, waxes, and other agents that can help fix any sort of damage to the leather.

Just be sure to read the instructions first, and make sure to choose a leather repair kit specifically designed for untreated leather like aniline leather.

Take It To A Professional

Alternatively, you can take your aniline leather to a professional who specializes in leather repair. They can usually do a better job at fixing deep scratches or other damages that you may not be able to handle on your own.

How to Prevent Scratches on Aniline Leather

Before I wrap things up, it is important I touch briefly on how to prevent scratches on aniline leather.

Since aniline leather is more susceptible to scratches and other forms of damage, taking extra precautions will help keep your aniline leather in good condition for longer.

Here are a few steps you can take;

  • Clean the Leather Regularly

Make sure you clean and dust off any surface dirt before it has a chance to accumulate. This will also help protect the leather from dirt and debris that can scratch it up.

  • Use Appropriate Cleaners

Only Use leather cleaners specifically designed for aniline leather, as some products may be too strong for the untreated hide and cause further damage.

  • Keep It Away From Sharp And Abrasive Objects

You want to make sure that you keep your aniline leather away from sharp or abrasive objects.

These objects can cause tiny scratches, which will accumulate and be very noticeable over time. So take extra care when handling your aniline leather furniture and products.

  • Regularly Dust and Vacuum the Surface

It is also important that you regularly dust or vacuum the surface of your aniline leather to remove any dirt.

Allowing dust or debris to sit on the surface of aniline, or any type of leather for that matter, can cause damage.

You can use a soft cloth or a microfiber duster for this task, as these will be gentle enough not to cause any scratches.

If your leather surface is large, like a sofa or car seat, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove larger particles or dirt.

  • Be Gentle When Cleaning The Leather

Make sure to be gentle when cleaning your aniline leather. Abrasive scrubbing will only damage the leather further and could leave your furniture looking dull.

  • Keep Pets Away from the Furniture

This one is a no-brainer, but I’ll include it anyway. Keeping your pets away from the furniture when possible can help reduce their chances of scratching the leather with their claws or teeth.

Final Thoughts

Aniline leather is a beautiful material that offers an unparalleled level of luxury, comfort, and style. But it can be quite delicate and prone to scratches.

That being said, you can use the tips outlined in this article to help reduce the chances of scratching your aniline leather furniture or products.

But if you find that your aniline leather is already scratched, you can use a DIY leather repair kit or take it to a professional for help.

No matter what route you choose, with the right amount of care and maintenance, you can keep your aniline leather looking new and beautiful for years to come.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!