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Pull-up effect and other leather properties

Sometimes we have complaints from our clients for scars, stains and other as they think leather defects.

Since we working with naturally tanned leather all these “defects” is not defects but rather the character of the hides or leather properties. Each hide is unique.

Leather Type

Table mats are among the bestsellers at olpr.’s collection.

If you plan to get one for yourself, probably it will be interesting for you to find out more about the leather type it is made of as well as peculiarities of the material.

First and foremost, we use only natural full grain vegetable tanned leather for table mats and all other items you can find at olpr. website.

Horween Leather Journals with Pull-up Effect

photo of horween large leather notebook - black

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What Is Full Grain

Basically, leather is trillions of interwoven fibers. The closer you get to the surface, the smaller and denser become those fibers. Hence, the top layer is the strongest and the most durable cut one can buy. The term “Full Grain” is used to define that top, uppermost layer of the cow hide which was not sanded or polished.

What Is Vegetable Tanned

When we speak about leather, obviously it needs to be preserved before it can be used for crafting and making goods. Vegetable tanning is actually the way leather hide is preserved.

This method is one of the many possible, but its distinctive feature is in all-natural technique. Hides are soaked in certain tubs filled with natural solutions, like tree bark. These extracts are dense, and when they bind to the hide, they fill in the gaps in the fibers.

By filling these gaps the leather becomes even more durable and tight. After that, it is finished with a combination of transparent waxes and oils, which gives the leather a very soft feel. Every piece made of vegetable tanned leather has unique shades and nuances, which are a mark of genuineness.

Here we come to the most important and interesting part about natural full grain leather, the characteristics that make it stand out from the rest such as:

Pull-up Leather Effect

So, by now you know a bit more about full grain leather production and its tanning. We touched upon natural extracts and wax&oil finish so you can understand what is so called “pull-up”.

When full grain leather is stretched or pulled, the color migrates and becomes lighter in the pulled areas. Hence the term pull-up. Basically, it happens because oils and waxes are displaced on the surface by a movement of the material. It is a characteristic of natural tanning processes.

Natural Leather Wrinkles

Other characteristics to take note of are wrinkles. As full grain leather is not sanded during production it preserves its natural look. Normally, the cow has wrinkles where the skin was bent, like on the neck, near legs etc.

These wrinkles are not removed on purpose. They show that leather is correctly processed full grain top hide.

Scars On Leather Surface

Same as wrinkles, scars on leather hide are also preserved. During its life the animal may get scratches, insects bites or small wounds. As a result of natural healing there remains a scar.

After the hide is separated from the flash, these marks are left untouched as required by the technology.

Consistency In Color

The lack of consistency in color and tone is not a defect. Every hide is different and absorbs tanning solutions in a particular way.

As full grain is not polished its thickness may vary even if we speak about one hide of the animal. Even though the difference might be miserable, it still affects the coloring and the shade of the final product.

You Should Know

Now as you already know about leather peculiarities let's take a closer look at the olpr. table mat produced from Horween leather.

The mat is not lined. On the back of the mat you will see grainy leather hide backside.

Because of the granular structure the back of the table mat lays firmly on the surface, preventing slipping.

We ship table mats in rolls. Naturally, as the leather is bent, when you unfold the mat at home it might show pull-up and curved edges. With time the leather will flatten under its weight.

Leather will show more and more pull-up and patina as it ages, because it is naturally processed and not polished or finished with chemicals.

If you plan to purchase a set of table mat and a mouse pad it is better to do it in one order. This way we will use one hide to produce your items and they will be absolutely similar in color shade. Otherwise, the shade of items may vary slightly.


All imperfections on the full grain leather surface are considered inherent in the material and contribute to its natural beauty.

Not sanded leather from the top of the hide tanned in natural extracts and finished with oils is the most durable, highly valued soft material.

Scars, wrinkles, pull-ups, color variations are testament to the authenticity of full grain leather.

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