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What’s So Special About Napa Leather?

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Recently, we explained the differences between aniline and semi-aniline leather. Now, we’ll provide a brief overview of what napa leather is, what makes it distinct, and how to maintain it. 

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What is napa leather

According to, “napa” leather is a leather typically dyed and made from cow, calf, kid, or lamb skin using a special tanning process.  Emanuel Manasse gets the credit for inventing it back in 1875, during his tenure with Sawyer Tanning Company in Napa, California. 

How it’s made 

The tanning process involves using chromium or aluminum sulfate, which gives the leather its characteristic softness and longevity. This leather is also easier to clean than other leather types since it’s dyed in water-soluble colorants.

Napa leather is a popular choice for luxury-vehicle interiors, thanks to its refined look and feel. It’s also easy to dust and resists liquid spills better than other types of leather. And, if you struggle with upper respiratory conditions, it has the added benefit of being hypoallergenic.  

Caring for napa leather

If your vehicle has napa leather surfaces and/or seating, you’ll want to follow some key guidelines to keep it in good condition. Before using your napa leather interior, spray the leather surfaces with a water and stain protectant. This will help repel any potential damage from spilled water, coffee, and other liquids. 

To remove dirt or dust on the leather, use a dry lint-free cloth to wipe the surfaces. To lift stains, use a cotton washcloth slightly dampened with lukewarm water. 

You’ll also want to park your vehicle in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight. This will help protect it from damage due to excess sun and humidity. 

Lastly, make sure to regularly apply leather conditioner to the napa materials. Products with lanolin are particularly great for helping preserve and enhance the color of the leather for years to come. 

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News Sources: BestLeather.orgBelfast Telegraph