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Introducing Pull-up Leather: Features, Pros & Cons, Care and Tips

Pull up leather is given a beautiful name by many people: “Prince in the world of leather goods”. So what is Pull up Leather? How to pros – cons and how to take care of pull-up leather? Today, will introduce to you this special leather type.

Pull-up leather is Aniline dyed leather
A shoe made from pull-up leather, shoes pull up leather
A shoe made from pull-up leather
A phone case made from pull-up leather, phone case pull up leather
A phone case made from pull-up leather

What are the characteristics of pull-up leather?

Pull-up leather is made from cowhide. This leather is the most beautiful, most expensive part of the cow with the following characteristics: Soft, no artificial coating outside and can withstand harsh weather and environmental conditions.

People start by dyeing Aniline, fixing the color with natural oils or waxes instead of paints or pigments and top coats. Therefore, Pull-up leather is also known as waxed or oily leather. They are mainly used to make shoes and bags but they can also be used to make furniture.

Due to the fact that it does not have a durable outer coating, this type of leather creates a patina color very quickly. The oil layer after time of use will fade away to reveal an area of ​​lighter color – similar to a shiny streak in places where there is a lot of rubbing on clothes. They are very susceptible to scratches when a sharp, sharp object hits the surface, only tanners have special tools designed to restore the “Color – Shape” of pull-up leather. Pull-up leathers also have a lighter color when they are stretched or folded. 

Another thing to note is that because this type of leather is made from the best, most beautiful part of the cow, their price will also be the most expensive. With a hefty price tag, besides, they’re well worth it. Products made from this type of leather meet very high aesthetic requirements, conquering the most demanding eyes.

pull up
The price of this type of leather is not cheap
leather honey conditioner

The Leather Honey brand is a cleaning solution that’s perfect for anyone that has a stained or heavily soiled pull-up leather goods. It rids away dirt and grime fast, resulting in an excellent restoration job.

What is the pull-up leather production process like?

  • After selecting the best part of the cowhides, they are dyed
  • Then, people will spray the surface of the leather with a traditional Aniline dye that works to even out the color.
  • There are traditional methods to create things like: Pull-up, Shrunken Grain, Savage, Wax Crackle…
  • Finally, some manufacturers will choose to spray a light protective layer (Like wax) to make the leather more resistant to dust. This will not affect the quality of the leather.
  • If the leather is sprayed with a layer of artificial colors or paints with coloring properties, then they will cause the leather to be changed and no longer good.
pull-up leather

 👉 Also read: What is Nubuck Leather?

Types of pull-up leather

Currently, pull-up leather is divided into 2 main types: Smooth wax pull-up leather and Wax mill

Smooth wax pul-up leather

This is the type of leather that people rub or abrade so that the leather is no longer shiny and there are no uneven errors on the leather. This type can be manipulated with more veins, holes or seeds… Also can be left smooth, depending on the purpose of use.

pull up leather 04
Smooth wax leather

Wax leather mill

In contrast to smooth waxed leather, mill wax is left intact, including scars or insect bites. Usually this type of leather is selected from cows (cow, horse…) with beautiful leather surface. Those that are not selected will be converted to smooth leather or other leather types.

Basically, it is not difficult to distinguish between grained waxed leather and natural grained milled leather. You just need to look at the overall surface of the leather and pay attention to the distribution of layers. If the leather mill, this distribution is completely natural, so it is uneven (such as the positions in the groin, abdomen, armpits, part of the neck will be less striated…). The grain printed leather is stamped by humans, so the grain will be the same.

Wax leather mill

Wet wax leather

This won’t change color when you squeeze or break it and it’s considered a universal wet wax.

If it is discolored more enthusiastically than usual with the surface still rough, it is crazy horse wax, also known as crazy horse leather. Do not rush to think it is horse leather when reading its name, it is cowhide that is completely popular around the world because of its novelty, uniqueness, dust and impression…

And if the impact still changes color but the surface of the leather is smoother, it is oil wax. This type has a gentle glossy surface, but the leather is still easy to scratch and hiss. This type of leather changes color but does not change as much as crazy horse wax, but it is still loved by many people.

crazy horse wax, Crazy horse leather, crazy horse pull up leather

Dry waxy leather

This type is most confused with nubuck leather because the surface looks quite similar. They also have a smooth surface, uniform color and no discoloration. However, dry wax leather is easier to scratch than the outer surface will be sharper and especially it has a more specific smell than nubuck leather.

Dry waxy leather is also divided into several types:

The most common type is: wax buck leather (A cross between wax and nubuck leather). This type has a sharp appearance, the surface is velvet, smooth and light. It feels like nubuck leather but is completely lighter and has all the properties of wax leather. Usually this line is less prone to scratches and the surface is quite absorbent. The reason is because it has the bloodline of buck leather, so it is quite easy to get confused. This type is often made shoes to combine with jeans.

Dry waxy leather

Pros & Cons of Pull up Leather

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  • Has a very natural, slightly worn-out look;
  • Becomes lighter when it is stretched;
  • Soft and nice to the touch;
  • Durable;
  • Water repellency;
  • Grain tightness which is good for artists who need top-notch grain leather
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  • Complicated care;
  • Dirt is instantly visible on the surface

👉 Also read: What is Vachetta Leather?

How to care Pull up leather?

Due to the properties of pull-up leather mentioned above (Dyeing by Aniline dyeing method), pull-up leather absorbs the solution faster than Smooth Leather (Is any leather with a smooth surface with patterns of normal leather surface). Some are naturally smooth, some are smoothed after a smoothing process). And moreover is impregnated by oil/wax so it has the ability to recover very quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to use a separate cream for pull-up leather care, which is the type that contains mink oil or fat.

Pull-up leather Care: Tips for leathercrafter

  • Start by removing the laces from your shoes. When caring for pull-up shoes, insert wooden laces to maintain their shape during restoration.
  • Begin the cleaning process by gently brushing your shoes with a shoe brush to eliminate any dirt. Pay close attention to the waxed finish. It’s advisable to use a separate shoe brush exclusively for cleaning pull-up shoes, avoiding its use on other shoes prior to pull-ups.
  • Take a polishing cloth and wrap it around your index and middle fingers.
  • Moisten the polishing cloth with leather cream and gently apply the product to your shoes, using circular motions to vigorously rub it in.
  • This method effectively removes old creams and addresses any cracked or wrinkled areas caused by wear. Pay extra attention to these creases and rub them vigorously to smooth out the wrinkles.
  • Apply a nourishing wax afterwards, ensuring it penetrates the hard-to-reach areas and seeps into the shoe seams. Allow the seams to dry.
  • If your shoes have a wooden sole, it is recommended to wax them only occasionally.
  • Pull-up typically has a matte gloss. To achieve a shining effect, use a specialized polishing brush.
leather honey conditioner

The Leather Honey brand is a cleaning solution that’s perfect for anyone that has a stained or heavily soiled pull-up leather goods. It rids away dirt and grime fast, resulting in an excellent restoration job.

How to identify pull-up leather compared to other leather types?

Based on the production of this type of leather, we can easily distinguish them in the following ways:

  • Lightly scratch the surface to see if the leather leaves a lighter color scratch. If you feel the scratch is lighter in color then 90% of it is pull-up. However, the remaining 10% is nubuck leather because there are several types of leather with similar characteristics.

Another way is to wet your finger and rub it gently on the leather to see if it darkens. If it is pull-up leather, you will see it dark when wet, but not when dry.

  • You can also apply a protective cream such as Shoe Cream (A cream used to protect leather shoes) on an area of ​​​​the leather and then let it dry. If the cream dries and you don’t see any traces, it’s pull-up leather.
How to identify pull-up leather

Identifying Genuine Pull-Up Leather: A Guide

Pull-up leather is a popular choice for its unique appearance and durability. However, with the rise of counterfeit products, it’s essential to know how to distinguish genuine pull-up leather from imitations. Here, lists out 5 ways to identify real pull-up leather:

  • Look for Natural Variations: Authentic pull-up leather exhibits natural variations in color and texture. These variations are a result of the leather’s unique tanning process, which involves applying oils and waxes to create a rich, aged appearance. Genuine pull-up leather will display subtle shifts in color when stretched or folded, revealing lighter or darker tones beneath the surface.
  • Check for Distressed Marks: Pull-up leather often features distressed marks, such as scratches, wrinkles, or scars, which add to its rustic charm. These imperfections are a testament to the leather’s authenticity and should not be mistaken for flaws. Genuine pull-up leather will develop a beautiful patina over time, enhancing its character and uniqueness.
  • Assess the Softness and Suppleness: Authentic pull-up leather is known for its soft and supple feel. When you touch it, the leather should have a smooth texture and a slight oily or waxy sensation. This pliability allows the leather to develop natural creases and folds, further enhancing its vintage appeal.
  • Examine the Edges and Backside: Inspect the edges and backside of the leather carefully. Genuine pull-up leather will have consistent coloring throughout, including these areas. Counterfeit products often have painted or artificially treated edges, which may appear uniform or have an unnatural sheen.
  • Smell the Leather: Authentic pull-up has a distinct, pleasant smell that is often described as rich and earthy. This aroma is a result of the tanning process and the natural oils used to treat the leather. If the leather has a strong chemical odor or lacks any scent, it may indicate a synthetic or low-quality alternative.

In conclusion, being able to identify genuine pull-up leather is essential when making a purchase. Look for natural variations in color and texture, as well as distressed marks that add to its character. Genuine pull-up leather should feel soft and supple, with consistent coloring throughout, even on the edges and backside. Additionally, the leather should have a distinct, pleasant smell. By paying attention to these details, you can confidently select authentic pull-up leather products that will age beautifully and provide long-lasting quality.

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