To make leather more durable, colouring substances are applied to the hide which provide abrasion and stain resistance as well as colour enhancement. This process usually involves three or four coating operations. Generally, the more finish a leather has, the stiffer it becomes. Aniline dyed or vat dyed leathers will tend to be softer than pigmented leathers, although this can largely be overcome by milling. Other factors affecting softness include the tanning formula, hide quality, and aniline used.
Finishes enhance the appearance and serviceability of materials used to manufacture store fixtures. Finishes may include, but are not limited to, paints, stains, plating, waxes, oils, and various types of protective coatings.
The processes of treating a hide by adding multiple coats of dye that can enhance color, provide scratch protection, and resist staining. The extent of dying and the dye that is used affect the stiffness of the leather: aniline treatment results in soft, natural-looking leather.