Barrel pigmentation - Drum pigmentation
"Barrel pigmentation" and "Drum pigmentation" are terms that occasionally feature in leather descriptions. Often, they appear in connection with BMW leather, but also with furniture upholstered in Lavalina leather.
Normally, leather is soaked in barrels filled with dyes and then coated with a pigment-containing colour on the surface for protection.
Barrel pigmentation is carried out in the retanning process. These very fine pigments are applied without binders so that the leather absorbs them to achieve equal colour coverage on the surface without closing the pores.
The barrel-pigmented BMW leather is described as porous smooth leather without a pigment layer on the grain side. The leather samples for the BMW Merino are all provided with a pigmentation. They are not aniline leather but in fact semi-aniline leather.
Previously known samples of leather with barrel pigmentation had colour coatings on the surface when tested with a solvent. It was therefore not aniline leather, but semi aniline leather. Whether these leathers are softer or more beautiful than semi-aniline leather without barrel pigmentation could not be determined.
Lavalina leather that is barrel-pigmented also has a top pigmentation, which probably does not come from the barrel. The picture on the right shows how the finish was removed with solvents.
As the information is not always clear, it is advisable to confirm the type of leather used in the application of the barrel pigmentation. If a real aniline leather is desired, examine more closely to make sure that is what is being offered.