Perforated leather

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Leather perforation - Perforated leather

A perforation of leather is the cutting of holes into the surface at regular intervals. Through the perforation, little leather pieces are punched out and removed.

Car leather is provided with a covering and protective colour layer so that it meets the desired characteristics of automotive manufacturers (stain resistance, abrasion resistance, UV resistance, etc.). Non-pigmented smooth leather (aniline leather) is too delicate for car interiors.

The disadvantage of surface colourations is the reduced breathability of the leather. Therefore, car seats are often perforated in the contact areas. Due to the perforation, the air permeability of the leather is noticeably increased and sweating in the contact area is significantly reduced.

Perforations are almost exclusively used for vehicle upholstery. For leather furniture, perforations are unusual. For shoes, bags and clothing, perforation is used for decorative reasons.

Car manufacturers such as Mercedes, Opel, Ford, Porsche and also VW (New Beetle) use perforated leather.

Very well-known at Mercedes is the so-called Mercedes basket weave perforation, which is a mixture of embossing and perforation.

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Perforations are usually round, but can also be angular.


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Design: Perforation of a red dyed leather with a black surface colouration.


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Perforated car leather (right imitation leather).


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Perforated hand bags.


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Perforated motorcycle comb and leisure jacket.


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For production reasons, it is also possible to laminate and then perforate. The perforation holes then also pass through the cushion material on the back.





Furniture cushions get a perforation on the back to allow venting of the cushions. At the same time, it is used for advertising with own brand.


Perforation of leather in the leather workshop

There are smaller machines with which leather can be perforated in the leather workshop. Different punching tools can be used to achieve different patterns and hole sizes.

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With a perforation machine, car leather and other leather can be perforated as required (car saddlery in Dubai).



The leather is perforated quickly.


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The perforation tools punch round holes.



The cut-out leather pieces land in the collecting container of the perforating machine.


Embossing with intentional perforations of the leather

Some leathers are so heavily embossed, that holes are created in the leather. In contrast to perforation, no leather is punched out and removed.


'The Mercedes Basketweave is an embossing, that pierces the leather.


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Luxury leather embossed with pattern (front and back). The leather was perforated.


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A car leather with an embossing that tears the leather.


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Exotic: Leather chair with Mercedes Basketweave embossing.



A video about painting on leather, perforating leather, carving leather, embossing leather and several other methods to create motifs on leather.


Cleaning and maintenance of perforations

Perforation in leather is sensitive to moisture. Therefore, the following procedure must be followed during cleaning and care: in the area of the perforation, apply all products only sparingly in order not to fill the holes or to soak them too much. The moisture can penetrate causing the edges to swell or the moisture can soak the cushioning foam behind and wet the leather with remaining stains.

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Perforated leather can easily be cleaned and maintained.


When cleaning, the following procedure is recommended: dispense some leather cleaner foam onto a cloth or a brush and then clean the leather carefully. Remove the foam and cleaning residue with a cloth slightly moistened with water. Also, when applying care products, slightly moisten a cloth with the care product and wipe the leather gently.

If you follow these rules, there is no risk due to the perforation, and the leather will remain beautiful for a long time.

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Typical stains caused by too wet cleaning and/or care application.


Deformation and leather shrinkage caused by water damages on car leather.



Bird droppings leave unexpected strong damage.


Leather repairs

If perforated leather is torn or otherwise damaged, it must usually be replaced by a trimmer. The perforation tears with the same effect as the perforation of a stamp. The leather then tears along the row of holes. Specialised leather repair companies can sometimes repair such damages without replacing the leather. However, a visible scar mostly remains and only skilled and experienced craftsmen can do such work well.


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Tear in leather from a Porsche seat. No easy repair.


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Tears in the perforated leather cannot be repaired invisibly. A scar remains.


Other ways of providing leather with designs