From www.leather-dictionary.com - The Leather Dictionary
Saffian leather is a very fine and firm goat leather with natural scars, which is named after the Moroccan city of Safi and is mostly used for shoes or book bindings. It is generally tanned with sumac, embossed with a grain pattern and coloured on one side. The characteristic feature of saffian leather is the crunch noise. Only selected Southern European skins are processed to saffian.