Barrel pigmentation - Drum pigmentation

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"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 as Lavalina leather.

Normally, leather is dyed in barrels in a bath of dyestuffs and then coated with a pigment-containing colour on the surface for protection.

Barrel pigmentation is carried out in the retanning process. By the addition of very fine pigments without binders, these are absorbed by the leather, thus achieving an equalisation of the colouring of the leather surface without the pores being closed.

The barrel pigmented BMW leather is described as porous smooth leather without pigment layer on the grain side. The leather samples of the leather BMW Merino are all provided with a pigmentation. They are not aniline leather but in fact semi-aniline leather.

BMW-Autoleder-Merino.jpg BMW-Leather-Merino.jpg

Pigmented BMW Merina leather.

Previously known samples of leather with barrel pigmentation had colour coatings on the surface when tested with a solvent. It was therefore no 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-not-Anilin-02.jpg Lavalina-not-Anilin-barrel-pigmentation-01.jpg

Lavalina leather barrel pigmented also has a top pigmentation, which probably does not come from the barrel. On the right picture the finish was removed with solvents.


Due to the unclear information, always confirm the type of leather used in the application of the barrel pigmentation. If a real aniline leather is desired, examine more closely, if aniline leather is really offered.

Additional information