Nappa leather

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Napa leather is a leather, typically dyed, made from kid-, cow-, calf-, lamb- or other skin by tanning. It is noted for its soft temper. It is a generic term in the leather field and has no distinct test for characterization. Because of this ambiguity, the term is often used in advertising[citation needed] to imply that a leather has a soft hand. Among other uses, Napa leather is often used in leather products such as furniture, clothing, handbags, and shoes. As the term is used today, Napa Leather may be either natural grain, or more likely, corrected grain.

This authentic leather is named after its origin in Napa, California. Contrast with "nappa," which is a term that is sometimes used for synthetic/faux/fake leather that feels smooth and supple.[citation needed]


Napa leather was first 'coined' by Emanuel Manasse in 1875 while working for the Sawyer Tanning Company in Napa, California.[1]

Napa tannage in the "strict sense", but a term no longer used in this framework, refers to a tannage consisting of alum salts with vegetable tanning agents.

Napa leather is defined in Merriam-Webster's dictionary.


  • B Ellis (1921), Gloves & Glove Trade, page 58,
  • Napa gloves are made from tawed leathers and tanned leathers.
  1. ^ Emanuel Manasse - obituary article (1899) and patent (1875), retrieved 11/08/2010 from