Nappa leather

Nappa leather is a leather, typically dyed, made from kid-, cow-, calf-, lamb- or other skin by tanning. It is noted for its soft hand. 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 to imply that a leather is particularly supple. Among other uses, Nappa leather is often used in leather products such as furniture, clothing, handbags, and shoes. As the term is used today, Nappa leather may be either natural grain, or more likely, corrected grain.


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

Nappa 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.


  1. Emanuel Manasse - obituary article (1899) and patent (1875), retrieved 11/08/2010 from
  • Napa gloves are made from tawed leathers and tanned leathers.


  • B Ellis (1921), Gloves & Glove Trade, page 58,

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