As soon as the surfaces of a hide is altered in anyway it must be referred to as “Corrected”. If a hide is corrected it doesn’t always mean that it is therefore an inferior product. What determines that is the level of correction that the hide requires. This is not something that is easy to determine as corrected hides are used to create Pigmented leather and a fake grain is embossed onto the hide in order to hide the corrections.
When a hide has scars, brands, blemishes or other deficiencies this damage must be fixed before the hide can be turned into a usable material. Damage can occur in a number of different ways and often are a result of environmental factors as much as they are a result of the conditions the cattle were raised in. Warmer locations tend to have more insects that can damage the hides than in more temperate location. South American and Asian cattle are branded and often have scars as a result of barbed wire. Most hides from South America and Asia have to be corrected in some way.
In order to correct damage on the surface of a hide the hide is either sanded or buffed in order to remove the damage. As the skin or upper layer of the hide is where all of the strength and durability of the leather is found the amount of correcting can have a negative impact on the over all performance of the leather. Once the hide has been corrected the hide is embossed with a leather grain in order to hide and blend the correction. The pigment dye that is applied to these hides then acts like a skin layer where the hide has been corrected.
Typically European hides will have less correction than hides from other origins. It is important to note there is a difference between the origin and where the tanning was done. Raw hides are a commodity and are traded around the world, so it is not uncommon for South American raw hides to be tanned in Italy. Just because leather is referred to as “Italian” doesn’t mean it is made from European hides.