What first comes to your mind when you think about leather furniture? You are right, gorgeous. The essence of pure leather is beyond comparison. Leather sofas and furniture bring a class, elegance and luxury feel to any space. But selecting one is not easy.
Here are 3 basic things you should know about leather before buying any leather sofas or furniture.
The kind of leather
Most people are not familiar with the different kinds and grades of leather that are available for furniture making. There aren't any samples available for side-by-side comparison. We have it in our store. So, when you come to buy, for example, leather sofas for the living room we will show you the kinds and grades. You can choose what you want. Ok, back to the thought. Leather furniture is available in a variety of materials, ranging from full grain or top grain leather to bonded leather. You could assume a bonded leather sofa is great, but the quality difference is actually fairly big and significant.
The best leather for furniture making is full grain and top grain. They are made from the topmost layer of the hide, below the hair.
Full-grain leather: Full-grain leather is the toughest and most long-lasting leather that is available. It's termed full grain because the grain pattern is exceedingly tight and visible. It has excellent moisture resistance and grows a nice patina with time.
Top grain leather: This is taken from the same piece of the hide. The difference is that the top surface is sanded away by a couple of millimetres. This removes any defects like nicks, scratches brands, and other flaws. Top grain leather has a highly uniform overall look as a result of this. Since the surface of top grain leather has been buffed, polished, and smoothed, it feels very soft to the touch. However, it is not as long-lasting as full-grain leather.
Bonded leather: Created from crushed scraps of leather that are ground, dyed and combined with glue to a synthetic underlayer. It contains only 17% of genuine leather. Due to the plastic coating, the surface does not breathe like genuine leather, making leather sofas or furniture unpleasant to sit on after a time. It does, however, effectively resist spills and stains.
Split leather: Taken from the middle layer of the hide, flattened to give texture, not durable.
The dye processes
It is good to know how the leather is dyed. Three major kinds are:
Pure Aniline: This is the most expensive leather and softest. Large spinning drums are used to dye the hides. This allows a complete soak of the dye which gives rich and deep colour. There is no protective coating added so more vulnerable to fading and getting stains.
Semi-Aniline: This is also known as protected aniline as it has a thin layer of protective coating on it. This provides superior stain and fade resistance to pure aniline leather. The marks, grains and texture will be visible, preserving the leather's original appearance. This is a better choice for making leather sofas and furniture.
Pigmented: This leather is less expensive and is not usually soft. It has an extra coat of opaque colour put to the surface. The coloured coating is particularly formulated to allow stretch and breathe. A transparent coat is put on for protection and also provides several sheens ranging from matte to gloss. It can resist wear and tear, hides stains better, is easier to clean, and fades more slowly than other fabrics.
Percentage of leather
Pure leather sofas and furniture are expensive. So, make sure that whatever you are paying, you get its value. Before buying, know how much of the furniture is covered with pure leather. There may be real leather just on the seat, armrests, and back of the seat. For the outer arms and rear side, lower-quality materials like bonded leather or vinyl may be used. This will result in an ugly two-tone chair or sofa with usage. Check for labels always or ask for information. Make sure the furniture is constructed entirely of real leather if you are paying for it.
Some more key points to remember
· A leather sofa must fit your lifestyle. If it will be subjected to a lot of wear and tear, choose a finish and protection that will allow you to simply wipe away a stain.
· The durability of leather is four times more than fabric. Leather furniture will look better with use as time goes by.
· A damp cloth is enough to remove regular dust. Leather furniture is easy to maintain irrespective of the dye colour.
· Leather furniture with zippered seat cushions is the best choice. It will be easy to change the seat cushion when needed.
· Never go for a leather-vinyl combination. The finish of the leather furniture may look good but vinyl will wear out fast while leather lasts long.
· Leather that seems chilly at first will warm to your body temperature in 10-15 seconds since it contains 12-14 per cent water.
Now that you have a basic knowledge of leather, it will be easy for you to buy leather sofas and furniture.
When you want to buy leather sofas in Melbourne, the best store is ours. Check out our collection of leather sofas for the living room that matches any given ambience and look. If you cannot decide which one to buy, feel free to contact us for an expert opinion. You can also visit any of our stores for the same.