Leather Materials Guide

Get Comfortable with a Classic

When choosing décor and upholstery for your furniture, you know there is an ocean of choices out there. Yet, if you want a décor that exudes a raw sophistication, an eternal, classic style – then leather is your top choice!

Fine leather furniture transforms any space and offers unmatched durability, style, and comfort. Leather is popular because it is astonishingly long lasting (four times more than other fabrics on an average), when maintained properly.

Timeless Material that Ages Well

This natural material is timeless and doesn’t easily rip or tear. Always fashionable due to its adaptability, you get an amazing variety of choices with different colors, patterns, pricing, and softness to consider. As unique as our fingerprints, each piece of leather is distinctive.

From comfort to style, learn more about the marks and “flaws” that make leather age well. Consider the many factors, such as types, treatments, and care of leather to make an informed decision. We’ll help you select the leather furniture best suited to your lifestyle and home.

Types of Leather

Now, if you are a normal shopper, you would think leather upholstery is leather upholstery, right? Or perhaps, you know that some furniture has genuine leather while others have faux leather. However, there are a lot of other options than just these two.

The quality of genuine leather itself varies greatly. For example, you might have seen labels, such as top grain or genuine, on leather items. They indicate the quality of the different types of genuine leather.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the types of leather available in the market to make it easier for you to choose the one that’s right for you.

Leather

Leather tanning is perhaps one of the oldest industries across human civilization. Genuine leather (or just leather) is usually cow, sheep, or goat skin which undergoes various processes: tanning, crusting, and a layer of coating or finishing.

There are four primary types of genuine leather based on the treatment process: aniline leather, semi-aniline leather, pigmented leather, and nubuck leather.

Do you want a natural-looking leather finish, with all the unique characteristics of the hide? Then, this is the leather finish for you.

Full-aniline or pure-aniline leather does not receive any surface pigment and because it lacks this protective coating, it is much softer and develops a natural patina over time.

Do you want the softest, most natural leather upholstery but with a bit of protection? While carrying the softness and natural finish of full-aniline, semi-aniline has an additional thin protective topcoat which is added to it. This protects it from wear and staining.

This topcoat makes furniture with semi-aniline leather appear more uniform and softer but with somewhat better protection from staining and fading.

This is the most durable of real leather finishes as it contains a polymer coating with pigments. Do you have children or pets but still want the luxury of real leather furniture? Then, pigmented leather is perfect for you as it has increased durability and is scratch and fade-resistant.

This is top-quality leather with a soft suede finish. It is best to use this for areas with access only to adults and while it is more durable than suede, it still needs to be used with care.

Faux Leather

Considered a good synthetic alternative, faux leather looks and feels like genuine leather. Many people prefer faux leather mainly because no animals are harmed in the making of the material. Another advantage of faux leather is that it has an even, consistent coloring throughout as it is machine-made.

Faux leather is made from two materials: Polyurethane (PU) or vinyl.

  • Polyurethane (PU)is very versatile and can be used to replicate leather, suede, and a number of materials. It comes in an assortment of colors and is extremely durable.
  • Vinyl is similar to PU and is UV fade resistant.

Leather Match

Leather match furniture is a blend of synthetic and genuine leather. Typically, all the parts of the furniture which touches your body, is made of real leather while faux leather is used on the sides and back.

Faux leather designed to perfectly match the real leather pieces is usually made of vinyl, microfiber, or suede. The end result is classy furniture that looks like it is all leather.

Other than a cost advantage, leather-match furniture is durable and available in many stunning shades of color starting from intense red, silver, to hot pink.

Bonded Leather

While leather match just matches real leather pieces with faux leather pieces, bonded leather actually mixes real and synthetic materials into a single fabric! Bonded leather refers to the fabric made by mixing bonding materials to shredding genuine leather scraps/fiber.

When bonded to good PU material, the end product looks so authentic that it can be difficult to differentiate it from real leather. Bonded leather is environmentally friendly and delivers consistent fabric with no natural defects.

Bi-cast Leather

Quite similar to bonded leather, bi-cast leather is formed when a layer of split/thin or flawed leather is sealed with a top layer of polyurethane. This plastic coating makes bi-cast leather easier to clean and maintain. The polyurethane coating provides great variety in color, good texture, and super-strength.