Are you considering buying new upholstery for your home or office? If you are looking for timeless comfort, high usability, and furniture that actually improves with age you should think about purchasing leather. Our design experts suggest that you take the following factors into consideration when deciding which leather will best suit your needs and your home or office.
Top Grain vs. Split Hides
What is the difference between top grain and split hides? Hides from cattle are so thick that you can shave several layers of leather from one hide. The top cutting is the most desirable cut because you are able to make either a top grain leather or a full grain leather. Top grain has a more uniform look with the color matching closer from hide to hide. Full grain is preferred by those who want a more natural look of leather. With a full grain, you will need to choose either a wax pull up, which is going to have a more weathered and distressed look or an oil pull up, which is going to have less distress marks, but is going to give the customer a very soft feel. A split hide is completely different from this. The second, third, and maybe fourth cuttings of a hide are called splits. Splits are still leather but then do not have the same feel or durability as the top cutting. In addition, splits cannot be dyed. All splits need to be painted.
Pigmented Leather vs. Dyed Leather
Pigmented leather has been painted a certain color. This type of leather is great for preventing stains. You will often see this type of leather used in public places with high traffic environments. However, this leather does not always have the softest feel to it. The second level up would be a semi-aniline leather. This leather has been dyed in a drum a certain color and then has a slight layer of pigment on top of that in order to help with its color consistency. This type of leather is also ideal for preventing stains because the slight layer of pigment will help prevent fluids from getting into the hide. The next level up is a dyed leather. This is still a natural leather. A hide is dyed to the color of your choice and then either finished with a wax base or an oil base. This goes back to what we talked about before (regarding the full grain type of leather). The wax or oil is there to protect the leather from everyday use, but it allows the leather to still maintain its authentic feel and look.
Many years ago, leather furniture was only available in brown. Today, there are still many shades of brown, but there are also additional colors available that may reflect your style and personality better while also complementing other pieces of furniture in your home. Today there are countless colors of leather to choose from so just ask your sales associate to show you all of their options in your favorite color palette. There are also many different styles of furniture to upholster in leather, so choose your favorite style whether that be traditional, transitional, casual, modern, stationary or reclining.
Lifestyle: Children and Pets
With the hectic lifestyles that we all live today, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is their furniture. Many people decide to purchase leather furniture because they either have children or pets or a mixture of both in their home. Leather upholstery has been proven to stand up to the daily wear and abuse that busy families will inflict upon it. Top grain or full grain leather will stand up against puncturing better than most fabrics. A top grain or a full grain leather will also help with ease of cleaning in comparison to just about any other fabric. Let’s face it, almost all dogs and cats shed. With fabric sofas, you will spend a lot more time vacuuming to remove their hair versus just wiping off their hair on a leather sofa. Many people that suffer from allergies opt for leather because it is just so much easier to keep clean, including limiting stains from young children. Top grain leather will also offer protection against spills, while full grain leather will ease the marks from pet claws.
Care and Maintenance
A large benefit of purchasing leather is that you do not have to spend a lot of money or time maintaining it. A nice leather sofa will only improve with time. However, accidents are bound to occur. There are products that our leather experts are able to recommend depending on what type of leather you own. Not every type of cleaner should be used on every kind of leather. And a normal cleaning schedule should always be maintained every 6-12 months. By using a simple leather cleaner and a follow-up conditioner (make sure you consult with a reputable leather expert before purchasing any product), you will be able to easily extend the life of your leather furniture. Please stop by and visit our reputable and trusted leather galleries. They are happy to answer any questions you may have and will offer their expert advice on how to help you choose the leather that is right for you, your lifestyle and your home or office.