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Things to Look for when Buying Leather Furniture

Apr 26, 2016

There is nothing that says good taste and understated luxury than walking into a room or office and seeing a leather sofa. It speaks to your status and success, no wonder so many offices prefer them.

But talking to a few people who have owned one, we invariably hear sad stories, things the seller said, or didn't say, that impact on people's satisfaction or otherwise with their leather product. Often it is not pointed out to potential buyers that leather is not a “magic” fabric, it will  stain, it will fade and  under certain conditions it can scratch or even tear.

If you are buying for your home, one of the first things you should consider is your life style, sure, leather is classy and projects an “up scale” image, but come down to earth for a moment and honestly and objectively analyse your situation.

If yours is a busy house, has a bright sunny open aspect with young children, pets, plenty of activity and entertainment, then maybe there are some leather suits that are not suitable. However, if you live in a quiet, sedate peaceful empty nest home, then again, there are other options for you.

Leather, like most fabric comes in varying grades, from top hide down through the scales. Usually only the top 2 or 3 grades are used in leather upholstery. Broadly speaking, leather can be classified as “finished” and “unfinished” and knowing your situation helps you determine which is best for you.

When leather is coloured or dyed, both  begin life with the same dying process but finished hides are subjected to a secondary process which then coats the leather with another pigment. Now, when dyed, unfinished leather looks rich, luxurious and is soft to the touch, after finishing, it feels a little stiffer, the colour is not so vibrant. You can think of it as a fine slab of teak wood, to retain the natural appeal, often it is just oiled, it seems to glow. Another process places a varnish or urethane coating over a second slab. Placed side by side, both tables look grand, but the oiled table seems to have that special something.

More related articles:

What to Look for when Buying Wooden Furniture
Would you Know which Wood Would be Best for Furniture
How to Care for Leather Furniture

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