Is there anything more classic and timeless than a gorgeous, luxurious leather sofa? Leather furniture has been a household staple for thousands of years and there’s good reason why. High-quality leather can last 20, 30, 40 years or more if taken care of, and the patina developed on leather over time makes it even more beautiful and sought after. However, not all leathers are made the same or have the same durability and longevity but not to worry, we’re here to clear things up.
Benefits of Leather
There are so many benefits to leather furniture including quality and durability, comfort, cost effectiveness, style and aesthetics and it’s hypoallergenic qualities. Quality, high-grade leather furniture is an investment that will last you for years when adequately taken care of. The natural material and modern tanning techniques make leather higher quality than other fabrics as it will not rip or tear along the seams, crack or peel; instead it ages gracefully, showing the markings of time in a way that adds character and desirability to your furniture. In fact markings such as scars, wrinkles and variations in grain are desirable in antique leather furniture and show that the leather is quality and has withstood the test of time. Leather furniture is also a wonderful options for those with allergies or pets due to its hypoallergenic qualities. Leather is fire resistant and emits no toxic fumes into the air in your home. Have we convinced you yet?
The Five Grades of Leather
- Full-Grain Leather, like top-grain leather, is made from the best part of the hide. Full-grain leather is less processed and leaves the entire – or full – grain of the hide intact so natural blemishes, scarring and other marks will be the most prevalent in this leather. Full-grain leather is the most delicate and therefore most expensive, but it absorbs moisture and oil and develops a beautiful patina as it ages.
- Top-Grain Leather is buffed, sanded and dyed or pigmented to provide a more uniform finished product. Top-grain leather doesn’t absorb oil or water so those substances can be easily wiped away. This is due to the natural pores in the product being sealed during the manufacturing process.
- Split-Grain Leather is very soft and pliable and doesn’t contain any of the hide’s naturally occurring markings. The most common split-grain leather is suede.
- Genuine Leather is not technically a grade of leather but a term that has become widely used in the leather industry and familiar to consumers. While it is technically leather, it’s made from lesser quality hides and is heavily processed, containing none of the hide’s natural markings.
- Bonded Leather, also known as reconstituted or blended leather, is not technically a grade of leather but a term that has become widely used in the leather industry and familiar to consumers. Bonded leather is a mixture of leather dust and scraps, vinyl, plastic and glue. While it is lowest in quality, this product has its environmental benefits as it’s made from materials that would otherwise be considered waste.
Leather Fits Every Style
Leather furniture can fit effortlessly into any interior design style from contemporary to traditional to modern. It’s timeless sophistication and quiet, effortless luxury makes it an ideal compliment to all interiors. Leather can also be dyed in many hues and tones from deep and sultry to vibrant and warm. Leather has been highly valuable since time immemorial because of it’s durability and longevity and will continue to remain a top choice of material for furniture design.