UNDERSTANDING LEATHER FURNITURE FOR YOUR HOME
Who doesn’t love style in their home? Leather has always been a classic. Owning anything that is made of leather demonstrates status, quality and durability. Whether it be a handbag, shoes, belts, and of course, furniture; it’s always important to ensure you are buying good quality leather, and making informed decisions from the point of purchase to maintaining it. In fact, one of the most common pieces of home furniture is the leather sofa. However, not many people realize that there are different types of leather that feel different, and therefore need a slightly different treatment.
How to know you’re buying good quality leather:
There are a number of elements to look out for, such as the stitching of the leather on the sofas. The back of the furniture should have a few pieces stitched together. How to know it’s fake? When the back of the sofa is covered with a huge single piece of leather.
Sometimes price is a factor, but not always! There is no guarantee that highly priced leather is genuine. Always check the label which should have a full description of the type of leather used. The more research the better.
Your senses are your friend. Have you ever walked into a furniture store where the leather section is, and inhaled the aromas around you? You’ll notice that the smell of genuine leather is rich and appealing, compared to fake leather that brings out unpleasant chemical smells.
It’s all in the grain. Genuine leather will usually have variations in the grain, while fake leather has a sort of uniformity in the pattern. Know your grains! Full-grain Vs. Top –grain; Full grain leather comes from the thick hides that have not been sanded or buffed, and is the highest quality of leather you can get as it is durable and has optimum fiber strength. While top-grain leather is made using the top of the hide; where the outermost layer with all the animals markings has been removed.
Unlike other furniture wearing out, full-grain leather develops a finishing that is natural and only adds to its appearance. This type of leather is available in 2 finishes; pure aniline and semi-aniline.
Now, what are the different types of leather? Aniline leather has a warm and soft feel when you touch it with a clear organic stain. For a more protective and opaque coating, the pigmented leather is the most durable type of leather with a stain-resistant finish. The semi-aniline leather is a combination of the two types mentioned.
HOW TO MAINTAIN IT:
So you’ve bought your leather furniture, it’s looking great in your home. Your family and friends come over; they compliment your classy taste. You love it. Time goes by and you start to worry whether you’re maintaining it right. Let’s get that worry off your chest.
The great thing about leather is that it is the more durable and low-maintenance surfaces for your home; which means you don’t have to worry too much about the maintenance. In fact, it is sometimes recommended that simply dusting the leather with a clean and dry cloth is sufficient enough. You could also dampen a cloth with distilled water or use a leather cleaner (that has been approved).
Alternatively, due to the more pigmented texture on the semi-aniline leather, it will usually require heavier cleaning than the softer aniline leather.
Water-based spills can be wiped off with a clean white cloth lightly dampened in distilled water, and then left to air-dry.
Oil-based stains should be blotted with a clean, dry white cloth.
· Products containing ammonia or alkalies
· Saddle soap
· Furniture polishes
· Scratchy materials
Leather is very sensitive to spills. In the case this happens, it is important to try to remove this from the surface as soon as possible. Failure to do this may cause the liquids to soak into the leather and form a hard-to-remove stain.
All in all, it is always recommended to use leather cleaning products, or seek advice from the retailer/or manufacturer of the leather furniture you are purchasing from. This way you can have the important information needed, so as not to use the wrong products which could permanently damage your leather.
Now you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the luxurious comfort of genuine leather furniture.