When researching leather furniture, you might wonder if your favorite piece is high-quality leather. Unfortunately, many consumers are unaware of the different types of leather, which affects leather furniture quality.
Before buying a leather couch or armchair, consider the guide below to learn how to distinguish good quality leather from inferior materials.
Types of Leather
The quality of leather furniture depends on the material type. For instance, full-grain leather is the most expensive because it comes from the cow hide’s top layer and has natural grains. Top-grain leather is suitable for upholstery because it has a soft texture and excellent durability.
Genuine or split-grain leather is 100% authentic but lacks a smooth texture, so it’s most suitable for non-seated furniture parts, like chair backs and sides. Bonded leather is the most economical and lowest-quality option. Manufacturers make the material by sticking leftover leather pieces together with latex or polyurethane.
When distinguishing good from poor leather quality, consider these factors.
Reading labels is the best way to learn leather furniture quality. Reputable manufacturers and retailers who use top-grain, full-grain, and genuine leather usually pride themselves in their material choices and will include the information on their labels.
It’s best to avoid labels with wording like “animal products” and “man-made.” Those material descriptions are too vague and could indicate the presence of bonded leather or a leather alternative in the upholstery.
The best leather furniture retains the material’s original appearance. Since full-grain leather comes from the top of the hide, it may have imperfections like scarring or insect bites. While you may expect other materials to be flawless, the presence of minor defects gives leather furniture a unique charm.
Corrected grain leathers are full-grain materials that are buffed and embossed with artificial grain. They are available in many attractive colors and patterns. However, if you want the best quality leather furniture, look for visible marks and inconsistencies in its texture and finish.
If possible, run your hands over the leather furniture. Unlike top-grain and full-grain leather, which are soft and supple, genuine leather has a rougher feel. However, leather that feels too silky is likely faux leather.
The cost of leather furniture typically indicates its quality. Since top-grain and full-grain leather are the best quality materials, they often carry the highest price tag. However, genuine leather will demand a high cost because of the processes manufacturers use to produce the material.
Be cautious of furniture that says it’s genuine leather but has a surprisingly low price. It could be low-quality faux leather that doesn’t have the same durability as quality leather furniture.
Let Leather Medic® Care for Your Quality Leather Furniture
Now that you understand leather furniture quality, turn to Leather Medic to keep your items looking and feeling their best. As a licensed and insured mobile leather repair company, Leather Medics can repair any piece of leather furniture, from sleeper sofas to office chairs. Even if your furniture has faux leather, our professional technicians can provide the best repair and maintenance solutions.
Call (239) 482-2027 today to schedule an appointment with Leather Medic.