Friday, September 15, 2017

Need-to-knows when buying leather furniture

There is nothing quite as luxurious and timelessly appealing as a genuine leather lounge suite. Although it is one of the most expensive upholstery options, it remains one of the most popular, and it is easy to understand why. 

Corrected grain leather or pigmented leather is the easiest to maintain as it has a stain-resistant sealer coat.

Genuine leather is flexible, comfortable, and if taken care of, can last a long time. 

In fact, unlike fabric, it improves with age, and remains one of the most durable forms of upholstery on the market as it is resistant to fire, cracks, and tearing. It promises to hold its shape really well over the years, and the aging patina of the leather will gradually add to the sofa’s charm.

Seating upholstered in genuine leather remains a great choice for any number of people. It is great for families, as it can weather heavy traffic. It is easy to maintain and clean, and it is also a good option for those looking for high-end, designer aesthetics, as there is little else that oozes comfort and opulence like leather does.

Although you may pay a bit more for leather furniture in the beginning, you can be sure that it will last much longer than any fabric alternative.

Any leather seating made by a well-respected manufacturer is estimated to last up to four times longer than any fabric counterpart. This means that in the long-term, you get more value for money, she says.

Different types of leather

Full aniline leather means that only pure dye is used to colour this leather, and no surface pigmentation is applied.

You can either opt for a lounge suite that has been completely upholstered in genuine leather, or if you want to save a little money, you can choose one that is covered in leather uppers.

This refers to suites that have been upholstered in a combination of genuine and synthetic leathers. Genuine leather is used on all areas that come into contact with the body, while the other areas, such as the base, outer backs and outer arms are upholstered with matching imitation leather.

Not all leather upholstery is created equal, it is therefore, important to understand the differences between the various types of leather before you go shopping.

1. Corrected grain leather or pigmented leather is the easiest to maintain as it has a stain-resistant sealer coat.

Pigments are added to the sealer, resulting in an even color and texture. The disadvantage of this kind of leather is that it feels colder and harder to the touch compared to other leathers. 

It also doesn’t offer the more organic look that aniline leathers do.

2. Semi-aniline leather looks more natural than corrected grain leather, and it disguises only some of the natural colour variations and markings inherent in the leather.

With the correct care, your leather sofa will age gracefully, providing many years of good looks, enjoyment and comfort.

A combination of pigment and dye with a thin topcoat is used to seal this leather, so it feels softer and has stain-resistant qualities.

3. Full aniline leather means that only pure dye is used to colour this leather, and no surface pigmentation is applied.

The beauty of this process is that it doesn’t camouflage any blemishes or scratches, leaving the leather furniture to share its origin and history.

Full aniline leather will continue to change over time due to its light sensitivity. It is also much softer than the aforementioned leathers.

4. Buffed aniline feels a lot like suede, but has a more rugged appearance. It is soft to the touch and comfortable to sit on.

The drawback of this kind of leather is that it absorbs oil, so it is inclined to go darker and shinier where it makes body contact.

5. Pull-up aniline leather has been treated with additional wax or oil to re-create a distressed, old world look. The technique emphasises markings.

This kind of leather may fade with time, giving it a unique look.

Keep leather out of direct sunlight to avoid it fading and becoming brittle.

Taking care of leather

With the correct care, your leather sofa will age gracefully, providing many years of good looks, enjoyment and comfort.

Regular maintenance of leather is quite simple, but it is important to buy leathercare products that have been approved by the manufacturer of the sofa in question.

1. Wipe your leather sofa down regularly with a dry, clean, cotton cloth to remove any dust or other particles. Alternatively, you can use your vacuum’s hose attachment to make the job easier.

2. Use a damp cloth to remove stubborn dust and dirt. Never soak the leather in any form of liquid, not even soap or water.

3. If you spill anything onto your leather sofa, remember that if you rub it in, you will stain it. Rather pat the area down with a dry absorbent cloth until the stain is removed.

4. Regularly apply a leather conditioner (every six to 12 months) to keep it from drying out and developing cracks.

5. Keep leather out of direct sunlight to avoid it fading and becoming brittle.

6. Scratches made by pets or small cracks can be gently buffed away with a microfiber cloth.

7. Avoid sitting on the edges of your sofa’s cushions or its arms, as this may cause uneven wear.

8. Keep leather at least 30cm away from any direct heat source to avoid heat damage. 

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