When it comes to choosing a leather lounge for your home, or office, leather does have it all. The look, the feel, and even that amazing smell. There are so many styles and makes available you need to know what you are buying. You not only want a lounge that is right for your home, but you also want a quality lounge that has been designed to last.
There are three basic types of furniture leather – they are named from the part of the hide that is used.
- Top Grain Leather – This doesn’t mean it is top quality, it is simply a layer from the outer *hairy* part of the hide. Damaged or marked hides are scoured back, and a look-a-like grain is stamped onto the surface. This is known as *corrected grain*.
- Full Top Grain Leather – this also comes from the top layer of the hide, but a premium hide that is free from defects is used, so the natural grain is genuine and not an imitation.
- Split Leather – this is from the second or third layers of the hide, it is fragile and will stretch. It has no grain and is NOT suitable for furniture
Cow hide is tough, but it needs processing to turn it into leather suitable for furniture. The most common furniture finish and the most popular for use involves a three-part process. The leather is pigmented, the surface is spray coloured and protected with a clear coating. This gives the benefit of a firmer feel, a wider colour choice and less maintenance.
For the best leather, full aniline dyes are applied, this shows off the natural grain of the leather makes it softer and increases pliability. A light stain repellent is often applied while it makes the leather slightly more difficult to clean and easier to fade the quality speaks for itself.
The beauty of a genuine leather lounge needs to be supported by a strong sub-structure. Solid hardwood frames and coil springs ensure a superb leather lounge maintains its shape. Look for a structure that isn’t flimsy – for example webbing suspension instead of springs will sag over time and has no *memory*, always ask about the construction of your leather lounge.
Some lounges have *tight* cushions that are attached to the frame, keep in mind these cushions cannot be removed for cleaning, repairs or re-stuffing down the track. Cushion content is another indication of a good quality leather lounge – it’s important for both comfort and lifespan, ask your salesperson how the cushions have been constructed.
What can you tell from the price?
You should be able to tell if a lounge is genuine leather or not, as there is a large price difference between faux and real leather. Price does indicate leather quality, but don’t forget to factor in design details and how easy the style of leather will be to keep clean. Visit our furniture store in Sydney to buy your leather lounge.