Natural untouched leather embellished to perfection. When you purchase leather furniture, make sure it is covered with high quality premium leather for the longest lifespan. Like jewelry leather can be long-lasting and used daily, just be sure to buy the right leather for your lifestyle. Leather will dress up any décor no matter which type you prefer. Top grain leather is sure to be a hit in any home. Keep reading your going to learn a lot!
Leathers that are left in their most natural state. Some are smooth and soft while others can have waxes and petroleum products added to the surface, changing the hand. The beauty of these hides are in the eyes of their owners. Some folks are drawn to their ever changing surface traits while other just like the hand or feel. There is nothing better or finer than a premium pure aniline leather hide. Only approximately 2 to 5% off all the hides supplied worldwide are acceptable enough to make it to the pure aniline level. Every hide is colored with natural dyes and tumbled to insure the color soaks well into and through the hide itself while generating a soft hand with each tumble. Each hide is unique in that no surface sanding is done and all natural markings remain. Each hide is the story of the animal itself. No two hides are ever the same so each piece of leather furniture you buy is a one of a kind piece. Pure aniline leathers are not suited for sunrooms or any room that the furniture would be exposed to direct sunlight. Also unlike finished leathers anything you spill on the surface will leave a reminder. Of course you will pay more for a pure aniline hide than you would for a finished leather. They are both top grain and just because the cost is higher for the pure aniline does not mean you will get any more mileage or years out of the leather, it just means you will pay more for that pure natural look. Both will develop a patina to the surface over time.
These are the leathers that fall in between the finished leather and the pure aniline leathers. They are the cross over. Directly speaking they are aniline dyed with the protective topcoat of the finished leather. They respond like a finished/protected leather, they just don’t have the softer hand like a pure aniline leather does. Great for active families and those areas of your home that have high traffic.
Leather used for upholstering furniture comes from around the world. Domestic hides are sent to other countries for tanning because in America our laws do not allow the tanning of hides due to the runoff of chemicals. As you are exposed to different colors and types of leathers you could be looking at hides from America, China, South America and all parts of Europe. The hides from China and South America are usually the cheapest cost while European hides are the most valuable. So what affects the price? Everything from the way the animals were raised to the softness, the currency and transportation costs. In the leather business you are what you negotiate. Characteristically European hides are the most expensive, their hides are finer as they keep their cattle high above the tree line with no insects and never use fencing. The cattle are actually herded by dogs and Shepard’s. The less expensive hides will come from China and South America. Their standards are much different than those of other countries all the way across the board.
As you browse in stores through leather swatches or as you look at swatches in your own home that have been mailed to you by an online retailer like Wellington’s who specializes in fine leather furniture, take note that some are a consistent color while others have variations in the shading. Some will vary drastically like an old-fashioned or distressed look while others simple have a display of an insignificant difference in the hues. If you want a sofa with no grain changes or no changes in the color than buy vinyl because that will never be the case with genuine leather.
The drying process is how thickness is determined. If the hides are stretched at the end of the dying process, then the hides will not be labeled a heavy weight. If a hide is allowed to air dry naturally that’s where you get the thicker feel and the label of a heavy weight leather. Both leather types wear the same over time. It boils down to the feel or hand you prefer. Heavy weight leathers have less yield and therefore cost more and will always be found within the higher grades of leather. For instance, a typical leather sofa takes about 6 to 8 hides to upholster if a heavy weight is used it will require more like 8 to 10 because each hide has less usable square feet or yield. I would not be concerned about the wear ability if you buy true top grain leather. Both types of leathers are available as finished, semi aniline or as a pure aniline which is the most common use for the heavy weight category.
For further information about leather types or leather furniture call 1-800-262-1049.