What should you look for when you shop for high-end leather furniture? Leather sofas, chairs, and ottomans are big-ticket items which offer you the chance to invest in your future comfort, and the choice you make can either provide years of enjoyment or a constant headache. Quality is important, and knowing how to look for that quality is essential to getting what you want out of your purchase. These three essential characteristics are your most important guideposts for identifying quality leather furniture and making sure the high-end label is more than just an empty promise.
Leather quality should be one of your primary concerns as you shop for high-end leather furniture. High-quality leather is durable, colorfast, flexible and long lasting. When you bring home sofas, chairs, and ottomans crafted from the highest quality leathers, you can count on keeping your furniture for years - even decades. The furniture essentially pays for itself in the long run by maintaining a beautiful, polished appearance for longer than less steadfast materials such as fabric.
Imitation leather materials such as vinyl tend to crack and wear down over time. Furniture makers selling items made from imitation leather can often use sneaky terminology to make it seem as if what they’re selling is the genuine article. Make sure you’re buying 100% genuine leather furniture rather than furniture that’s described as being “made with leather” or something similar.
Lower-quality leather can also lose its smooth appearance and become worn and run down even with careful treatment. Though all leather is made from animal hide, different parts of the hide produce different types of leather with different textures and levels of durability. Top-grain and full-grain leathers are the highest quality. Bonded leather is best avoided as it’s made from patched pieces of leather that don’t hold together over time. You are always best to purchase full top grain leather hide.
While the material on the outside of your leather furniture is essential for its appearance and exterior quality, the material on the inside, particularly the frame, is essential for its structural integrity and support. High-end furniture frames are almost always made from either kiln-dried wood or metal. Other materials, such as plastic, are usually reserved for lower-quality furniture.
Metal furniture frames typically use steel. Often, the chairs that use steel frames have a more angular, modern feel, and the metal may purposefully be made visible in the chair’s legs or feet. Steel is also a common component in high-end leather recliners, which may use a combination of metal and wood. The mechanisms that cause the recliner to lean back, lock in place, and extend the footrest are most commonly made from steel.
High-end furniture pieces using wooden frames most often use solid kiln-dried hardwood as their primary material. Hardwood is preferable to softwood because it’s less flexible, which is better for creating a robust furniture piece, and kiln-dried wood is preferable because it creates a tougher finished product than other drying methods. Kiln drying is a process by which nearly all moisture is slowly dried out of the wood in an oven that’s hot enough to dry the wood but not hot enough to burn it. This leaves behind dense wood pieces then used to form the interior skeleton of a high-end furniture piece.
Finally, while the substance of your leather furniture is vital, the style is no less important. You should be able to get exactly what you want from a high-end furniture piece without making any compromises. Whether you’re looking for a sleek, modern sofa or a pair of traditional wingback chairs with tufted detailing and matching ottomans, you can find the style you want and get the quality you need.
High-end leather furniture is created with excellent design and precise attention to detail. No matter what the style or item is, you should be able to see quality craftsmanship in each piece. Furniture pieces should have a polished, careful finish. Details such as upholstery buttons on tufted furniture should be aligned neatly and attached securely. The overall look should be elegant and representative of high-quality craftsmanship.
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to start shopping. As you look around for high-end leather furniture pieces, make sure to look into who’s selling the furniture. You’ll want to make sure the seller is trustworthy. Reviews from satisfied customers can go a long way toward establishing a feeling of trust with a store before you make a purchase. As a safeguard, you should also be fully aware of the seller’s return policy before placing an order. If you can’t find information about the return policy and the seller won’t share this information with you willingly, that’s a sign that you may encounter problems with your order.
Finally, it’s best to look for a store that offers some sort of design help or customer service interaction to support you as you select your furniture pieces. It’s natural to have questions about details that may not be covered in the store’s standard product information and you should be able to get that information when you ask for it. If you can find a store or manufacturer that’s willing to work with you and help you arrive at the right decision, you’ll have greater peace of mind the decision you’ve made is a fully informed, smart choice you can feel good about.