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How to Choose a Long Lasting Leather Sofa Set

Leather Sofa Set

1) Durability

  • Genuine leather and full-grain leather last longer than faux leather and other leather substitutes.

  • If maintained properly, the leather furniture should last 10–15 years or more.

  • Depending on the quality or type of leather used, the surface of the leather can be hard to puncture or tear.

  • Wear and tear are less likely to show and will contribute to the patina, the slow aging process of genuine leather made products.

  • Top grain cowhide will give you the best wear.


2) Frame

The frame should be made with kiln-dried hardwoods such as maple, birch, alder, oak, beech, or poplar to provide the needed strength and durability to the furniture. Soft woods like pine, plywood, and wood that is not kiln-dried are not recommended because they are not good for durability and often contain moisture.

The interlocking corners should be reinforced with wooden corner blocks, glued, and either bolted or screwed into place. The three main ways the wood parts should be joined is either finger joint, double dowelled, or mortise and tenon.

3) Type of Springs For Suspension and Support:

  • 8-way tied drop in springs: Similar to the hand tied springs but are made like the box spring portion of a mattress. This spring system is bolted to the frame of the furniture. It gives a decent level of support and is cheaper than the true 8-way hand tied coil spring suspension.
  • True 8-way hand tied coil spring suspension: This is where the springs are done by hand and inserted front to back, diagonally, and side to side. This spring system is built from the bottom up within the furniture giving an all-around comfier and better-supported feel. This spring system is the highly-recommended option although it is on the more expensive side.
  • Zigzag springs (sinuous): This suspension system is the most common of the four types of suspension used on furniture. It is a thick metal wire in a vertical s-shape or zigzag that is connected vertically from the back and front rails using small padded metal clips and fasteners that are stapled onto the top of the frame rail. It is durable, fairly cheap, and gives good-quality lasting furniture.
  • Webbing, rubber webbing: Made of either nylon, rubber, or both and is stapled onto the frame in a basket weave style. It is the least expensive way to build the suspension, out of the four ways listed in this article.  This type of suspension does not have the longevity of the 8-way hand tied or sinuous. This is the least recommended suspension system as it is not as reliable compared to the other suspensions.

Other things to consider about each suspension type are the gauge of the wire used, the thicker the more supportive the suspension, and the amount of space between the springs with less than 2 inches being the recommended amount of space. Too much space between the springs will cause the suspension to fail over time and not be as supportive, stabilizing wires around the perimeter. They are necessary to prevent the rolling effect on the coil springs and bring stability to the coil spring suspension.


4) Fillings Used in Your Cushions

Some types of leather furniture come with fixed cushions. The cushions are sewn to the frame which results in only an upholstery shop being able to dismantle your furniture and refurbish your cushions. This can be costly when the time comes to do so. Getting loose cushions is the recommended option and allows you to clean around them and re-stuff them when they have become worn.

There are three types of cushion stuffing preferably with HR (high resilience) foam for durability. The best is 1.8–2.2 lb of foam. Density is given in a number for ranging from 18-35 but you should treat these numbers as decimals. Example: 18 would be 1.8.  

  • HR foam cushions with innerspring coils and Dacron wrapped are the most durable and recommended cushion filling of the three options.
  • HR foam cushions with a down feather wrap sewn into a muslin ticking give a comfortable sit and give off a more casual overall look to the furniture.
  • HR foam in a Dacron wrap is the most basic of the three cushion styles. It is recommended to get it sewn with a muslin ticking for a longer lasting durability but this will make the overall costs higher. 


5) The Method Used to Make the Leather

Premium leather is the leather that requires no corrections before coloring (tanning). Leather requiring correction is often corrected via sanding, pigment coloring, embossing or a combination of the three.

Premium leather is more expensive than the corrected leather which is the least expensive. The more correction needed on the leather the less supple and natural the leather will be.


6) What You Are Looking For in a Leather Furniture Set

How many pieces of furniture do you need (leather arm chairs, leather sofas, leather ottomans, etc.)? Leather furniture can be bought in single pieces or as a set where you have a combination of a sofa, armchair, ottoman, and other leather furniture.


7) Types of Leather Used

1. Aniline: Also known as pure aniline or full aniline is the most natural of the leather types. It has no protective coating nor any other treatments or if it does it is a clear coat. This keeps the hides natural softness and natural feel. Meant for light use furniture, it is the most luxurious of the leather types.

2. Semi-aniline: It is aniline-dyed first and then given a protective coating which may or may not have additional coloring. The coloring can be uniform or shade variated.  Semi-aniline leathers are typically well protected against spills and scratches.  These hides, for the most part, are still natural and retain most of the softness of aniline leather. It is meant for furniture that is used fairly often.

3. Top grain: Any leather that is made from using the top portion of the hide. If by itself means the leather's natural markings have been removed.

4. Full grain: A type of top-grain leather. All of your higher end leather furniture will be built using only the top grain.  

5. Split grain: This leather comes from the lower layers of the hide. The leather is often embossed and finished to make it look like top grain leather. It isn't very good in comparison to top-grain leather due to it being more brittle and likely wear poorly. It is often used to make suede and is less expensive than the other leathers.  Not good for furniture upholstery.  

6. Nubuck: Top-grain leather that has been buffed to give it a suede-like look to the leather. It is very susceptible to staining, fading, and wear. Will require a bit of maintenance to keep clean and care to prevent fading.

7. Pigmented: The least natural of all the leathers listed. Dyed all the way through and usually has a heavy, colored protective top-coat. The leather is buffed (sanded) before being dyed to remove any imperfections in the leather. It is the most durable and easily cleanable leather type. It is recommended for those who have children and/or pets and want no maintenance issues.  

8. Corrected-grain: Leather that has been lightly sand buffed to remove any imperfections in the leather as well as the original texture of the leather. A faux grain can be added to the leather. This type of leather is used to make pigmented leather.


8) Additional Items to Think About

1. Fake leather materials

Fake leather materials look good for those who don't want animal byproducts; however, it does not make a good, long-lasting leather piece of furniture. It is also more flammable than genuine leather, due to being made with vinyl (a type of plastic), which can be a safety issue in the home.

2. Price range

Leather furniture can be a bit expensive but completely worth it in the long run. The price of the furniture is determined by what is used to make the furniture. Wellington's fine leather furniture offers a nice price range tool and the lowest prices on quality leather furniture.

3. Size of your space

Size is important because nothing is worse than getting a quality leather sofa and realize too late that it won't fit in your desired space. Be sure to measure the room you are decorating to get the approximate size of what kind of furniture will fit in that room. Wellington's fine leather furniture offers a nice sizing/dimension tool for finding furniture styles that will fit your place. All you have to do is give the measurements.

4. Pets (cats, dogs, and other animals)

Genuine leather, although hard to puncture, can still get scratched by animal claws. Be sure to consider pets, especially cats when buying leather furniture. Some leathers come with a protective coating that makes it harder to scratch.

5. Children

The age of children should be considered when buying leather furniture due to young children being a little carefree on the leather than their older counterparts. Loose seat cushions offer an easier clean.

6. Warranty

A warranty is always important when buying anything that is meant to last. Wellington's fine leather furniture offers a full manufacturer's warranty on all purchases.

7. Location of the furniture

Placing leather furniture in direct sunlight will degrade the leather furniture and cause it to dry out over time if not moved or maintained properly with leather conditioning cleaners. It is recommended to keep leather furniture away from direct sunlight to keep the furniture durable and longer lasting.

Wellington's fine leather furniture offers free shipping, excellent customer service, free leather/ wood samples, and will even price match against competitors to make sure you get the quality leather furniture for the best deal. You can contact them by phone, email, or live chat with all questions and orders regarding their fine leather furniture.

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