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Leather Colors For Your New Leather Furniture

First things first, the smaller the swatch the darker the color. Looking at leather swatches is similar to viewing a paint swatch at the paint store. When you view it in a small swatch sample size the color will appear darker than it will actually appear on your wall. Try a sample on your wall and watch it lighten up. So the small leather swatch you are looking at will be a few shades lighter when placed onto the frame for making your leather sofa or loveseat. When choosing a color for your new leather furniture set take a look at the colors. View them in daylight and dark in your home to see how well they blend with what your have now. If this is the starting point in your room that’s even better. Either way always choose a color you like a lot.  Well-made leather furniture will become a family heirloom, so you see why your color choice is so important.

Distressed LeatherDistressed Leather - What You Should Know

When viewing distressed leather you will notice that the color is widely varied through the swatch. This is because this leather has several different hues all throughout the hide. In a single hide you can see several different colors and shades depending on the color you are looking at. For instance brown leather can pull darker or lighter hues. Brown being the base color can pull several different undertones depending on the color you are after. These distressed leathers are available in many other colors other than brown I am just using brown as an example. The same would be for green or blue leather. I would always recommend when you are buying distressed leather if the shading is critical request a current cutting for your approval. Always the leathers used will be close to the swatch you selected from but can vary up to four shades on either side, lighter or darker. Keeping in mind that this will also have variations in the shading but this will be from one of the actual hides that will be used to make your new leather furniture. So although as mentioned before shade variations will be present throughout but the current cutting for approval is a concentration of the most prominent color in the hides that will be used for upholstering your furniture.

Aniline LeathersPure Aniline vs Aniline Plus Leathers

Pure aniline leathers are typically going to have more movement in the hide than an aniline plus. A pure aniline leather is just tanned and then the colors are added during a tumbling process, this is called vat dyeing. This not only adds color but it adds additional softness as the hides are tumbled. In the leather business the least amount you do to a hide the more valuable they are. For instance a pure aniline hide only receives color, no protection, and through the hide the natural markings also remain. Pure aniline leathers are left in their most natural state. So keep this in mind when buying pure aniline leather. I would also recommend a current cutting for approval when buying a pure aniline leather product. There is more to leather than just the perfect color. Aniline plus leathers typically do not require a cutting for approval because these hides have a more controlled surface finish. Although you can get hides that have shade variation this is done in a more controlled way. These leathers are available for swatch approvals if you would like to have a look.

Embossed LeathersEmbossed Leather Swatches

Embossed leathers are imprinted with a pattern like crocodile or a tooled pattern. A current cutting is not usually necessary except for perhaps the crocodile, there are a few of these patterns that do have a fair amount of shade variations. A current cutting is not a bad thing because you can keep that swatch to help with other items you might be purchasing for that same room. I usually just keep the current cutting in my purse so if I run into an accessory while I am shopping I have it there to compare. Keep in mind when considering these types of leathers they should only be used as accents to leather furniture as they are not very comfortable to sit on. Here are a few examples. This stool is covered in tooled leather and an embossed leather has been used on the sides of this leather accent chair.

Hair on Hide Leathers

Hair on hide leathers are available in four different color types. Black and white speckled, brindle dark, brown and white spotted and tan and white spotted. There are no two hides that are even close to the same. So a swatch can be provided for a random example of the colors that will be within the hides used to upholster your new living room furniture set or reclining leather chair but there is no guarantee to the pattern or where the colors will be within the hide. Remember this is part of the beauty of these types of leather hides no two are ever the same. Hair on hide is best placed on places you don’t sit other than perhaps a bar stool where sitting should be fine.

Hair On HidePearlized Finished Leathers

This leather has a consistent color and a contemporary shinny finish to the surface which offers a good amount of protection against water and oil based spills. Easily cleaned with a mild soap and water. I would not suggest a cutting for approval for this leather because the color is so consistent, only for carrying it for reference.

Pull Up Leathers

These leathers are very much like distressed leather. Their effect is distressed and some hides have wax added and others have a petroleum product added. Wax is the most used by tanneries these days and provides a nice hand and patina to the surface of the leather. These leathers pull underlying colors within the hide. More than one dye color is added during the tanning process and this allows multiple colors and layers depending on how many colors have been added to show through when these hides are stretched. For instance this tufted chair shows what I mean. Notice the difference in the shading where the leather has been pulled tighter. This is a really nice look and makes your leather furniture very unique. This leather like distressed leather will lighten when you scratch the surface and the color will darken as your body oils work back into the hide the color returns. A current cutting can be sent but remember this is just an example of some of the color shades you can expect to see in your leather furniture.

Pure Aniline Leathers and hair on hideCharacteristics of Leather Colors

In a nut shell, leather swatches are for color only, not texture. They are actually scrapes left over from upholstering leather furniture. Depending on where the cut is taken in the hide the swatch you are looking at can be grainy or smooth. Your sales contact should know the natural characteristic of the leather you are looking at so be sure to ask them if this is important to you. If the cut was taken from a under part of the hide it would naturally be smoother than a cutting taken from the end of the leather hide. But remember swatches for approval may also not be an exact match of all of the different tones throughout the hide, as again several shade variations will always be present throughout distressed or pull up hides. Keeping in mind leather is not manmade, although the tanneries try to keep dye lots as consistent as possible, they will vary from dye lot to dye lot. So if you are considering say buying a leather chair now and thinking about adding an ottoman later you might want to reconsider purchasing them together just because of the dye lot differences.  

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