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TRUE FACTS ABOUT LEATHER


Leather is the oldest and best natural material to use for upholstering furniture.  Leather hides have been tanned and used in many ways since the early days of history.  Leather is natural, breathes and is constantly taking in moisture from the environment to keep it soft and supple. 

Leather is a generic term used for tanned animal skin.  Cowhide is the preferred animal for upholstering.

Leather is very much a desired upholstery material that makes up over 40% of all upholstered furniture.  Making it popular and highly desirable not only for the good looks and comfort but the durability.
 

Top Grain Leather

Does not retain odors.

Resists tearing.  Leather is 50% stronger than fabric upholstery materials, including along the seams.

Leather will not crack.

Comfortable in all climates.  Within the first few seconds genuine leather will adjust to your body temperature.  Keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter months.

Fire-resistant and NEVER emits toxic fumes.

Easy to maintain and clean.

Gets better with age.

Will stay soft and supple for decades.

Leather Furniture Is a Great Value

Cowhide leather is available in many colors and price points.  Unlike fabric upholstery that is sold by the yard, leather is sold by the foot.  It takes several feet of leather to equal a yard of cloth fabric.

Cowhide refers to leather tanned from cow skins.  However, there are many variations in the quality of cowhides.  This is determined by the condition of the raw hides, how and where the animal was raised and how popular the color is once dyed.

Differences In Leathers

Top Grain and Split Hides –

The first cut or the outer layer is referred to as the top grain.  Any layer under that is referred to as a split hide.  The top layer is well suited for upholstery because it is the strongest and most durable part of the hide but still soft and supple.  If cared for properly, leather furniture upholstered using top grain leather will last indefinitely and continue to get better with use.

The second cut, split hides are stiffer and coarse.  They tend to crack more easily.  You can expect a split hide to only last about 5 years when used to upholster a leather sofa.  Split hides are better suited for shoes, belts, or handbags.

Split hides will always price lower than a top grain.  Splits are just a cheaper leather.  Most of the cost of leather furniture is determined by the quality of the leather itself.  Top grain will always price higher.  As in many cases, you get what you pay for.

Semi-Aniline vs Aniline Leathers

Both types of leathers are vat dyed.  This allows the dyes or colors to penetrate all the way through the hide from the surface to the suede.

Aniline plus or semi aniline leather hides go through more of a process than pure aniline leathers.  After being vat dyed, a pigment color is applied to the top of the hide to guarantee a consistent color on the surface.  After, additional finishes can be applied to the hides by hand or machine to duplicate an antique or distressed look.  Then, a clear protective coating is applied to the surface which makes the leather more stain and sun resistant.  The clear finish can be either in the form of a matte finish, slight patina, or high gloss.

Pure aniline hides have no added surface pigment color or protective coating added.  These hides are naked only dyes are used on the surface.  You can always expect shade variations with pure aniline leathers.  Because they are 100% natural, you may also see scars from the cow’s life.  These scars can include insect bites, barbed wire scrapes and even urine burns.

Full Grain and Corrected Grain Leather

Although Wellington's only sells top grain cowhide leathers, there are still two types of top grain leathers.  Corrected grain and full grain.

Corrected grain leathers are leathers that have been altered by buffing the surface of the hide to reduce scarring and marking.  Full grain leather, on the other hand is left in its natural state.  There has been nothing done to alter or enhance the surface in any way.

Because each leather hide is as individual as your fingerprint, each hide will have different markings that will reflect the lifestyle and personality of that cow.  The markings include stretch marks from birthing, neck wrinkles and the other marks, mentioned above.

The amount and extent of the markings will determine the quality or grade of the top grain cowhide.  No two leather hides are ever the same, each is truly an original.  Correcting the grain helps to hide blemishes or any scars that remain in the hide.

Genuine leather is the perfect material that will far outlast fabric or cloth and provide decades of comfortable, maintenance free, high quality seating for you and your family.

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