Know Your Leather
IDUS has been around since a decade. We know our leather!
Leather furniture has always been associated with luxury and an opulent lifestyle. When investing in such a luxury item, it is best if we know our way around the different types of leather and their distinct qualities that make them unique and fascinating.
Italian leather is processed in the best Italian tanneries helping them retain their unique characteristic so that they can breathe naturally. The quality of production process is of paramount importance as when leather is treated correctly, it ages gracefully, becoming more beautiful with time.
Italian leather is best known for its highest standard and supreme quality. While softness is never compromised for our furniture such as leather sofas and couches; general thickness varies between 1.0 mm to 3.5 mm for very sophisticated designs.
Hides: Pure Genuine leather is desired for its chic fashionable look and durability. Cowhide leather is the most preferred leather because of their size, availability and exceptional quality.
Leather is also made from the hides (skins) of bulls or tanned from the hides of the bovine species, and exotic leathers come from alligators, ostrich, snakes and stingrays etc.
When buying leather furniture, we often hear phrases like “top grain” and “full-grain”. Grain is the natural or embossed texture or pattern of a hide’s surface. Each type of leather grain has its own distinguishing features and benefits and possessing knowledge regarding the grains and types of leather gives us leverage as consumers or buyers any day.
Full Grain Leather:
Full grain leather is from the top most layer of the hide- just below the hair. It is the strongest and most durable leather. Since this part of the skin is tight, it resists moisture and ages beautifully. The natural marks on the hide or imperfections, such as scratches, fencing, stretch marks and wrinkles, give the leather a unique appearance. Durable, supple and water repellent because of its natural oils, full grain leathers enhances with time and develop a patina over time.
Top Grain Leather:
After full grain leather, top grain is the next best. The only difference is that the top couple of millimeters have been sanded and buffed to remove imperfections. Made from the outermost upper layer of the hide, it is recommended for high quality sofas.
The leather has all the imperfections removed and an artificial grain applied.
A special category and usually the softest of the leathers, this top-grain cattle hide leather has been sanded or buffed on the grain side or outside, giving it a slight nap of short protein fibers to produce a velvet-like surface.
Antiqued Leather is leather that is dyed with one color over another to create highlights and an aged appearance.
Embossed leather has been stamped using heat and high pressure to create a pattern or design in the hide. The variety is tremendous ranging from alligator, crocodile, ostrich, flowers, geometric and Indian designs, to name just a few.
Its softness, thinness, and pliability make it highly desirable for delicate use. A type of leather with a napped finish, suede leather is made from the underside of the skin, primarily lamb, although goat, calf and deer are commonly used. Because suede does not include the tough exterior skin layer, suede is less durable but softer than standard leather.
MYTHS and FACTS about Leather
An interesting FACT about leather is that each piece of leather has its individual personality in the form of “natural beauty marks”, these marking them like no other piece in the world. Wrinkles, insect bites, stretch marks, barbed wire scars, thorn abrasions, iron burns all add to its natural character and uniqueness.
MYTH: Leather is always cold
FACT: Leather is always at room temperature – the same as your coffee table or walls!
People usually mean that leather quickly reacts to body heat. Actually, some leathers heat up faster than the rest because they have less coating. What we need to keep in mind is that leather is porous and ages with time. When they have less coating, leather is closer to your warmth. The more layers of protection on top, the longer it will take to warm up!
MYTH: Leather stains
FACT: If you own an expensive piece of leather you can breathe more easily as good quality leather from a reputed manufacturer does not permanently stain. What’s great is that if you spill a drink on your couch, chair or a designer leather sofa, the “stain” will wear away over time.
MYTH: Water will stain your leather couch
FACT: Plain water does not hurt leather. In fact, water is used in the tanning and curing process. What can damage your leather furniture is the stuff in the water. You can simply wipe your furniture with a damp cloth, but make sure to dry it properly after it gets wet to avoid any discoloration.