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Leather Facts

Leather Facts


What is Leather? Leather is the tanned hide of animals. There are hundreds of processes used to produce different types of leather for its many applications, including upholstery, footwear and clothing. The most common upholstery leather types are:


Aniline Full Grain ...Leather in it's most natural form. It has a luxurious feel but can suffer from soiling, and fading due to light exposure.


Semi-Aniline ... similar to aniline, with a pigmented finish applied to the top surface, improving its wearing properties.


Pigmented Full Grain ... Leather with a protective coating that covers minor surface defects and greatly improves wear characteristics. The finish of the leather comprises a base coat, middle coat, and finish coat. Pigmented Corrected Grain ... Leather that has a lot of surface defects can have the top surface removed. The leather is then finished in a similar fashion to that of Pigmented Grain, with a more dense finish coat to improve wear. A grain is embossed into the hide. This leather will have a very uniform surface but will deteriorate under flexing due to the dense finish coat.


Pigmented Finished Split ... a thick leather hide is split into two hides. The finish system is similar to Pigmented Corrected Grain. This is a cheap leather and should not be substituted for a full grain leather. When considering the purchase of a leather lounge suite, find out if full grain leather has been used in its manufacture. Price may indicate the quality of the leather you are buying. Cheaper furniture may have leather cushions and armrests, but the base may be upholstered in leather-look vinyl.


How can I care for Leather? Leather is a very durable material, but it does need to be cared for. Body oils, dirt and perspiration in high wear areas can migrate through the top coat and cause the treatment coats underneath to separate from the leather surface. Regular cleaning will remove grime and prevent damage to your leather. We recommend that you only use products that have been developed specifically for upholstery leather, to preserve the top coat of the finish system. Abrasive detergents, saddle soap, solvents and silicones should be avoided at all costs.


Leather conditioners and protectants are available. Conditioners replace oils that are lost with age, keeping the leather soft and supple. Protectants act as a film on the top surface of the finished leather, greatly increasing the life of the top coat. When the leather is cleaned, the protectant is removed, together with its imbedded dust and soil. Simply reapply protectant after cleaning.



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