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Know Your Leather - A Guide to Buying Leather


You've made a great choice. Leather is an ideal covering for your brand new sofa or lounge. It's both practical and aesthetic. It's durable, resistant to abrasion, easy to maintain and exceedingly stylish.


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Lounge Life Leather Lounges feature genuine top grain leather

All lounge life leather lounges are made from genuine Brazilian top grain cow hide leather. Top Grain is the uppermost part of the hide which has been buffed and polished to remove imperfections such as potmarks and scarring. Our leather is coloured and treated with a layer of polymer to achieve a uniform finish, with a gorgeous grain free of imperfections and improved resistance against stains. All our leather lounges use this genuine leather on the seated surfaces, armrests and backs. To reduce the cost of your lounge, hte lounges we advertise on our website use a high quality syntheticleather match made from a high grade vinyl on the parts of the sofa which you don't come into contact with, the back, sides and skirt. Full-Leather lounges are also regularly available. Please contact us for a quote on the model you are interested in.

100% Leather vs Full Leather

Customers ask us - is this lounge 100% leather?. What they really mean to ask is - is this a full-leather lounge? The answer of course is we use 100% leather on the part of the lounge where leather is used. We can also use a synthetic leather match on parts where leather is not required - or we can make you a full-leather lounge. Make sure to compare like with like when shopping around. Our full-leather lounges are the most competitively priced in Australia but if you're comparing prices with a leather/synthetic lounge elsewhere, then of course you won't see what a great deal you can have with us..

There's more than one kind of leather

Leather has been used for thousands of years. And as a result there is a myriad of different production techniques that result in wide variety of differing products. Not all leather lounges are the same, even though they may look the same. Lounge Life appreciates the difficulty in buying a piece of furniture sight unseen. We want to provide you with the best tools and information to allow you to make a an informed decision. So we've prepared this handy guide to leather for you.

Types of Leather

The name a type of leather is given, might refer to the animal from which the hide came, the part of the hide, the country of origin or the production process used to create it. It can be quite confusing. Less reputable sellers may try to use this confusion to misrepresent the quality of their leather.

Full Grain LeatherFull grain leather is mostly natural with hardly any human interference in it. It is usually the most expensive leather, because it is rarer to obtain a full leather hide, without natural imperfections and scarring. It is the strongest most durable leather, but it is also the least resistant to spills and stains.
Top Grain LeatherTop grain leather is leather from the uppermost layer of a hide. It is the highest quality part of the hide. It is created by buffing and polishing Full Grain Leather to remove its imperfections.
Split LeatherSplit Leather is the layer removed from the bottom of the hide. It is typically quite fragile. It is the cheapest leather
Countries of origin
ItalyItaly is famous for it's leather and has developed a reputation for having the highest quality leather. However, while it's true that the best leather in the world comes from Italy - Not all leather from Italy is the best in the world.
Brazil Brazil is the worlds largest manufacturer of leather and is on a mission to prove that the best leather in the world is Brazilian Leather. Lounge Life uses Brazilian Leather for its outstanding quality, and more importantly its consistency of quality from batch to batch.
ChinaWe've seen some amazingly high quality Chinese Leather, but quality varies radically from manufacturer to manufacturer and sometimes from batch to batch. Chinese Leather is a mass market leather.
Production Processes
Aniline LeatherAniline Leather is leather which has been coloured using soluble dyes to maintain the hides natural surface characteristics including scars and blemishes.
Protected LeatherProtected Leather, also known as pigmented leather, is leather which has been coloured and coated to create a leather that is uniform in colour and grain with added protection against spills and stains.
Semi Aniline LeatherSemi Aniline Leather is a hybrid of Aniline and Protected Leathers offering the best of both worlds. Lounge Life uses semi-aniline leather.
What isn't leather at all?
Bonded LeatherSounds fancy, right? Bonded leather is not leather at all. Bonded leather or reconstituted leather is a material made of varying degrees of genuine leather combined with other substances to give the appearance of leather, but at reduced cost compared to natural leather.
PU LeatherPU leather, also known as bicast leather is a split leather with a layer of polyurethane applied to the surface and then embossed. PU leather is sometimes simply just polyurethane with no leather at all.
PleatherPleather is Plastic Leather. It's not leather at all
LeatheretteLeatherette is Plastic Leather. It's not leather at all
PVCPVC is Vinyl. It's not leather at all