Comparing Leather Types: Know Your Stuff

Buyers Guide / February 14,2016

Looking to buy a leather lounge? It's important to know what type of leather you're looking for before you hit the shops. With so much information out there, its hard to get a clear idea of what your upholstery choices are and how they differ. We've put together a cheat sheet that pulls together all the information you'll need to make sure you make the right choice for your home.

 

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN

Leather can be sourced from all over the world, however the big three countries for production are currently Brazil, China and Italy. Italian leather has a reputation for quality and luxury, due in large part to designer handbags and heels that come from the famous boot. Chinese leather can look and feel great however inconsistencies in quality from batch to batch make it a bit of a risk when selecting a supplier. We source all of our leather from Brazil, emerging in recent years as a top world supplier exceptional in quality and dependably consistent on the things that matter - colour saturation, durability and consistency.

 

TYPES OF LEATHER

Full grain leather is the most untouched and natural leather you can buy. It is hard to come across full grain hides with no imperfections, scarring or potmarks. This kind of hide is generally used for decorative rugs, it's a little too course to be comfortable on a lounge. Split leather is the other end of the spectrum, offering little in the way of durability due to the fact that it essentially a thin layer that's been'stripped from the underside of the cow hide. Cut through the confusing jargon surrounding leather and ask for a top grain hide. A top grain leather should be buffed and polished to remove scars and other imperfections, coloured all the way through and treated with a polymer finish to give you the best results on furniture. This protects the leather against stains as well as giving it that perfect look. Lounge life uses top grain semi-aniline leather for our lounges, balancing the colour benefit of aniline leather with added stain protection. It's always a good idea to ask questions about what leather will be used on your lounge and how it's been treated before you take anything home.

 

BEWARE OF IMITATIONS

Without knowing what to look for, it's easy to fall for the too-good-to-be-true pricing of lounge suites using an imitation leather. These cheap and cheerful suites can look great but they are not built for longevity, especially in areas where you need to sit. Bonded leather, PU leather, Pleather and Leatherette all sound leathery, though they either contain negligible amounts of leather or are 100% plastic. PVC (also known as vinyl) can be incredibly convincing in appearance, it's often used as a leather match on low-wear areas to keep pricing lower without compromising the durability of your suite.

 

STANDARD VS. PREMIUM

If you've been browsing our site, you may have noticed that we offer two ranges of leather for our lounge suites, Standard and Premium. Though both grades we offer are Brazilian top grain leathers, each colour collection has some different features. Standard Leather has a finer grain, giving it a smoother feel under the hand and matte finish to your furniture. We offer a larger selection of colours to give you the best range of options we can. Premium Leather is a mid-thick leather, offering a thicker leather with a more pebbled texture and low-gloss finish. We've selected an exclusive range of colours for the Premium collection. Both Standard and Premium leather are graded for use as upholstery leathers, often the decision will come down to your own personal choice about which texture and colour will suit your home best. Pop your details in, pick your colours and we'll send out your choice of leather samples to make sure you make the right decision when choosing a LoungeLife suite: http://www.loungelife.com.au/pages/request-a-sample.php

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