The Ultimate Guide to Leather Grades
Whether in the fashion or interior design industry, leather is a loved material because of its beauty and unprecedented quality. Luxury and flexibility are the hallmarks of genuine leather. Of course, what comes with these qualities is the hefty price. But buying a genuine leather product is an excellent investment as it is proven to last.
When shopping for furniture in Singapore, it's easy to get lost in terms and quality indicators. If you are buying designer leather furniture, it's important to note that not all genuine leather is the same.
Curious about "genuine", "top grain", and "full grain" leathers? Read on to find out what these terms say about your leather quality.
What is Leather, and Why Do We Love it for Our Furniture?
Leather is an upholstery material obtained from animal skin or hide. Leather quality varies based on the skin or part of the hide used and the process employed to create it. Cowhide is one of the most popular materials used to create luxurious leather. This upholstery material is highly versatile and easy to maintain, which is why homeowners love it for their furniture.
Leather is made by treating raw animal hide susceptible to wrinkling and drying over time to balance the protein content and make it durable. Generally, the process of tanning involves three phases: preparing and soaking the hide, treating process, and crusting process.
What are the benefits of Genuine Leather?
Aside from its luxury tag, genuine leather furniture pieces are preferred by lovers of quality and longevity. Genuine leather sofas, divan bed frames, chairs, and storage furniture offer unmatched beauty to any space they become a part of.
- Genuine leather is long-lasting. Compared to other upholstery materials, genuine leather is notably durable and typically has a longer lifespan. It is resistant to stains and spills and easy to maintain.
- Genuine leather provides a timeless appeal. What we love about leather furniture, a couch, for example, is its beauty evolves as it ages. Leather brings a classic beauty that transcends trends and matches various interior styles. Whether you are going for a traditional theme or a modern look, you can find a suitable leather sofa to go well with your style.
- Genuine leather is comfortable. Genuine leather is preferred by many because of its comfort and ability to stay in shape for a longer period. If you worry about having a premature sagging mattress, choose a genuine leather unit that can give you the proper comfort for a more extended period.
Types of Leather Used in Furniture Making
When shopping for furniture online or in-store, it will help to have a knowledge of various leather types to compare quality and gauge your price range.
Full-grain is the highest known leather quality. This is because the whole cowhide grain is retained, making it more natural and durable. The tanning process for full-grain leather includes hair removal and soaking in natural (vegetable) dye. Because of the less complicated process, the organic look of the leather stays as well as its natural texture. It comes with scarring and blemishes that contribute to its natural appeal. If you're not into rougher upholstery, full-grain genuine leather material softens to a comfortable level over time.
Over the years, genuine full-grain leather develops a patina, a thin protective layer that preserves leather quality as it ages.
Full-grain leather comes in two types: Aniline and semi-aniline leathers. Aniline dye preserves the natural colour of the leather since it doesn't come with any pigment. At the same time, semi-aniline contains a small amount of pigment, giving a more uniform look than aniline leather. Aniline leather is recognised for its durability and natural appeal. However, it's good to note that aniline leather requires careful maintenance as it lacks the protective layer that semi-aniline leather has.
Top-grain leather undergoes a longer process than full-grain variety. This process, called sanding or buffing, makes top grain leather softer and thinner than full-grain leather. This means top-grain leather is less durable than full-grain. Surprisingly, the top grain is not actually the top layer but the second layer of the hide. Most furniture pieces use top-grain leather as their primary upholstery material.
Split Grain Leather
When the top layer of the leather is removed, the remaining skin (the second or third layer) is used to create another leather material. This leather is more pigmented and has a prominent texture than the above-mentioned leather grains. The quality of split grain leather is lower than full-grain.
If you're short on budget but want the beauty and quality of genuine leather material, bonded leather is a great choice. This material is built from scraps of other leather materials. Although it's considered a lower-quality leather, it still captures the look of a premium variety.
A much more affordable furniture upholstery, faux leather is a man-made material used to mimic the look of genuine leather. Faux leather is a hard-wearing material usually made from fabric and PVC. If you want leather furniture in your home but prefer something that does not use animal hides, faux leather furniture is a great choice. Although it does not fully capture the whole experience of having genuine leather furniture, faux leather is a good choice for those who want an affordable option.
The Perfect Leather Material for Your Furniture
Leather can be found in various pieces of furniture in your home. From the popular sofa to a cosy bed to the smallest of chairs, leather is a sought-after material that we love introducing to our spaces. Remember that quality and authenticity vary when buying leather furniture. This means prices also differ, so it's vital to assess how you use your furniture before diving into your purchase. If you're looking for a sofa that will bring a wow factor to your living room, choose a bold and elegant piece. For something classic, pick a style that will fit your space even after the trend changes. Do you need a stationary statement piece or a recliner for your chair? Aside from the leather quality, consider the structure and lumbar support.
Leather depicts beauty and luxury. But it doesn't mean it's not suitable for everyday use! A luxurious genuine leather piece is proven beautiful, functional, and easy to maintain.
If you're looking for elegant leather furniture in Singapore, check out Megafurniture's extensive online collection of leather sofas, faux leather sofas, leather bed frames, and chairs to find what's best for you.