Leather furniture has always been a classic. Although the designs vary the same as styles, there’s no doubt that leather furniture can look timeless without much effort. But there’s more to worry about style and design when buying leather furniture. First of all, you should make sure it’s genuine.
If you possess some basic knowledge about the subject, it should be quite simple to figure out whether the leather you’re looking at is real or not. The main characteristics to look for include a variety of elements.
For example, always check the back of the furniture piece. You should look to see whether there’s a single piece of leather or several stitched together. Keep in mind that the average hide is 3′ by 6′ so if you see a huge sofa covered in one single piece of leather you can be certain it’s a fake.
Of course, it’s usually easy to distinguish genuine leather from fakes just by looking at the price. But that can be deceiving too. There’s no guarantee that pricey leather furniture is genuine. Also, high quality doesn’t always mean more durability.
So don’t rely on the price alone to tell you if a piece of furniture has real leather or not. You should also check the label. You should be able to find a detailed description of the type of leather used so don’t hesitate to double check the info or to ask for more if needed.
You can identify genuine leather by texture and smell. It should be soft and warm to the touch and should have a distinctive aroma which is rich and appealing, unlike faux leather which emits un unpleasant chemical smell.
Look at the grain and look for variations. If it’s all very uniform then it’s probably a fake. There should always be variations on genuine leather, even if sometimes leather is corrected with a pattern so there’s uniformity in the grain.
If possible, check the reverse side. Genuine leather is unfinished on the back meaning that it has no color. Also, it’s rougher on the bottom.
It’s also important to know the distinction between the different types of leather. Aniline leather has a clear organic stain which leaves the hide soft and warm to the touch. Pigmented leather has a protective opaque coating. It’s the most durable type and has a stain-resistant finish. It is cold to the touch and fades in sunlight. Semi-aniline leather is the combination between the other two and it’s often the chosen compromise.
And let’s not forget about the distinction between top grain and split grain. Basically, a hide is split into two layers. There’s the top grain and the lower grain or split grain which is the flesh piece, usually used on the outside parts of a piece of furniture.