Gosh darn it – can you believe it? That sofa you purchased just two years ago is already wearing! And you thought you were buying quality furniture…
We’ve all been there. We have all been fooled by the tags on the furniture saying “made of leather” assuming that the upholstery is of top tier quality. But, it’s time to learn from our mistakes and to learn the truth about leathers. The truth is not all leathers are created equally. In fact, there are four very different types of leathers. Read on to learn the differences in leather and manufacturing processes so you can make informed upholstery purchases in the future and forever not be fooled again.
Full Grain Leather
Taken from the outermost layer of the cowhide, full grain leather is untreated and used in its most natural state, creating a more raw product that is characteristically unique. Due to this, no two pieces made of solely full grain leather can be alike. This kind of leather is the most sought after in the design world for its rich and luxurious look and feel and for the fact that it is the most durable and timeless of all the leathers. These characteristics make it the highest quality of leather in the market as well as the most expensive.
Top Grain Leather
Top grain leather is also made from the outermost part of the cowhide; however, is different than that of full grain leather in the fact that it is sanded/buffed down or overlaid with imitation grain to reduce natural blemishes in order to make a more uniform look. Due to being treated, top grain leather is usually soft and durable, but will not age as nicely as full grain leather over time.
Corrected or Genuine Leather
Corrected or genuine leather is a leather that has been chemically treated to conceal blemishes to resemble a higher leather grade. Because of the chemicals used to produce this leather, the leather itself is not as soft as more natural leather options and again does not age nicely over time. This and bonded leather (see below) are the commonly found leathers on the market and are the more affordable options.
Bonded Leather is exactly that – it’s the dust, pieces and shavings of leather bonded (or glued) together to make one solid piece. To make bonded leather, scraps are fused on to another form of fabric (most likely vinyl) using polyurethane; thus, making this kind of leather the cheapest and less durable option compared to its kin. This is most often the kind of leather you would find at mass market furniture showroom stores.