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Cost of leather. Not sure if you should go with leather or fabric? Think about your budget. High quality leather upholstery often costs almost twice as much as fabric. While there are low-grade and faux leather options, it is best not to cut corners. It’s better to get a piece of high quality fabric than to buy something in leather that will not last. You will end up spending more, in the end, if you have to replace it, if it falls apart. If you put your heart on leather, but can not afford a full-leather sofa, buy smaller pieces like a chair or stool.
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How to Clean Leather Furniture
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Another problem with leather is that it scratches. Some leather scratch resistant lighter than others, so it is important to test a store-swatch with your fingernail. You may be able to repair minor scratches with a leather kit, but larger brands will require a professional. The good news is that the leather repair companies can do a great job of fixing leather, so if you have a big scratch, not everything is lost.
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Leather quality. Once you decide to go with leather, you will quickly discover that there are different types of leather and dye processes that affect its quality. Top grain and full-grain leather of the highest quality; They are the outermost layer of the skin, is the strongest part. Top grain leather is smoothed to remove imperfections, while the full-grain is not smoothed and has a natural grain with imperfections.
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Split leather. You may find that some leather upholstery pieces cost significantly less than others. They can be covered in low quality leather, this will not be the last time. Split leather is the term used for the lower layer of leather left, up or full-grain away. (Suede is split-leather.) This product is still genuine leather, but it is not as strong as the top-grain or full-grain leather and can tear or stretch.
Faux leather. You can also talk about the term leather , which is a bit misleading. Bonded leather is made from floor-up leather chippings and polyurethane to create a product that looks like leather, but does not have your durability or feel. And then there’s vinyl, which has a leather-look-alike leather that does not work at all. Vinyl can be used on the sides or in the back of a piece of furniture, the leather on the seats or the arms, allowing stores to market it as “made with leather.”
Leather dyed. Leather can be dyed and processed in various ways that affect your performance and feel. Look for terms like aniline , semi-aniline or nubuck . This will tell you that the dye penetrates the hide everything, which means that if it gets scratched, it will not show a different color below the surface.
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Aniline. Pure aniline or full aniline leather shows the natural surface of the leather, defects and all. They have no extra pigments or occurs on the surface, so you probably see variations in color. Because there is no protective layer, this type of leather has the softest feel. But it is also more susceptible to scratches, stains and fading.
Semi-aniline. Semi-aniline or aniline-plus pigments have a protective topcoat. It can also add extra pigments to the surface of the leather, giving the piece a uniform look. This type of leather is more durable than pure aniline, but not so soft.
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Nubuck. Nubuck leather is made by polishing or grinding aniline leather. The result is a leather that feels velvety soft and suede look. It’s stronger than suede (the memory is made of split leather), but it’s prone to fading and staining and developing a patina over time. If you embrace defects, this is the softest leather option.
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Leather imperfections. Leather is a natural material, and no two skins are exactly the same. As a result, the leather can show in color or thickness and may show scars and other defects. It is very common for leather on your furniture to vary slightly from the swatch that you see in a store.
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Hair-on hide. Hair-hiding is an increasingly popular material for furniture. This is a full cow-hide, including the hair. It is usually not colored, so what you see is the natural color of the coat. It can be very different in color and texture.
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