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Buying Guide for Leather Furniture

The warm, rich look of a leather-upholstered seat is at once both upscale and totally fit for full family lounging. Here are 43 high-quality leather sofas for dressing up your den.

1) Baxton Studio Dobson Leather Sectional Sofa | 2) Best Choice Products Modern Sofa Bed | 3) Gordon Tufted Sofa BLUE | 4) Gold Sparrow Jacksonville Camel Sofa Bed | 5) Baxton Studio Sorrento Mid-Century Leather Loveseat | 6) Sure Fit Ultimate Stretch Leather – Sofa Slipcover | 7) Simmons Upholstery Phoenix Motion Sofa | 8) DHP Emily Convertible Futon Couch Bed | 9) Flash Furniture HERCULES Gray Leather Sofa | 10) Epic Furnishings Sofa Sleeper Bed | 11) Homelegance 2 Piece Sectional Sofa | 12) Poundex 2 Pieces Faux Leather Chaise Sofa | 13) Bonded Leather Double Recliner Sofa | 14) Qaba 33” Kids PU Leather Storage Sofa | 15) Poundex F7857 Bobkona Aria Leather Sofa | 16) Signature Design by Ashley 1200138 Bladen Sofa | 17) The PU Leather Klippan Loveseat Sofa | 18) Flash Furniture Harmony Black Leather Sofa | 19) Poundex F7878 Bobkona Shelton Leather Sofa | 20) Baxton Studio Darrow Leather Sofa | 21) The Heavy Cotton Ektorp 3 Seat Sofa | 22) Welsh Chocolate Fabric Sofa Set | 23) Homelegance 9734DB-3 Upholstered Sofa | 24) Baxton Studio Callidora Brown Leather Sofa | 25) Premium Sofa Futon Couch | 26) Signature Sleep 2152007 Casey Faux Leather Sofa | 27) Homelegance 9668BRW-3 Double Reclining Sofa | 28) Modway Engage Leather Loveseat | 29) Baxton Studio Selma Leather Sofa | 30) Amalfi Brown Leather Reclining Sofa | 31) Global Furniture Rogers Collection Sofa | 32) Kardiel Woodrow Midcentury Sofa | 33) Bonded Leather Sleeper/Pull Out Sofa | 34) Sure Fit Ultimate Stretch Leather – Sofa | 35) Signature Design by Ashley Larkinhurst Sofa | 36) Baxton Studio Mid-Century Loveseat | 37) Modway Engage Leather Sofa | 38) Abbyson Foyer Premium Italian Leather Sofa | 39) Crafters and Weavers Leather Chesterfield Sofa | 40) Gordon Tufted Sofa BLACK | 41) DHP Emily Futon Sofa Bed | 42) TOV Furniture Blake Antique RAF Sectional | 43) American Eagle Furniture Valencia Collection Leather Sofa |

Full Grain Leather – it is the Tops!

These are the best quality leathers because no “correction” to the hide is necessary and the original grain is left intact once the hair is removed. This type of leather is the most expensive available and most desirable by leather aficionados. These leathers are used for pure aniline or full aniline finishes where the grain shows, neck wrinkles, fat folds and other light scarring of the hide reveals itself due to the staining process.

Here is an odd fact, the more that is done to a leather hide as far as processing the less the cost. Think of it this way, logic would dictate if more is done, then why does it not cost more?

This is because, the more pristine the hide is in quality it will command a higher cost at market. Leather is a commodity and ( fewer of these types of hides in the world less than 5%) makes the actual raw material more expensive and this is before any finishing or processing is done.

Split Leather or Splits:

Splits are the second or third cut from below the top grain.The lower portions are weaker, due to the elongated cell structure. Splits are subject to stretching and therefore provide an unstable base which results in cracking of topcoat finishes. The familiar “chamois” used in auto care is an example of split leather.Split leather is used for belts, shoes, handbags etc.

By Cast/Bi-Cast:

By cast is split leather finished on top with a polyurethane top coat and is usually shiny. This came right before the advent of Bonded leather. These product alternatives came about due to the explosion of the hide market. When the economy started to revive after the last recession the auto industry took off , leather used in automobiles (and clothing) take more of the world hide supply where as furniture uses about 2% of hides available.

Raw material kept going up so the low end or more promotional manufacturers (remember when we talked about there is not a bottom to prices or quality) needed something to keep their price points ,so then came Bonded Leather.

Bonded Leather:

Bonded leather is not real leather , it is a man made material consisting of 10-25 % ground up or reconstituted leather and used as a backing and a layer of PU or polyurethane which is basically plastic and fiber is added to the top and embossed with a grain to mimic real leather.This article will peel and delaminate within a few years if used regularly.

The problem is, it does not wear well. So if you do not want to replace your furniture in a few years, do not buy this product. With that said, if it is used in a non touch area like where vinyl would be used in a “leather match area” then it is a better material then normal vinyl and can be a plus.

Always purchase 100% leather when you can , if all over leather is not in the budget then consider top grain with a bonded match. (Match refers to an area on the furniture where your body does not touch when you sit in it).

Leather Gel:

Again…Not real leather….. Get ready for this new material, as of this writing, it is just being introduced into the market place at the furniture shows and will not show up in the market place until probably early next year 2015. Leather gel is just like Bonded leather but claims to have been perfected and has a better wear ability factor and higher rub test.

I have a feeling this will not be any better than bonded leather. See article from Furniture Today when I (Jim Winkler) was at the international furniture market and was asked about bonded leather when it was introduced in 2008.

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