Whether you are purchasing leather furniture for the first time, or you have had leather furniture for years, you may have questions about leather.
All leather furniture is not alike. Of course, you probably already know
this. Prices vary widely. Is the most expensive leather furniture the best
Total Leather Care's
for your needs? Not necessarily. Let talk a little about what kinds of leather furniture you might find on a search in today's marketplace and how to determine what is best for you.
With gentle use, anilines will develop a patina of even wear and continue to look and feel luxurious. While anilines are a delight to touch they are not ideal for use in the family room with pets and small children. That is unless you don't mind stains. Because anilines have very little protection they are prone to staining and to fading if kept in direct sunlight.
What about the leather with the finishes? Pigments and finishes are applied to leather that has more blemishes and to "split-grain" leather taken from the lower part of the hide. Split grain hides are not as strong so all but the least expensive furniture are made from top grain leather. Adding pigment, finishes and sometimes correcting the grain strengthens the leather. The feel, or "hand" of the finished leathers will feel stiffer than the unfinished anilines.
Finished leathers are popular not only for their price but also because they are more stain and scuff- resistant. If you are looking for furniture that will get a lot of wear, this is a better choice for you.
You've picked out your beautiful new leather furniture. So now what do you do to help it retain its beauty.
Consider carefully where you place your furniture. If you have selected an aniline or semi-aniline piece you do not want it to be placed in direct sunlight or under a skylight where it will be subject to sun fading. Keep your leather furniture away from heat sources which can dry the leather out.
If you have a spill, immediately blot it up with a clean, dry cloth and let it dry. Do NOT use soaps or detergents to clean your leather. ONLY use cleaners specifically made for leather furniture as they are PH balanced to avoid damaging your leather. Always test cleaners first in an inconspicuous spot. Cleaners will differ for aniline and finished leather.
Care and Cleaning of Your Leather Furniture
The first thing you might notice (besides the price differences) when you look at various pieces of leather furniture is that some leatherfurniture has a finish, whether satin or glossy; while other leather feels as soft as suede.
Hides that are nearly blemish free are reserved are dyed with little or no finishes applied so that the softness of the leather is preserved and its natural beauty can be enjoyed. These are referred to as "aniline" and "semi- aniline". The semi-aniline has a small amount of coating or pigment to add some protection against stains and fading. These leathers might also be called "top-grain" referring to the fact that the leather was taken from the desirable top surface of the hide.