Different leather used for furniture


Different leather used for furniture

High-quality leather furniture is always popular and can last for years. Understanding the unique characteristics of different types of leather will help you get the most out of your furniture.

Full-grain leather furniture

Full-grain leather is the most expensive and high-end leather on the market and retains a natural look and texture, making it ideal for leather furniture. Its rough texture will soften over time. Full-grain leather furniture requires a lot of maintenance since it readily absorbs liquids and is susceptible to sun damage.

Top grain leather furniture

Top grain leather is softer than full-grain leather but has the same durability. Top grain leather furniture comes in two different categories: aniline and semi-aniline. Aniline top grain leather furniture looks natural and is susceptible to stains. Semi-aniline leather furniture can be treated with a protective topcoat, making it less susceptible to stains.

Split grain leather furniture

Split grain is 100% leather but doesn’t have the smooth texture and stylish appearances and is challenging to maintain.

Bonded leather furniture

Bonded leather is the most popular leather for furniture. It offers the look and texture of leather at a fraction of the price. Its estimated 17% leather content is obtained from scraps rolled up together with an adhesive material.

Nubuck leather furniture

Often nubuck leather furniture is confused with suede furniture for its velvet-like surface. Suede is obtained from split leather, while nubuck is produced from full-grain leather. It is lightly brushed to create a velvet-like plush nap. Nubuck leather furniture is more durable than suede, but it is high maintenance and should be avoided if you have pets.

Bi-cast leather furniture

Bi-cast leather is created by blending split-hide leather and a coating of coloured polyurethane to mimic the look of top grain leather. It retails for a lot less, and bi-cast leather furniture lacks the wear or comfort of genuine leather.

Faux leather furniture

Faux leather furniture is an excellent alternative for animal lovers. It is durable and can last longer than full-grain leather furniture. It is affordable, less prone to cracks, can withstand scratches, and is stain resistant.

Leather alternatives

Polyurethane (PU) leather

This material comprises polyurethane, bi-cast, or ground leather and closely resembles natural leather. PU leather furniture offers a soft and flexible seating surface and better breathability (compared to PVC leather. It is susceptible to direct sunlight and humidity, which can make it brittle.

PU leather furniture is cheaper than natural leather but expensive compared to PVC leather furniture.

Polyvinylchloride (PVC) leather furniture

Polyvinylchloride (PVC) resembles natural leather’s softness, colour, and texture but contains no natural leather. PVC leather furniture offers better resistance to cleaners and disinfectants compared to PU leather. Its affordability and range of colour, texture, and grain are the primary reasons why it is popular.

PU and PVC leathers are also known as faux leather, and as they are not made from animal products, they can also be called vegan leather.

Reliable leather suppliers

Philton Leather is one of the leading leather suppliers in South Africa and can provide you with a comprehensive range of leather suitable for furniture and upholstery. Get in touch with our team today for more information.

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