Leather - an affordable luxury
Leather is an affordable luxury you can expect to enjoy for many years to come. It is a luxurious material, yet its durability and strength also make it a very affordable investment.
Leather is a natural material, so it varies in thickness, texture and quality, with different types of leather being suited to different applications. So before you buy a leather sofa here's some information that will help you avoid going through hell for leather.
Full grain leather
With Full Grain leathers, the surface has been left untouched with all its grain variations, scars and markings to enhance its natural beauty. Soft and unique, only a very small percentage of hides are suitable for use. The grain remains in its natural state which will allow the best fibre strength, resulting in greater durability.
Corrected grain leather
A lighter more supple leather, with excellent wear characteristics suited to contemporary and classic styles. This leather might be sanded, buffed, embossed or pigmented (or perhaps all of the above) to give a smooth unblemished appearance.
A thicker more durable leather, that is perfect for furniture in high-wear areas such as the living room. The protective polyurethane finish gives the leather a distinctive high sheen appearance. With the durability and stain resistant properties bycast leather is a great and affordable option for families.
To create the different colours and textures leather requires a dye and possibly a finish to be applied. Some finishes may provide protection from stains, scuffs and fading.
Aniline leather is coloured only with dye and is the most natural looking leather with the unique surface characteristics of the hide remaining visible. A light transparent surface coating may be applied to enhance its appearance and offer slight protection.
Full grain leather that has oil and wax applied for durability and protection. The oil and wax finish enhances the natural colour variation of the leather and creates an aged appearance. Distinct character and markings such as scars can be seen.
Semi-aniline leather is more durable than Aniline whilst still retaining a natural appearance. The increased durability is provided by the application of a light surface coating which contains a small amount of pigment. This ensures consistent colour and gives some stain resistance.
Pigmented leather is used in the majority of furniture upholstery and almost all car upholstery. The durability is provided by a polymer surface coating which contains pigments. This is applied by roller & spray applications. The surface coating allows more control over the properties of the leather, for example resistance to scuffing or fading.
By Cast leather has a polyurethane solution applied, which gives it strong wearing qualities and a great look. Most By Cast leathers have a high sheen.