Leather Upholstery Guide

Leather Upholstery Guide header

Have you been thinking about investing in a leather sofa, but aren’t sure if it will last the distance? Between kids, pets and (oops!) red wine, even the most careful among us isn’t immune to accidents. However, if cared for properly, leather upholstery can last a lifetime and offers the convenience of easy cleaning, softness and timeless good looks. One of the main benefits of leather furniture is that it only gets softer and more beautiful with age. Its strength ensures a durable, long-lasting finish, making it the natural choice for upholstery. Understanding the three main types of leather upholstery, how to care for them and the range of leather protection plans available is the key to choosing the right leather for your family. Here’s what you need to know…

    Full Grain Leather

Made from the strong ‘top grain’ or surface layer of cattle hide - or even exotic hide such as water buffalo, emu/ostrich and crocodile - these leathers showcase the natural texture, growth lines and marks on the hide. It’s these unique variations that make Full Grain leather so special. The leather is then graded according to the extent to which these characteristics and any other imperfections, such as brands and scars, are visible. If cared for properly, Full Grain leather upholstery will last a lifetime.

    Corrected Grain Leather

This leather is generally crafted from the durable ‘top grain’ layer of the hide, but due to excessive marks and scars, the surface has been lightly buffed (sanded and filled) to minimise these imperfections and create a more uniform appearance. A grain pattern is then embossed into the leather in order to restore the natural look and feel. Corrected Grain leather offers easy care and excellent value for money.

Leather Splits

This leather layer has literally split away from the stronger top layer of the hide. freedom only uses Splits to upholster furniture on the back and sides - in other words, the non-body contact areas. It’s treated with an embossed grain, giving it the same textural finish as the Top Grain leathers. While it doesn’t offer the same strength and resilience as premium Full or Corrected Grain leathers, it maximises the yield from the hide and provides a lower-cost alternative to all-over Top Grain upholstery leather.

Leather Splits

How to care for leather furniture

Leather is a natural material, so each hide is unique. Age only adds to this character, acting as a reflection of how your furniture has been used - over the years, your upholstery will develop a beautiful, lived-in patina. Despite this durability, it’s important to regularly maintain your sofa to ensure it lasts the distance. This includes rotating any removable cushions to ensure even wear, cleaning with a soft, damp, white colourfast cloth and immediately attending to any spills. A full clean and condition with freedom’s leather care kit every three months will keep it in tip-top shape, while investing in a leather protection plan is a wise choice for long-lasting maintenance. Different leather finishes require different care products – your sales consultant will be able to advise you on the best product for your needs.