Leather Basics - Your Furniture Buying Guide

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Leather Basics Furniture Buying Tips

Ahhh, leather...nothing matches the Classic, Comfortable and Sophisticated look and feel of leather. 

One of the major determinants of the quality of a leather upholstered piece is the type of leather used.

All leather is the product of animal hides. However, these hides vary greatly in their quality. The origin of the hides, the way in which they're converted to leather and the method used to dye the hides all contribute to their value.

Leather Facts:

  • Leather is versatile...it blends with any furnishing,  whether traditional or contemporary.
  • Leather is a natural skin...and just like human skin, it is flexible enough to stretch and return to its original shape.
  • Leather breathes....it's cool in the summer and retains warmth in the winter months.
  • Leather never feels sticky...try sitting on any synthetic material, on a hot summer day, and you'll know what I mean.
  • Leather is durable... it stands up to the rigors of everyday life.
  • Leather is fire resistant...it emits no toxic fumes, even when exposed to extreme heat.
  • Leather resists tearing and cracking...it needs very little maintenance.
  • Leather won’t permanently stretch out of shape.
  • Leather gains richness and appeal over the years...how many other materials look better as they age?
  • Leather outlasts fabric...having a useful life of 15 – 20 years verses 4 – 5 years of most fabrics.

Types of Leather:

Corrected Leather:  Leather that's been sanded to have the blemishes removed and then embossed to give it a uniform look. It also has had protective coatings applied to make it more soil resistant and have better color consistency.

Uncorrected Leather:  Only the best hides are selected they are more supple to the touch and will develop a beautiful patina (antique appearance) over time.

Uncorrected (more so than corrected leather) leather has unique one-of-a-kind markings. Leather is, after all, a natural product and like anything natural, it's not always perfect. Its markings should be considered beauty marks produced by  Nature, as its' signature, and  guarantee that the product is genuine, not man-made.

The natural scars, bug bites, neck wrinkles, brands and the slight difference in the shading of color on the hides add uniqueness and romance to your furniture.

Uncorrected leather is not as soil resistant as corrected leather.


No matter the leather you choose, you can be sure that hide will supply you with years of comfort, style and versatility.

For more information regarding leather you'll want to read the "Leather Markings" chapter.

Additional Furniture Buying Tips
Leather Furniture
Distressed Furniture
Foundation and Box Spring
Furniture Types
Cases and Chests
Measuring Tips
Joinery Tips
Leather Basics
Leather Markings
Manufactured Wood
Mattress Tips
Style Guide
Wood Finishes
Wood Types

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