|Leather Markings - Furniture Buying Tips
Leather is a unique upholstery covering.
All leather has, fingerprint unique, natural markings. For some, unknown,
reason some people try and remove those natural markings...when they do it's
called "Corrected Leather."
It's the 'Natural Markings" That distinguishes "Genuine
Leather" from man-made materials.
Let's take a Closer look at these "Natural
Shade and Tone Variation: Surface features testify to the authenticity of natural leather.
Variation across a hide, density of grain, creases and
folds are distinctive characteristics, much like the grain of a fine piece
With leather, unlike a bolt of cloth, several
hides may be used, for one sofa, which will blend and complement each other,
but will never be identical.
Like any natural product, grain pattern and color may,
not only, vary from hide to hide but also within each individual hide.
In the dying process, no pigments are used, so each
hide absorbs "color" based on its individual cell structure. Each area of
the hide will absorb dye in different amounts... thus some areas may be
darker or lighter than other areas; much like wood varies in color when
This explains why an arm of a leather sofa may have a
different shade than the cushions or the back of the sofa. They were simply
cut from different parts of the same hide. Or, may have come from
Healed Scars: Healed scratches are
reflective of the steer's lifelong encounters. These healed scratch marks
are evidence of this animals unsheltered life. These form as a result of barbed wire scratches,
disease and infestation or by horns of other cattle.
The new, healed skin is as strong as the rest of the hide
but it leaves a unique scar or should I say marking.
Most furniture manufactures and upholsterer use
scars and areas of rough grain on the outside backs and arms.
These "Markings" on your leather furniture are
natural, and in no way affect the strength or wear ability of the leather.
These unique characteristics are your assurance of genuine leather.
Wrinkles: Neck and shoulder creases appear as elongated
furrows. Wrinkles naturally occur in a hide as a result of the neck
stretching and contracting. Skin located on the neck of a steer is full and
loose. This enables the steer to have the flexibility it needs to move its
head while grazing. Wrinkles, naturally occur in the hide.
Variations in Grain: Variations in grain pattern occur
during the life of a steer. The grain is relatively tight across the
backbone while it may be very loose in the belly and flank areas. The looser
areas consequently have more stretch. Graining, like human fingerprints, is
unique to each individual hide.
Stretch Marks: Stretch marks appear
in cowhides for the same reasons they do in humans. The process of calving
requires the stretching of the skin to accommodate the new calf.
Nothing could be more natural.
Veins: Growth marks and veins are an
indication of the age of the animal and in that respect are similar to the
graining on a piece of timber. They range from often quite pronounced marks
in the neck area to subtle bands across the hide perpendicular to the
leather...for years we ran a cow-calf operation and also feed the livestock
out. Even in a herd, each animal was unique...consequently each hide
is unique and beautiful work of nature.
These "Natural Markings" are your assurance that you
have true top grain hides.
My recommendation...stay away from corrected leather.
Enjoy the history and store told by your unique piece.