Leather furniture is produced in a variety of quality grades, creating a broad selection of textures, looks and price points.

In order to understand the appearances and pricing of different pieces, it’s important to know the different types of leather. The highest-grade leather is called aniline leather (and some semi-aniline leathers are included in this top-grade category). This is full-grain leather and because it is in this most natural state, it is quite thick and supple. Read more here for leather furniture shopping tips.

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The next highest-quality leather is split layer leather. It is top grain, but gets its name because the hide is literally split in two pieces. The top layer is the top grain and the second layer is called the “split: The texture is still soft but the leather is not as thick and durable as the top grain. Split layers are fine to use on a piece of furniture where ever the body does not touch.

Finally what is corrected leather? This is still a 100 percent leather product, but it is typically sanded down to remove any imperfections and is then treated or stamped with an artificial grain pattern. Corrected leathers will often use heavy pigmentation in dark colors to disguise the corrections that have been made. Leather is also repairable, read more about leather furniture repair.

Artificial leathers had two key giveaways. The first is the texture. Synthetic leather is typically made from a rubbery substance and then topped with a plastic-like substance for smoothness. Often this topcoat creates an “over smooth” feeling giving away the false material. And sometimes determining real leather from fake can simply come down to a little sniff. Real leather has a rich, distinctive smell that cannot be replicated in synthetic leathers, so if all else fails, smell the leather! 

Failure to plan is the most common furniture mistake. Be sure to check out the  wide selection of furniture space planners, color wheels and furniture templates available from Furniche.com


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