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Leather – what are people looking for?

Leather furniture used to be considered a luxurious
textile and not practical for households with children. However,
attitudes toward leather furniture have changed. Leather furniture
has found its way into homes in which people are looking for
high-quality, reasonably priced, easy-to-maintain alternatives to
traditional cloth sofas, love seats and chairs.

Leather furniture comes in a variety of colors. In an effort to
create quality furniture, animal hides that are considered
top-grain are dyed, processed and tanned in order to make them look
a certain way. Tanning means that the hides are cured with certain
salts. During the tanning process, the hide’s shape is also
stabilized.
When a hide goes through the dying process, this means that the
color of the hide is changed. In addition, some leather is also
treated with a polish, pattern or texture.
As a result, leather furniture comes in a variety of textures. It
can range from rough and coarse to smooth and supple. However, the
leather used to make furniture is typically tougher because it’s
more durable than softer leather.

There are three types of leather upholstery used in leather
furniture.

The first is semi-aniline. This type of leather has a
finished look and also appears to be coated; however, if something
is spilled on it, a dark spot will form. This is also the hardest
type of leather to care for.

The second type of leather is called aniline, or soft
leather. It is also sometimes called brushed leather. This type has
no surface finish and is highly susceptible to staining and dirt.
If something is spilled on it, a dark spot will form on this, as
well.

The third type of leather, top grain, is the best type,
and this is most often used in making furniture, clothing and for
vehicle upholstery. Top grain needs very little maintenance and
most spills will simply run off of the leather instead of soaking
in and leaving dark spots.

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