Buying Guide for Leather Furniture

The warm, rich look of a leather-upholstered seat is at once both upscale and totally fit for full family lounging. Here are 43 high-quality leather sofas for dressing up your den.

1) Baxton Studio Dobson Leather Sectional Sofa | 2) Best Choice Products Modern Sofa Bed | 3) Gordon Tufted Sofa BLUE | 4) Gold Sparrow Jacksonville Camel Sofa Bed | 5) Baxton Studio Sorrento Mid-Century Leather Loveseat | 6) Sure Fit Ultimate Stretch Leather – Sofa Slipcover | 7) Simmons Upholstery Phoenix Motion Sofa | 8) DHP Emily Convertible Futon Couch Bed | 9) Flash Furniture HERCULES Gray Leather Sofa | 10) Epic Furnishings Sofa Sleeper Bed | 11) Homelegance 2 Piece Sectional Sofa | 12) Poundex 2 Pieces Faux Leather Chaise Sofa | 13) Bonded Leather Double Recliner Sofa | 14) Qaba 33” Kids PU Leather Storage Sofa | 15) Poundex F7857 Bobkona Aria Leather Sofa | 16) Signature Design by Ashley 1200138 Bladen Sofa | 17) The PU Leather Klippan Loveseat Sofa | 18) Flash Furniture Harmony Black Leather Sofa | 19) Poundex F7878 Bobkona Shelton Leather Sofa | 20) Baxton Studio Darrow Leather Sofa | 21) The Heavy Cotton Ektorp 3 Seat Sofa | 22) Welsh Chocolate Fabric Sofa Set | 23) Homelegance 9734DB-3 Upholstered Sofa | 24) Baxton Studio Callidora Brown Leather Sofa | 25) Premium Sofa Futon Couch | 26) Signature Sleep 2152007 Casey Faux Leather Sofa | 27) Homelegance 9668BRW-3 Double Reclining Sofa | 28) Modway Engage Leather Loveseat | 29) Baxton Studio Selma Leather Sofa | 30) Amalfi Brown Leather Reclining Sofa | 31) Global Furniture Rogers Collection Sofa | 32) Kardiel Woodrow Midcentury Sofa | 33) Bonded Leather Sleeper/Pull Out Sofa | 34) Sure Fit Ultimate Stretch Leather – Sofa | 35) Signature Design by Ashley Larkinhurst Sofa | 36) Baxton Studio Mid-Century Loveseat | 37) Modway Engage Leather Sofa | 38) Abbyson Foyer Premium Italian Leather Sofa | 39) Crafters and Weavers Leather Chesterfield Sofa | 40) Gordon Tufted Sofa BLACK | 41) DHP Emily Futon Sofa Bed | 42) TOV Furniture Blake Antique RAF Sectional | 43) American Eagle Furniture Valencia Collection Leather Sofa |

Which Leather is Right for My Home?

There are many types of finishing used in leather, so it can be broken down into 4 categories. F or P, AP, A, N ( Lingo used, Durability = how well does it wear. Serviceability = How easy can it be kept clean.)

Category: F or P

This stands for “Finished” or “Protected” aka Pigmented or painted. All meaning the same thing essentially- the leather is usually dyed in a base color ( except for some colors that might be close to the hide color) then an additional process of color is added on the surface of the hide by spraying and topped off with a clear coat for protection.

This process hides or camouflages many of the natural markings in a hide. These leathers have a firmer hand or feel but require the least maintenance of all types of leather. These leathers will also have a corrected grain (embossing) done because of the hide quality.

These leathers will have the most colors available due to the painting of the finish. These fall into the top 20% of hide supply. These leathers are for high traffic applications. The most stain and sun resistance. Think of Pigmented leathers as plywood, you would paint it to cover defects like knots, not stain it.

Category: AP

This stands for Aniline plus or Semi aniline-AP leathers are dyed with aniline dyes which color or stain the hide then a very light micro-pigment color is applied to give the leather some even color or offer a wider range of color options then a pure aniline leather.

A slight top coat is added to give the leather more serviceability. These leathers are softer and more desirable than “F” or “P” leathers and are still good with a family room situation. These leathers fall into a medium price range and offer an excellent choice for those who oppose variations found in true aniline leathers.

Only a limited number of hides fall into this category, if corrected grain hides are used their selection is less critical and the hand will not be as soft. These fall into the top 10% of the hide supply. These leathers are for moderate traffic applications and have a moderate stain and sun resistance finish.

Category : A

Aniline or Pure aniline/ Full aniline

Only premium hides of fully grown animals are used for this application, and only 3-5% of the world raw hide supply are free enough of defects to be suitable, in aniline dying, an extended tumbling process enhances the natural grain and gives an extra softness.These hides are drum dyed in large vats or drums and the color is forced into the hide for many hours permeating throughout.

A soil resistant surface can be applied similar to what is used in fabrics to repel spills and stains. Leather that has only been dyed with aniline dyes is referred to as a “pure aniline” or “naked aniline”. Some aniline leathers can go through an additional process where a very light roller coat is added for serviceability (cleanability) hence the name Full aniline.

Think of when you stain a fine piece of wood, like mahogany or walnut to reveal the knots and grain of the wood, this is beautiful same as aniline leathers. These leathers are for light use, lower clean ability, can fade with sunlight.

Category: N

Nubuck, Nubuck, Suede, also Aniline (distressed)-

Nubuck is usually the reverse of the top grain or underside of the hide or it can be the top grain sanded or buffed down to reveal a “nap” or suede like feel. These leathers are the softest but also the least desirable when used in a family room.

One main point is the accumulation or build up of body oils over time causing the leather to turn dark and spills tend to soak in, even if the leather is treated originally because scotch guarding wears off making it almost difficult if not impossible to remove stains without damaging the finish.

Avoid this leather if you need an article to not fade, absorb spills, fade easily, etc. These leathers are for light use, lower clean ability, can fade with sunlight.

The long and short of it is, just because a leather sofa is expensive, does not mean it is the best one for a family room and the same applies to an expensive sofa being just right for a kids playroom. Be sure and purchase a leather that will withstand what you expect from it. A pigment or finished leather (remember “F ” or “P” ) will be the most bullet proof so to speak, and aniline-plus leathers in between and pure anilines the most delicate.

Let’s talk grading of leather, this is where it gets more convoluted. First there is not a standard grading system used for leather furniture by manufacturers. When a factory assigns a grade to their leather this is dictated by what they pay for the raw material.

The cheaper the leather hide, (or price point) the lower the grade, and the finer the hide, the higher the grade.Some brands use the scale 1, 2, 3, and so on, or 100, 200, 300, or 1000, 2000, or 3000, or maybe A, B, or C. Whatever they use, it has no relation to another company that makes leather furniture, so do not try to compare this way, it is a waste of time and you will be disappointed.

What you can assume is, the lower range brands will have a lower selection of leathers on their products to remain in a certain price point where they market their furniture. The higher end brands will carry a more expensive leather on their product.

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