Leather Frequently Asked Questions
DO NATURAL MARKINGS WEAKEN LEATHER?
Not in the least. Natural markings won’t reduce the strength or performance of leather if skin damage is fully healed. If markings aren’t healed, or if they compromise the hide’s durability, we won’t use them.
Leather hides are carefully examined in our factory, with leather-cutting experts determining where each part of a hide should be placed. The front of upholstered furniture is typically kept more uniform, with just small or subtle natural markings. But the back, sides and under-cushion areas offer opportunity to include more unique markings.
Yes. Dark colours tend to show fewer natural markings; light colours bring them out. Leather finish, or method of dyeing, also affects the visibility of markings. Opaque (pigmented) finishes will conceal more of the natural grains and markings, while clear (aniline) finishes will highlight them. This is another reason aniline leathers are more costly; the dyeing process needs to thoroughly saturate the depth of natural veins, wrinkles and scars.
There are markings on every piece of leather that is used on upholstered furniture. Depending upon the finishing process of the leather will determine how visible it is. Natural, full grain leather will show multiple markings while corrected grain leather will be a bit harder to see.
Quite the opposite, actually. Few natural markings are found on low-cost leathers. Most cow hides have too many undesirable markings, and need to be partly or completely ‘corrected’. The uniform, embossed grain on these lower-priced hides also creates less waste on the cutting table, yielding a lower price for the final product. Natural markings, on the other hand, are a hallmark of the costliest leathers. Very few hides can be used in their natural, uncorrected condition, making them extremely valuable. Furniture made with uncorrected (or partly corrected) leather also requires more time
in the factory. Experts need to determine which natural marks to use and where to place them on the furniture… all while ensuring consistent colouring and consistent direction of wrinkles and veins.
The only way to ensure prominent natural markings is by choosing full grain or aniline-dyed leathers, or to a lesser degree, partly-corrected or semi-aniline dyed leathers. You can also add character to leather simply by using it. As a natural product, leather gets better over time, developing a warm patina along with natural wrinkles and a bit of stretching as you live in your furniture.
All top-grain leathers offer good quality, but the best quality leather for each person is what’s best suited to their lifestyle and preference. If a more uniform leather appearance is preferred, choose partly corrected leather in dark colours, or fully corrected top grain leathers with more pigment applied to cover some of the natural markings.
WHAT IS BONDED LEATHER? IS IT REALLY CONSIDERED A GENUINE LEATHER?
Bonded leather is a term used for an upholstery material made as a layered structure with a center core fabric (usually polyester) for strength, a backing layer of shredded leather fibers and a polyurethane coating on the top that is embossed with a leather-like texture. It is NOT genuine leather. It does not have the same properties as leather and should not be represented as such.