Types of Leather Used to Upholster Furniture

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When you mention leather sofas to most people, the only thing that rings a bell in their minds is natural leather from animal hide. It is because most people grew up knowing that animal hide is the only source of leather material. The perspective is partly correct because the animal hide is the only source of genuine leather. However, there are different types of leather, which is critical to know for cleaning purposes. This article highlights different kinds of leather and how to clean them appropriately.

Naked Leather — The first type of leather manufacturers use for furniture upholstery is naked leather. Also referred to as aniline leather, naked leather is the most expensive type, thanks to its natural appearance. The reason is that unique and characteristic features such as scars and pores are retained on the material during processing. However, only the best hides are used to make naked leather because their surface appearance matters considerably regarding value. Aniline leather is susceptible to staining since it is not coated with polymers for protection. Thus, furniture made of aniline leather should never be placed in high-traffic areas. In case of a stain, blot the spot and immediately call cleaning services. DIY cleaning will likely ruin the upholstery, especially if you know little about cleaning leather.

Semi-Aniline Leather — It is a tougher version is naked leather because its surface is treated with a varnish coat. The coating gives the leather soil and stain-resistant properties but takes away the natural feel and look of the processed hide. If you are strictly looking for a leather sofa that looks and feels like natural hide, semi-aniline leather is not your type. Furthermore, the protective coating on semi-aniline leather makes furniture low maintenance since it can withstand tougher conditions. Cleaning semi-aniline leather requires a gentle hand since you can easily scrape away the protective varnish. Once the leather is dry, spray it with a fresh coat of varnish to retain its protective property. Most importantly, keep semi-aniline leather away from direct sunlight since it will begin to crack and flake.

Protected Leather — As the name suggests, protected leather focuses on durability and less on value and aesthetics. Protected leather is commonly used to make office furniture due to its high usage. In residential homes, furniture upholstered with protected leather don high traffic areas such as the living room. Manufacturers use a polymer to coat the hide instead of varnish because the former makes the leather more durable. Protected leather is also the easiest type of upholstery to clean because the coating adds resistance to scuffing or fading. Therefore, you can clean off a stain with a cloth without worrying about damaging the material.

For more information on leather upholstery cleaning, contact a company near you.