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To Leather or Not to Leather

February 21, 2017

To Leather or Not to Leather

Are you considering Leather Furniture?


Imagine walking into a room, large windows on the right, a slow-burning wood fireplace facing you.  You set your eyes on two comfortable and beautifully tailored chairs flanking the fireplace.

Now, make those chairs leather, the decision depends entirely on the tone of the finished room.

Leather is a byproduct of the food industry, and as I have told both my children, and clients alike.


“Best to be used on furniture, and not disposed of in a landfill for my great-grandchild to have to deal with”. So to Betty and Donna, my two dear vegetarian friends. We still have a very large meat-eating population, and you still love us!

Leather has and is still viewed with skepticism and caution by some, be it the fragility, durability or price. Yes, I will go there!

The most durable and coveted part of the leather is its surface, tight molecules of top grain leather are best as its beauty and softness can be felt. Natural markings such as folds and insect bites are also evident in this type. Neither cold nor hot, as it takes on the temperature of your hands at rest within 15 seconds.


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The very first armour was fashioned by boiling leather. They would cut it with an Exacto knife! Full disclosure, I am particularly accident-prone, spills of a variety of bevies and foods are not unknown in my living room.

The price is somewhat indicative of its grade and quality.

Grading becomes confusing, as in the world there are many, by numbers in Europe, by letters in North America and so on. Here you do have to take your time. Trust in the knowledge of the person giving you their version of Aniline, Full, Top, Split and Bonded leather.

Here I make things easy. Aniline is the dye they use. Full is the least processed of the hydes. Top grain means the processing is done to enhance, ie antiquing, embossing, or rubbing another colour to the hyde. The term Split is just that, the leather is horizontally split. The bottom half is pigmented with dye, then embossed to resemble the top part of the hyde.

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Split is ok to use on sides and backs of furniture, as the price of leather can become somewhat unattainable. This one you can touch and it will not warm to your temperature. Last and least expensive is Bonded. Remnants of used hydes are laminated, and therefore render a shiny and cold surface that will soon crack and peel.



My advice, try leather, it’s durable, easy to clean, has longevity. Consequently, you don’t have to replace it that often, and most important it automatically elevates the tone and look of the room.


Check the hands of those that sit on the leather, they are feeling the luxury of the soft leather. Whether it’s a sofa and loveseat, or the two chairs, or the ottoman, its luxurious look will add to any room. Come in and let me show you how. And even if you don’t want leather, I would love to meet you and make that room look just right for you. The way you always envisioned your home.

Learn more about the features and benefits of leather furniture

Magaly del Castillo

In-Home Designer at La-Z-Boy

Gloucester location

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