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Leather Lingo

Many consumers love the look and smell of leather furnishings. The first time shopping for leather furniture can sometimes be overwhelming. After all, you thought leather was leather, but there are different grades of leather used in furniture. This article is a brief introduction to common terminology used when referencing leather furniture.

When you visit Lifestyle Lounges and Sofas to shop for couches, chairs or even leather commercial seating products a knowledgeable sales person is available to answer your questions.  Unlike the warehouse type of showrooms, we focus on specific brand names and every member of our team is trained in furniture design as well as the nuances of each product.  So when you wonder what the term “split leather” means the sales representative provides an answer based upon fact, not supposition.

The following terms are most often used when describing leather furniture products:

Top Grain Leather: This may surprise you, but did you realize that the hide of an animal, in most cases a cow, can be split into two layers?  The outer layer is referred to as “top grain” leather and typically offers better quality than the inner side.  Usually it is softer and more durable. This type of leather carries a higher price per yard than leather made from the inner side of the hide.

Split Leather:  This is the inner side of the animal’s hide and is considered a lower quality material. Split leather is usually made of more than one piece of under-hide.  Split leather is almost always dyed to add colour and may crack more easily than top grain leather.  You’ll see split leather on the backs of chairs and couches – away from wear, tear and the elements.

Aniline Finish: This is the higher-end finishing process.  Minimal dyes, buffing and stressing are applied to the hide. Top grain leather is appropriate for this type of finishing.

Semi-Aniline Finish: This type of finishing is used when multiple dyes are required to achieve the final look. It uses multiple dying processes and surface treatments. The final finish is a bit stiffer than the aniline finish.

Leather Match: When looking at furniture described as “leather match” you are shopping in the lower-end price range.  Part or all of the chair or couch is covered in material that looks similar to leather, but in fact is vinyl or another synthetic covering. This is ideal for people who can’t expand their budget to buy a leather product, but want the look of leather furniture.

You can see some of our leather furniture online, but we encourage you to come in and view the selections in person. Visit us at Unit 1 / 28 Sumners Rd, Darra, QLD 4076 or call us on (07) 3376 7222.

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