Leather Care

Leather Care

Leather is the longest lasting and most durable upholstery material you can get, perfect for any room of your home or office. It will withstand the rigors of daily life, including children and pets and still look great. Although the initial investment of quality leather may be more than fabric upholstery, leather is actually one of the best values in the long run. With proper care our quality leather, can be expected to last an average person’s lifetime.

A monthly wiping with a warm and gently damp clean cloth will prevent your body oils and dust from creating a buildup. As easy as it sounds, this maintenance is key to prolonging the life of your leather furniture.

Do not use saddle soaps, oils, abrasive cleaners, soaps, furniture polish, varnish or ammonia based products. The leather has already been permanently preserved in the tanning process and needs no maintenance other than the simple cleaning recommended.

In case of a deep cleaning or conditioning, you should use leather specific cleaners and conditioners. These products are specially designed for this purpose and will not affect the structure of the leather. Recommended 2 to 3 times a year.

Leather Terms

BUFFING - This is a process used to minimize the appearance of surface imperfections such as wrinkles or scars in the finished hide. This process makes the leather more uniform but also brings out the natural grain and markings that makes each hide unique and naturally beautiful.

CORRECTED GRAIN - Top grain leather that has been buffed or sanded to minimize imperfections in the hide.

DRUM DYED - A dying process accomplished by tumbling leather in a rotating drum to encourage the dye to penetrate fully.

EMBOSSING - To mechanically imprint unique grain effects under heat or high pressure in order to smooth the grain or give a unique patterned look (ostrich, alligator, floral, etc.). Top grain leather with excessive imperfections is often snuffed (buffed smooth) and then embossed with a grain pattern.

FINISHING - To make leather more durable, clear (aniline) or pigmented substances are applied to the hide. These provide abrasion and stain resistance as well as color enhancement. The finishing process usually involves three to four coating operations. Generally, the more finish a leather has, the stiffer (board-like) it becomes.

FULL GRAIN - Full grain leathers are top grain leathers that have not been corrected in any way, allowing the natural markings and character of the leather to show through. Full grain leathers are, therefore, much richer, cleaner hides to begin with, having minimal scars, etc. which also make them more expensive than corrected grain leathers.

GRAIN - Markings or patterns on the leather surface. Naturally occurring grain is caused by wrinkles, markings and pores in the hide. Grains can vary even on the same hide depending on location.

HAND - The softness or ‘feel’ of a leather is referred to as its hand.

LEATHER - A collective term used to describe any tanned animal skin.

MILLING - A natural softening process in which leather is tumbled in a dry drum.

NATURAL MARKINGS - These subtle markings on leather are the equivalent of a finger print. They distinguish genuine leather from man-made materials. Other marks which can appear on the surface of leather are healed scratches, barbed wire marks, wrinkles, brands and insect bites. Gross imperfections are normally cut out of the finished product.

PATINA - A luster that naturally occurs as leather ages.

PROTECTED LEATHER - Protected leather is less expensive and more common than pure aniline or semi-aniline leather. Its coloration is more consistent and because it has been coated with protective pigments, the leather’s natural markings are less noticeable. These protected leathers are more heavily pigmented than semi-aniline leather and are easier to clean than pure aniline leather because surface pigments repel water and stains...standing up well to heavy use.

PULL UP - Pull up leather is one that when pulled tight produces a burst of color. Used as an upholstery leather, it gives a worn weathered appearance or a distressed look. Pull ups are full-aniline leathers that have an oil and/or wax application. When the leather is pulled, the oil and/or wax separates causing the color to become lighter.

PURE or FULL ANILINE- is a type of leather in which high quality hides have been finished with aniline as a dye. This produces a delicate, soft, supple leather.

SAUVAGE - A two-toned effect which adds depth to the leather.

SEMI-ANILINE DYED - The term used to describe aniline dyed leather which has only a small amount of pigmented finish. It is a premium product which allows the hides natural character to show through.

SPLIT GRAIN - The term refers to the underneath layers of the hide which have been ‘split’ off from the top grain. Splits are buffed, sanded and embossed to look like top grain leather. Split hides are stiffer than top grain leathers. They are used on less expensive furniture and will not be as long lasting or durable as a top grain leather.

TOP GRAIN - Leather which contains the top portion of the hide...the part that had hair on it. Top grain leather can be full grain or corrected grain leather. The top grain portion of the hide is approximately 3/64’’ about the thickness of a penny.