Leather FAQ's

Leather FAQ's

Posted by Jill - Vintage Oak Furniture. Quoted article by Erin Berg, Associate Editor of Furniture Today Magazine on Dec 27th 2018

Demand for leather continues to go up, and with good reason; leather is durable, comfortable and it looks great. But, there are many misconceptions and questions about leather that this article helps to clear up. 

Many people worry about leather being too hot or too cold, but don't realize that because leather is natural, it adjusts to your body temperature quickly and makes a comfortable place to sit in any temperature. Families worry about how durable leather will be with children or pets, but leather sofas outlast their fabric counterparts 3-4 times longer on average. With proper care and attention, and understanding the answers to the following FAQ's, you can have confidence in deciding whether a leather furniture purchase is right for you.

If you have questions specific to caring for your leather furniture, check out our previous blog on Caring for Leather Furniture or if you have more questions specific to the types of leather, watch for part II of this article that defines common leather terminology.

The following article was taken from page 14 of the March 6-12, 2017 Furniture Today Magazine by Erin Berg, and it offers helpful insight and information to common questions today's consumers have about leather furniture.

FAQ: Why is leather Hot/Cold?

Leather adapts to the temperature of its environment or what is nearest to it. If ambient temperature is 70 degrees, the leather will feel cool or cold to you because normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees. If the room is 90 degrees, the leather will feel hot. However, the type of leather will affect the amount of time it takes the leather to adapt to body temperature. For example, pure aniline dyed leather will breathe and assume body temperature rapidly.

FAQ: Can I have leather furniture if I have kids/pets?

Leather is very durable and lasts 15 to 20 years compared with about five years with fabric. It ages well, and it stretches and retains it shape without sagging. Leather is more resistant to animals than fabric-covered furniture, does not absorb animal odors and cannot be penetrated by animal hair, but it can be damaged by the sharp claws or teeth of dogs and cats.

FAQ: Will leather crack or split?

Direct exposure to sunlight and heat can damage leather by fading and drying it. Fading is commonly seen in semi-aniline and and aniline leathers and less common in fully finished leathers that have a protective top coat. Drying of leather from the sun will damage any kind of leather regardless of the finish. The sun's heat causes the natural oils to evaporate, eventually stiffening and cracking the leather.

FAQ: Why is one leather grade more expensive than another?

Raw Hides come from many different sources all over the world, and climate and other conditions vary greatly in those regions, affecting the hide characteristics and quality and therefore requiring different levels of correction. Other factors such as special surface treatments and the age of the animal also affect the final cost.

FAQ: Are there supposed to be marks and blemishes on the leather?

The marks are your assurance that you have real leather. There are corrected leathers and other finishing processes that will reduce the appearance of some of those natural marks and blemishes, but it is important to know that those are natural characteristics of the raw material, just like the ones on human skin.

FAQ: Are animals harmed to make leather?

Leather is a by-product of the beef industry, and if not used to make leather products, the hides and skins would be disposed of as waste.

FAQ: How is bonded leather different from real leather?

Bonded leather is a composite of leather and polyurethane. It is a more affordable alternative that offers the look and feel of 100% leather.