Leather Quality

Purchasing Leather Furniture Can Be Confusing

Knowing some basics about what type of leather you are looking at is time well spent. At Chariho Furniture, leather is no different than our fabric upholstered furniture. Frames for our leather furniture are built using hardwoods and carry a lifetime warranty. We only offer leather sofas with top grain or full grain, never a split-hide, never a bonded leather. We think a leather sofa should be an investment. The following is some technical information to help you decipher the quality from the good from the” not so good” furniture that many stores pass off as “fine leather furniture”.

The Language Of Leather

Full or Pure Aniline

  • The finest leather available, always made from premium -quality, full-top grain hides (the surface of the hide has not been mechanically altered)
  • The softest, most luxurious and natural looking leather
  • More likely to fade and stain, will feature noticeable range marks, barbed wire scars, wrinkles, scratches and brands.
  • Un-retouched, resulting in subtle color and shading differences from hide to hide and even within the same hide.
  • Generally more expensive than other types of leather.
  • Top 5% of world hide supply

Semi Aniline

  • High quality, high value, always top grain
  • Soft and beautiful; durable and practical
  • Often coated with clear sealant to enhance stain resistance.
  • Slightly more uniform in color and texture than full aniline.
  • Fewer noticeable range marks because of top finishing.
  • Generally less expensive than full aniline leather.
  • Falls into top 10% of world hide supply.

Nubuck Leather

  • High quality, top grain leather buffed or sanded to a velvety, suede like nap.
  • More likely to fade or stain, will feature noticeable range marks and barbed wire scratches, wrinkles, healed scars, manure burns.
  • Usually the softest of leathers, more durable than a true suede that is produced from the lower quality split of leather.
  • Falls into top 10-15% of world hide supply
  • Generally less expensive than Semi Aniline leather.

Pigmented Leather

  • Least likely to fade or stain
  • Opaque dyes and pigments create uniform coloration that minimizes natural marks and scars
  • Excellent durability with minimal maintenance
  • Falls into top 20-30% of world hide supply
  • Generally less expensive than Nubuck leather

Bonded Leather

  • We do not recommend purchasing Bonded Leather if quality is your intention when purchasing leather furniture
  • Never found at Chariho Furniture but advertised by many stores as “leather”
  • Most economically priced
  • An artificial material composed of 10% to 20% leather fibers
  • Similar to particle board or OSB board is to solid wood
  • Bonded leather, or reconstituted leather, is usually derived from waste scraps from leather tanneries It consists of collagen fibers obtained from macerated hide pieces bonded together with latex binders or fabric fillers constructed into a fibrous mat to create a look and feel similar or sometimes identical to that of genuine leather but at a fraction of the cost. Depending on the quality a man-made pattern is usually discernible as a “grain-like” look.

Other Furniture Education Information

Types of Wood and Their Levels of Quality
Leather is Leather, Right? Wrong, Let Us Show You The Difference
Hand-tied vs. Machine Made Furniture Supports