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Leather & Fabric 101

Does a higher fabric grade mean higher quality?

Not necessarily, it just means that the fabric is more expensive to make. The intricacy of the weave, fiber content, construction and performance are all variables.

What fabric is long lasting…I have kids and pets?

100% Polyester Fabric: Polyester is often blended with other fibers to add wrinkle resistance, eliminate crushing and gives you the durability you need.

There are also many stain resistant fabrics available, please call us at 877-702-0555 for a recommendation.

What are the fabric types?

Synthetic Fabrics

Acrylic: This synthetic fiber was developed as imitation wool. It resists wear, wrinkling, soiling, and fading. Low-quality acrylic may pill excessively in areas that receive high degrees of abrasion. High-quality acrylics are manufactured to pill significantly less.

Nylon: Rarely used alone, nylon is usually blended with other fibers to make it one of the strongest upholstery fabrics. Nylon is very resilient; in a blend, it helps eliminate the crushing of napped fabrics such as velvet. It doesn't readily soil or wrinkle, but it does tend to fade and pill.

Olefin: This is a good choice for furniture that will receive heavy wear. It has no pronounced weaknesses.

Polyester: Rarely used alone in upholstery, polyester is blended with other fibers to add wrinkle resistance, eliminate crushing of napped fabrics, and reduce fading. When blended with wool, polyester aggravates pilling problems.

Rayon: Developed as an imitation silk, linen, and cotton, rayon is durable. However, it wrinkles. Recent developments have made high-quality rayon very practical.

Natural Fabrics

Linen: Linen is best suited for formal living rooms or adult areas because it soils and wrinkles easily. And, it won't withstand heavy wear. However, linen does resist pilling and fading. Soiled linen upholstery must be professionally cleaned to avoid shrinkage.

Leather: This tough material can be gently vacuumed, damp-wiped as needed, and cleaned with leather conditioner or saddle soap.

Cotton: This natural fiber provides good resistance to wear, fading, and pilling. It is less resistant to soil, wrinkling, and fire. Surface treatments and blending with other fibers often atone for these weaknesses. Durability and use depend on the weave and finish. Damask weaves are formal; canvas(duck and sailcloth) is more casual and more durable.

Wool: Sturdy and durable, wool and wool blends offer good resistance to pilling, fading, wrinkling, and soil. Generally, wool is blended with a synthetic fiber to make it easier to clean and to reduce the possibility of felting the fibers (causing them to bond together until they resemble felt). Blends can be spot-cleaned when necessary.

Cotton Blend: Depending on the weave, cotton blends can be sturdy, family-friendly fabrics. A stain-resistant finish should be applied for everyday use.

Silk: This delicate fabric is only suitable for adult areas, such as formal living rooms. It must be professionally cleaned if soiled

Does a higher leather grade mean a higher quality?

Not necessarily, it just means that the leather is more expensive to make. The finish of the leather, leather type and hide characteristics determine the leather grade.

What types of leathers are available?

B – Bonded Leather – Is a combination of shredded leather and other materials to give you a leather like feel. It’s affordable, looks like leather however not as durable as the real thing.

P – Pigmented Leather – Perfect for an active family. Represents protected or finished leather. This is accomplished by applying a surface coating with pigment to the leather. Its primary goal is to protect the leather, providing wear, stain, and fade resistance.

A - Aniline Leather

SA – Semi Aniline Leather – A good choice for anyone wanting better quality leather that will be used in an active room. Aniline leather has a process that opens the pores of the hide to let the leather color permeate completely through the leather. Semi-Aniline adds a very slight protective coating.

A - Aniline Leather – Aniline leather has a process that opens the pores of the hide to let the leather color permeate completely through the leather. These can be the finest of leather and retains the most natural look of the leather.

N- Nubuck Leather - Nubuk is the top grain (top grain means it's the side of the hide that once had hair) leaving it with a nap, very similar to velvet.  It retains a very soft and natural feel and is very durable. Nubuck leather does not have a protective coating and can be susceptible to staining.

Top Grain Versus Split Grain Leather

Top Grain Leather – Top-Grain leather is the smoothest, supplest, most natural, and best kind of furniture leather your money can buy. Each hide is as individual and unique as a fingerprint. Real, top-grain is comprised of about 12-14% water. For this reason, top-grain leather acclimates quickly to your body temperature. Top Grain leather has natural variations in color (as a hide is a natural product with variations in thickness and quality and, therefore, withstands dyes differently), has a smooth and soft hand (or feel), and natural "pebbling" (the unique bumps that vary depending on from which part of the cow the hide was taken).

Split Grain Leather – Split-Grain leather is merely the lower layer of a hide underneath the top-grain. A split is still 100% real leather but does not have all of the characteristics of top-grain due to processing differences. Split leather must be processed through various means to simulate the appearance and feel of top-grain leather. Although the result is still 100% leather, some softness is always lost through the processing procedures and natural variations in color and pebbling are no long evident as these hides are run through a uniform screen.

What is Leather Match Furniture?

Leather Match Furniture - Leather match furniture is an affordable alternative with the ability to enjoy 100% genuine leather everywhere you touch on a piece of furniture (e.g. the seat, back cushions, and arms). The side panels, back panels, and the backs (less visible parts) are constructed on an artificial material usually vinyl.