Leather is understandably a desirable upholstery material to choose when looking to buy a new sofa. It’s soft, supple and its aroma is intoxicatingly beautiful. However, before buying a new leather sofa you need to know exactly what you’re paying for. Here are some tips to choose the right sofa for your needs.
- Know the difference between the types of leather available to you
As the UK’s leading manufacturer of Chesterfield sofas we know a thing or two about leather. There are plenty of different types, with different qualities and properties with greatly varying prices so knowing the difference between these can make all the difference when buying your new sofa.
Top grain - This is the most durable part of a cow’s hide, and it needs to be tough since it’s the outermost layer of the hide. Natural graining patterns are evident within top grain, and the tightness of the pattern helps the leather resist moisture and its pores allow it to breathe. Top grain leather warms quicker to touch when it’s cold and will dissipate heat quicker on a hot day because of its high moisture content. Split grain and bonded leather hides don’t do this.
Full Grain - The name given to top grain hides that contain no blemishes or scars. It’s very rare, making it very expensive, and is mainly used in the highest quality sofas which can easily cost upwards of three to four thousand pounds.
Aniline – This type of leather gets its name from the dyeing agent used to treat it. Aniline opens the leather’s pores, allowing dye to seep through the hide, colouring it completely. This process is carried out in a tannery, where hides are tempered in huge drums.
Split Grain and Bonded Leather - not typically used in the production of leather furniture, split grain is the name given to the lower layers of leather removed after the top grain. It’s often removed in strips and used for clothing and other accessories. Bonded leather is more of a hybrid of leather and fabric.
- Not every leather sofa frame is made the same
The frame of a sofa acts the same as a foundation does for a building; it needs to be strong, sturdy and built to withstand the throes of life in a busy household. Cheaper sofas often have poorly constructed frames, built on a budget so that manufacturers and resellers can both make a profit; great for business, but bad for customers
Finding a cheap sofa that looks the part might mean the price is too good to be true. If that’s the case, just ask the salesman about the sofa’s frame and how it’s constructed. If the seller doesn’t know, start asking more questions! As a rule, don’t impulse buy; if you’re second-guessing buying a sofa and the salesperson is being pushy but can’t answer questions about the construction then it’s likely they know that if you think about it you’ll back out. So take your time, do some research and think about what types of frame construction will suit your needs.
- Make sure you understand your warranty
Some warranties are fantastic, whilst others are full of little clauses that allow the seller to get out of paying out for repairs or replacements when things go wrong. For example, our warranty is fully inclusive; as long as you’re in the UK, we’ll either try our best to repair any genuine faults or we’ll replace the sofa. On the other hand, some manufacturers and resellers may only offer a 6-month warranty that excludes the most common types of faulty returns. If you’re ever in doubt, ask questions and find out everything you need to know. A leather sofa is an expensive investment, so if you’re not happy with the answers then simply walk away.
- Buy your sofa from a brand you can trust
DesignerSofas4U are the UKs leading manufacturer of Chesterfield furniture, but we make hundreds of other sofas, chairs, footrests and other pieces so we have all the experience necessary to help our customers make the right decisions. If you have questions you’d like answering then don’t hesitate to contact a member of our customer service department. You can email, call 01254268 590 or fill out our contact us form today.