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Leather Product Knowledge
Leather is a natural product derived from animal hide. It has distinguishing features unique to living products, and in amongst the beautiful grain you may find some markings or flaws on the skin. These are natural characteristics and proof of its natural origins. Animals, just like humans are subject to a few bumps and grazes during their lifetime and these markings are inevitable and are the visible distinction between the aesthetic appeal of natural coverings and synthetics.
In general, unprotected leathers are highly absorbent and hydrophilic, meaning they have the propensity to absorb water based substances and oils. Liquids, foods, household substances, fatty oils and the oil from perspiration can all break down and damage the leather.
Leather in its purest form (called aniline leather) is typically the most expensive, as it is manufactured using the best quality hides and will appear luxuriously soft and supple. The leather will breathe naturally and allow air to pass through and ventilate the furniture. However, aniline leathers typically have no protective treatment and are difficult to keep clean and maintain. Therefore, such leathers, including nubuck and suede, are likely to require additional care in the form of leather protectors, cleaners and nourishers.
In general, the more manufactured the form of leather, the more likely it is that additional protective treatments have been applied, and therefore, less care and protection is required. The following table forms a general guide as to the level of care required for different forms of leather.
Types of leather
|Full Aniline Leather||As the purest form of leather, full aniline is dyed without any pigment applied to the surface. The resulting product retains the natural features, e.g. wrinkles & scars, of the original animal's hide & therefore only the best raw hides are selected for use. It has a soft feel & will require regular care & is generally used on more exclusive ranges.|
|Semi-Aniline Leather||Semi-aniline leather has a thin layer of pigment applied during the dying process to protect the leather from wear & staining, whilst still maintaining a soft & supple feel.|
|Pull Up Aniline Leather||Pull up aniline leather has an oil or wax coating applied during the dying process to give the leather an overall 'distressed' appearance.|
|Corrected Grain Leather||Corrected grain leather has a protective pigment coating applied during the dying process & is then embossed with an artificial patterned grain to provide a uniform appearance & conceal the natural blemishes of the hide. This is a very economical & durable leather that is suitable for commercial or domestic environments. It is easy to maintain & care for & is ideal for everyday use. 80% of leather upholstery in the market uses corrected grain.|
|By Cast Leather||By cast leather is genuine leather made from a real hide with a clear, synthetic layer of protective coating, recognisable due to its sheen.|
|Regenerated Leather||Regenerated leather is made by grinding the waste scraps of leather with a small amount of natural rubber, to create a hardwearing & economical material suitable for furniture uses.|
Although care will differ between the various forms of leather, some general suggestions will apply to the majority of leather products:
- Regularly brush or vacuum away dust and grit, clean leather with warm water using soft cloth or sponge in a circular motion and allow drying away from direct heat.
- Do not dry clean. Do not machine wash. Do not use detergent, solvents, abrasives spray packs, unidentified leather cleaners, suede cleaners, or furniture polish.
- Avoid over exposure of leather to direct sunlight, intense heat or weather.
By Dezign offers a range of leather cleaner and leather protection products, including the Premium Care 5 Year Leather Protection Plan to assist you in caring for and extending the life of the leather furniture.