Over the past few years there has been a shift towards natural looking leather furniture as opposed to the more artificial, coloured leathers. The trend is to use one or two leather couches in combination with fabric arm chairs.
Full grain kudu and bovine hides are used most commonly in the upholstery of furniture. Full grain leather is leather which has not been altered beyond hair removal. Full grain leather is the most genuine type of leather, as it retains all of the original texture and markings of the original hide. Leisure Lounge selects only top quality full-aniline and semi-aniline leathers that are finished to give an antique appearance. These hides will mark and scuff and collect character and patina over the years. This is intentional and is designed to give authenticity to the period designs on which it is used.
Full-aniline leather is leather that has been dyed all the way through with a transparent dye. The effect is created by immersing the hides in a dye bath. Because the finish is transparent and shows the natural markings of the leather, only the best quality hides can be used. Semi-aniline leather follows the same procedure, however a matching pigment layer is added to the surface to even out the colour and add protection.
When buying leather furniture, ascertain where and by whom it was manufactured. Many lower quality hides are exported to the East where they are made up and returned to SA as finished products. Ensure you read the small print, ie. leather uppers or leather look. This would indicate that only certain parts of the item are genuine leather or that it is not genuine leather at all. Also take note of the price – if the price of the leather sofa that you are planning to purchase appears really cheap, then it probably is!