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  • Leather vs Upholstery

    September 1, 2019 | Blog
  • You've had enough. You get home after a long day of work where you felt like you were putting out fires (figuratively or literally) all day long. You get home, hoping to finally relax and plop down on your couch. It is at this point, that you remember that your couch has sunken in so deep that you can feel springs coming back up at you. So, you've had enough and it is time to get a new couch. While there are lots of things to consider when shopping for a new couch, one important question is what should it get covered in: leather or fabric?

  • The nice, clean look, the feel of the suppleness, the prestige it offers are all benefits of leather. A leather couch provides an air of sophistication and can help give a nice warm look. There are also plenty of dyed leathers out there which can cause your furniture to pop out from its' surroundings. Leather also brings a lot of durability to a piece of furniture. True, top grain leather is easy to clean. Liquids tend to bead up allowing you to wipe off with a paper towel or damp cloth. Also, for those with pets, things like hair come away with ease. However, there are several misconceptions that you need to consider before taking the plunge.

    Many people believe that leather furniture is maintenance free furniture. This is a common myth. Leather, just like any product with dyes, is susceptible to being bleached out with the sun. If you are putting this furniture in a sun room, the color may not last as long as you would like. In addition, leather needs to be kept moist in order to keep the nice suppleness and feel. If leather dries out, then it will become hard and brittle. To combat this, make sure to use saddle soap or mink oil periodically. Also, for people with pets and children, the ease of clean up can be deceiving. While leather is easier to clean, it is susceptible to scratching. And just like a good pair of leather shoes, once it is scratched, there is nothing that you can do about it. So, folks with cats will need to keep an eye out. In addition, leather is more prone to temperature changes. Just like the leather seats in your car, your furniture can feel hot and sticky in the summer and cold in the winter.

  • Fabrics are also a popular product when it comes to upholstered furniture. Fabrics can range from cotton, to polyester, to polypropylene, and blends of all three. These fabrics display a wide variety of feels from the softness of a blanket to a rough and tumble blend. Also, many fabrics will have a wider range of color options including prints that can provide more diverse options when designing your space. In addition, there are some very durable fabrics including polyester and polypropylene that can withstand plenty of stains. Also, for fabrics that are not as durable, there are plenty of stain guards that can be sprayed on to help increase their ability to repel liquid. But, just as with leather, there are some things to be aware of before wrapping up your new furniture.

    Just as with leather, the more pure the fabric, the better durability you will receive. 100% polyesters and polypropylene fabrics are very durable. When they blend in other fabrics, such as cotton, the durability and clean ability can go down. Also, while fabric with a taller nap can create a feeling like a blanket, it also will catch dirt and animal hair. This can lead to a tougher time when going to clean. Also, while discussing pets, several fabrics are more scratch resistant than leather; however, if it feels like a scratching post, then that's what it will become. Also, with some fabrics, there is a trade off in durability and comfort. Some of the softest fabrics are also the ones most likely to develop stains. Therefore, make sure to balance the comfort you want with the stain resistance that you need.

  • Finding the right sofa or recliner involves finding the right fit for you and your comfort needs. Many retailers provide options of upholstered pieces in a variety of leathers and fabrics to help you find something that sits well and also fits right into your home. After all, nothing feels better after a long day than coming home to a couch that feels great for years to come!