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Tag Archives: upholstery

What is Aniline Leather

What is Aniline Leather

There are three main types of dyes used to dye leather: Aniline, Semi-Aniline, and Pigmented.  These three types of dyes have unique characteristics, usages, and finishing options.  The tanning industry in Europe clearly defines all of these different types of dye, but for some reason in North America you will often see these terms misused.  Rather than bombarding you with all three in one post I will break them out and discuss each type of dye on their own.

Aniline is often see as the “best” type of leather you can buy.  Often this is due to the fact that Aniline leather is Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Leather 101, Types of Leather

 

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When fake is better than real….Embossed Leather vs Real Exotics

When fake is better than real….Embossed Leather vs Real Exotics

Leather can be made from a wide range of different types of animals.  Exotic hides, skins and furs have long been a sign of wealth.  The more exotic or rarer the more “prized” or “luxurious” the piece is deemed to be.  Exotics have become more and more of a touchy subject as often the most sought after real hides or animal skins come from endangered species.  Ostrich, Crocodile, Stingray, and Zebra are some of the most popular and classic animal hides or prints used in Interior Design.

There is still a strong market for real hides and most likely there will always be one.  That said there are far more faux or embossed alternatives on the market today that offer designers with not only more socially and environmentally conscious options, but offer you a greater range of flexibility with regards to use and cost. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Types of Leather

 

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Leather Care – Spills, heat and sunlight…

Properly cared for Leather is one of the most durable upholstery materials.  It will excel in a wide range of different applications and will outperform most other materials.  That said if you place your leather in environments or conditions that aren’t appropriate you can greatly effect the durability and performance of you leather.  Even when properly protected there are certain conditions that will have a negative impact on your leather.  Proper care and maintenance will help protect your leather against spills, but even proper care and maintenance won’t help protect your leather against the potential damage that heat and long exposure to direct sunlight can do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Leather Care

 

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Leather Care – General Care and Protection

A lot of people a scared off of leather as they think it is too hard to care for.  Or that vinyl or fabric is better and easier to care for in high traffic or heavy use areas.  The truth is that not only is leather fairly low maintenance it is one of the hardier materials in high traffic, high use areas.  Different types of leather do require specific care, but most of the care and maintenance is the same for all leather.

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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Leather Care

 

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Bi-Cast…the new “100% Italian Leather” or is it?

“100% Real Italian Leather” couches for $900 and club chairs for $250…all seems to good to be true and it is. Furniture companies in North America are taking advantage of consumers and skewing the public’s understanding as to what “real” leather is.

What few people in North America realize is that in North America Bi-cast leather is allowed to be sold as 100% Real Leather.  People every day are buying furniture that they think is real leather that is actually bi-cast. In most European countries, Australia and New Zealand bi-cast has to be marketed and sold as “coated” leather.

So what is Bi-cast (By-cast) leather.  Bi-cast leather is made from ground up split leather.  Split leather is the fibrous part of the hide that is separated from the upper part of the hide during the tanning process.  The split leather is ground up and blended with epoxies or glues and is then turned into a rolled good.  Next a layer

of plastic or vinyl is laminated to the rolled split. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Leather 101

 

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What does Corrected Leather mean?

As soon as the surfaces of a hide is altered in anyway it must be referred to as “Corrected”.  If a hide is corrected it doesn’t always mean that it is therefore an inferior product.  What determines that is the level of correction that the hide requires.  This is not something that is easy to determine as corrected hides are used to create Pigmented leather and a fake grain is embossed onto the hide in order to hide the corrections.

When a hide has scars, brands, blemishes or other deficiencies this damage must be fixed before the hide can be turned into a usable material.  Damage can occur in a number of different ways and often are a result of environmental factors as much as they are a result of the conditions the cattle were raised in.  Warmer locations tend to have more insects that can damage the hides than in more temperate location.  South American and Asian cattle are branded and often have scars as a result of barbed wire.  Most hides from South America and Asia have to be corrected in some way. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Leather 101

 

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Explaining Top and Full Grain

Most people have heard the terms Full Grain and Top Grain when it comes to describing leather.  These are probably two of the most misused terms in the leather industry in North America.  You will often here people referring to Full Grain as being “better” quality leather than Top Grain.  The reality is that they are referring to the same part or type of leather, but are helping to define two different things.

Most standard upholstery leather is 0.9-1mm thick.  In order to get the leather to this thickness the hide goes through what is referred to as splitting.  Splitting shaves or cuts layers off of the raw hide.  Raw hides can often start off in upwards of 5mm thick.  The upper most layer of the hide which has the skin part attached to it is what is referred to as the “Top” grain  as it is the Top layer of the hide.  The layers that have been shaved or cut from the Top layer are referred to as “Splits” as they have been split from the Top layer. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Leather 101, What is Grain?

 

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