How To Choose Leather Furniture

Leather Guide hero

Leather furniture lends a timeless aesthetic that’s luxurious, durable, and comfortable, and works well with many interiors. Our leather furniture is crafted using top grain or full-grain leathers that are soft and supple, each with unique characteristics.

Because leather is a natural material, each hide will have different physical characteristics, which means no two pieces of leather furniture will be exactly alike. The appearance of leather furniture is only one consideration when choosing the best leather furniture for your home. It’s also important to think about texture, durability, and use.

Full-Aniline Leather

Full-Aniline Leather Chair

The most natural looking leather, full-aniline leather retains the unique physical characteristics of the hide. Color is achieved by immersing hides in transparent, nontoxic dyes. Full-aniline leather does not receive any surface pigment. While this type of leather may have less surface protection than semi-aniline and pigmented leathers, it is softer, and will develop a lustrous patina over time.

Semi-Aniline Leather

Semi-aniline leather chair

Semi-aniline leather includes a small amount of clear or pigmented coating. This top coat offers a more uniform appearance and soft texture, with slightly better protection from staining and fading.

Pigmented Leather

Pigmented Leather Chair

A pigmented color coating on the leather hides provides a more uniform appearance and hides imperfections. While this type of surface coating increases durability and resistance to staining and fading, pigmented leather does not develop a rich patina over time.

Nubuck

Nubuck leather chair

Nubuck is a top grain, aniline-dyed leather that has been lightly buffed to create a suede-like nap or pile. Nubuck has a soft texture, and tends to wear better than suede, which makes it a more durable option.

Specialty Leather

Specialty Leather Chair

Some of our furnishings are crafted using specialty leather, like hair-on-hide, Tibetan wool, and suede. Hair-on-hide and Tibetan wool are leather hides with the hair still on it. Due to unique characteristics of natural hides, there will be variance in hair color and length, as well as cowlicks, whorls, and patterns.

Customization

Customization option

Visit a Signature Store near you and meet with one of our talented designers to create the perfect mix of style and comfort in a range of luxurious leathers. Or, use our online customization tool to visualize select upholstery frames in your choice of leather or fabric.

Leather Characteristics

Patina

patina characteristic

Certain types of leather, such as full-aniline leather and nubuck, will develop a beautiful luster and character that grows more beautiful with time.

Natural Characteristics

natural characteristics of leather

Because leather is a natural material, you may notice markings in the grain, like wrinkles or healed scars, that lend to its unique characteristics and distinguish it from man-made materials like vinyl.

Color Variations

color variations of leather

You may notice variations in color due to a hide’s ability to accept dyes differently in various parts of the hide, and because it takes more than one hide to cover most furniture styles.

Scratches

scratches from everyday use

Despite its durability, leather will show scratches and scuffs, especially in high traffic households with kids and pets. A well-worn (and loved) appearance gives your leather furniture unique character.

Stretching

stretching of leather

Leather naturally stretches with time and use, so it’s common for leather furniture to show wrinkles or puddling on seats and backs. Some types of cushions, like bench seats, may stretch more than others.

Seams

seams in leather

Leather furniture styles may have more seams than the same style in fabric.

Patina

patina characteristic

Certain types of leather, such as full-aniline leather and nubuck, will develop a beautiful luster and character that grows more beautiful with time.

Natural Characteristics

natural characteristics of leather

Because leather is a natural material, you may notice markings in the grain, like wrinkles or healed scars, that lend to its unique characteristics and distinguish it from man-made materials like vinyl.

Color Variations

color variations of leather

You may notice variations in color due to a hide’s ability to accept dyes differently in various parts of the hide, and because it takes more than one hide to cover most furniture styles.

Scratches

scratches from everyday use

Despite its durability, leather will show scratches and scuffs, especially in high traffic households with kids and pets. A well-worn (and loved) appearance gives your leather furniture unique character.

Stretching

stretching of leather

Leather naturally stretches with time and use, so it’s common for leather furniture to show wrinkles or puddling on seats and backs. Some types of cushions, like bench seats, may stretch more than others.

Seams

seams in leather

Leather furniture styles may have more seams than the same style in fabric.

Care Instructions

Leather Furniture is easy to care for, and the more you use it, the better it looks. Just keep it out of direct sun and heat. Dust it regularly, and occasionally wipe it down with a soft cloth dampened in distilled water.