Trust me I know furniture can be a scary purchase & when it comes to leather furniture it can be even scarier! In a world full of retailers who tout genuine leather furniture, only to send you home with something that peels & chips six months later (yikes) is unacceptable. That seems to be the norm in furniture, unfortunately. However, at Virginia Furniture Market we educate our customers. So I am here today to share a few real leather facts & how to spot real leather the next time you’re in a furniture store!
1) There are two main types of leather used in furniture; they are Split & Top Grain Leather.
Top grain leather comes from the epidermis layer of the hide, a.k.a. the rough outer part of the hide similar to the top layer of our skin. Split leather is the layer right below the epidermis layer on the hide. Split leather is a more cost-effective option but does not have the same strength as top grain leather. So make sure when shopping you ask what type of leather the piece is made of.
2) It can take up to 400 pounds of pressure to puncture leather!
Talk about something that is built to last. You’ll have to break out the power tools to pop a hole in a leather sofa.
3) If the price is too good to be true, it’s probably not real leather.
Leather is expensive; it costs more to produce a leather sofa. My father always told me “if you want quality you’re going to pay for it.” A leather sofa will cost a little more but remember a leather sofa typically outlasts a cloth sofa’s life by 3x.
4) Zippers are the key to telling if its real or fake leather!
Quality furniture has zippers!!! If you remember anything from this post remember that. Zippers give you the ability to re-stuff your furniture years down the line when things start to sag. But even more importantly, zippers give you the ability to look at the hide.
Which one of these chairs is leather if you had to guess?
If you guessed left you are correct! The way to tell this is by looking on the backside of the hide/fabric.
The real leather chair on the backside of the hide will feel & look natural along with a leather smell
If you look above fake leather will typically have a man-made material on the backside of the fake leather, which is a direct giveaway that it is not a genuine product. Always remember when shopping for furniture that it’s okay to get your hands a little dirty and inspect a product. In the end, it’s going to be in your home so make sure its right :)!
5) If it adjusts to your body temperature quickly it’s probably leather!
Leather is a natural material meaning that it soaks up the oils in your skin as well as heat that your body gives off. So when in doubt sit it out! After about thirty seconds, you should be able to feel the leather change and adjust to your body temperature. If it’s still cold after you’ve been sitting for a couple of minutes…. its probably not leather.
If you’ve made it this far, I Ryan the Real, officially crown you a leather professional. In a world of imitation leathers, you will be guaranteed to spot the fakes like a pro. However, if you decide leather is right for you, visit Virginia Furniture Market and one of our professionals will be honest with you when it comes to this mysterious thing called leather. So next time, skip the research and make your way down to VFM and learn the benefits of real top grain leather!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!