The leather couch: a comprehensive guide




A leather couch adds a touch of elegance to every room. Although leather sofas are in general a little bit more expensive, the investment definitely pays of over time, since leather is very durable and requires little maintenance and care. As such it is a good choice also for families or households with animals. With the right care a leather sofa can last a lifetime and become a centerpiece of your room. In this article we will provide you with everything you need to know about this wonderful piece of furniture.

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Smooth or rough leather?
smooth leather couch
Smooth leather couch

There are some things to consider when it comes to a leather couch. Generally speaking, you can choose between smooth and rough leather. Smooth leather sofas are easier to maintain and repel dirt and dampness more easily. They are available in a wide range of colors, since it is easier to stain smooth leather than rough leather. One of the downsides of smooth leather couches, however, is that they are more prone to scratches. Thus they are not ideal for families and households with animals. Besides, they have a tendency to stick to bare flesh, which can be uncomfortable during warm summer months.

Rough leather sofas hide scratches better and will not stick to bare skin as easily. However, they are more difficult to clean and maintain. Typical rough leather types are nubuck leather or suede leather.

The different types of leather

Aniline Leather

Aniline leather is porous and dyeing through with a transparent dye. It has a natural, warm and soft grip and the natural markings of the hide are still visible making each piece unique. Leather furniture with aniline leather is usually quite expensive and sensitive, since it is not protected and water or moisture can sink in easily and darken the surface.

Semi-Aniline Leather

Semi-aniline leather is more robust and more water-resistant than aniline leather, since it has a thin surface coating of dye. Besides, a leather couch or leather sectional couch upholstered with semi-aniline leather is usually less expensive. Nevertheless, semi-aniline leather still requires a lot of care and maintenance.

Nappa leather

Nappa leather is perfect for a leather couch or sleeper sofa. It is very soft and durable. This smooth leather that has previously been tanned with chromium can be made from all sorts of hides such as calf or sheep.

Nubuck leather

Nubuck leather is rough leather that comes from the top portion of the hide. It feels warm and soft and has a slight nap, because it has been corrected on one side.

Suede leather

Suede leather is similar in appearance to nubuck leather. However, it is less durable than nubuck, since nubuck is top grain leather. Suede is created by buffing and sanding split leather from the lower portion of the hide.

Characteristics of a leather couch

Each leather couch has its own identity based on the specific leather used to upholster the furniture. High quality leather is durable and water-repellent, turning leather couches or leather sectionals into lifelong companions that are easy to maintain and robust. Most stains can simply be washed off and do not leave any marks on the sofa.

A leather couch ages with time due to its exposure to light and the sun as well as regular use, giving leather sofas a characteristic patina. This can become a disadvantage though because intensive light irradiation can stain leather furniture. Besides, some people argue that leather is a cold material, however, the higher the quality of the leather for the leather couch the faster it warms up when you sit on it.

Colors for leather sofas
white leather couch
White leather couch

Leather couches and leather recliners are available in a variety of colors. The most popular options are a black leather couch, a brown leather couch or a white leather couch. For those who like a little bit more color, a red leather couch could be a great choice. Leather sofas in darker colors are obviously easier to maintain and clean than their lighter counterparts. However, a white leather sofa can look more elegant and give your room a special aura. Keep in mind though, that white sofas are no good choice if you have kids or animals. In this case, rather consider a black or brown leather sofa or a blue sofa.

How to clean and maintain a leather couch?

Leather furniture is easy to clean and maintain. With the right care your leather couch can last a lifetime. Here are some things you should keep in mind:

  • Beware of direct sun exposure and heaters, both can dry out and stain the leather.
  • Wipe down your leather couch with a soft cotton cloth at least once a week to wipe off the dust. Repeat the procedure with a slightly wet cloth once a month.
  • Never use aggressive detergents to clean the leather sofa. They can cause irreparable damage.
  • While cleaning the sofa keep in mind that gentler is always better. Small stains can be brushed away using a brush with soft bristles. Do not rub. Rubbing can cause glossy spots. Water stains should be removed immediately using a soft cloth.
  • When in doubt always contact a professional.

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