Tuesday, 5 August 2014

A Short Guide to Buying Leather Furniture Online

Leather conjures up all kinds of images for each individual. Deciding to buy leather furniture may be a statement that you've "arrived" and desire a luxurious, sophisticated, even an aristocratic ambiance to your home. While the images of leather lean toward a more upscale buyer, finding affordable leather furniture is possible. Once the decision to purchase leather furniture has been made, it's time to answer these questions: what are the advantages of leather, what really is leather, what to look for, and what to buy? Follow the tips of a buying guide to leather and ease your way to long lasting comfort that ages with graceful elegance.

Leather Basics:
Leather is a by product of the beef industry and puts to excellent use hides that may otherwise go to waste. Through an ancient process called tanning, the hides are transformed into soft supple leather. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes the art of tanning best; "tan - to convert (hide) into leather by treatment with an infusion of tannin-rich bark or other agent of similar affect." Now that a simple explanation of the leather process has been explained let's move on to the different types of leather available.
In the world of leather, not all leathers are created equal. While some retain the natural markings and variations that speak to so many people, some leathers are rendered through various methods which remove the grain and any unique characteristics giving the overall appearance of sameness. Before stepping into a furniture gallery to locate the leather furniture that fits your d├ęcor, learn a bit about the various grades and types of leather.
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Full Grain
The most desirable leather, full grain, remains natural. The markings from bug bites, a scar from a barb wire fence, or the tiny wrinkles that occur on skin are evident. These marks of living give unique characteristics to the hide. A palpable texture to the grain offers another pleasant reason to prefer full grain leather for furniture.
Top Grain
If the label "top grain" is on a tag or mentioned by a sales person, the reference is to where the leather was cut rather than the grade. Do not confuse full grain, which speaks to the characteristics of the leather with top grain, which simply means it has not been split. While searching make sure cushions, backs and large areas were cut from the top grain and not from split or vinyl added fabrics.
Aniline dyed leather comes with various names depending on the manufacturer or the furniture company. You may come across names like premium aniline, naked aniline, aniline full grain, or true aniline, they're all the same. Aniline is leather that has been dyed all the way through. A soft, pliable texture caresses the hand as it runs over full grain aniline leather. The porous nature of aniline leather allows it to breathe which in turn makes it that much more durable. A rule of thumb to keep in mind when buying leather furniture: the softer the leather the higher grade it is and expect to pay a higher price.
While searching for the best leather furniture that suits unique needs and desires you may come across the word antiqued in relationship to leather. Antiqued leather has been dyed twice, first in a light color and then a darker one to give variation and an added dimension of age. This process is also called distressed leather.
By buffing the outer side of the hide, strong durable leather called NuBuck is created. Velvety to the touch, NuBuck differs from suede because the outside is processed rather than the inside.
Pigmented or Painted
Leather Furniture with a uniform appearance that lacks the individual characteristics of full grain leather, called pigmented or painted, tends to be the leather most often used in the furniture industry. Sealing with a finishing agent makes it less breathable which lessens the durability with an end result of less expense when buying leather furniture.
Homework or what to consider before leaving home: By answering a few questions, you'll have a good idea of what you're looking for before ever leaving home for the shopping adventure
1.Location, location, location. What room will the leather furniture set your buying go into? Is it for the living room, the den, a family room? Leather does have a tendency to fade in the sun so be aware of placement.
2.How many people live in your home? Do you have children? Pets?
3.How do you sit on a sofa or chair? Do you sit "in" it or "on" it? If you sit in it you prefer to nestle down into the cushions and back; if you set on it you sit more upright with feet touching the floor.
4.How much money are you planning to spend when buying leather furniture? It's a good idea to have a budget in mind.
5.What is the size of the room? This is the time to measure and plan the location of the leather furniture. The size relationship of the leather furniture to the room plays an important part in how well the room will look.
6.Spend some time online looking at leather furniture and the features various companies offer.

The Advantages of Buying Leather Furniture
Besides the aesthetic value of leather furniture's unique characteristics and rich sophistication, leather is a great value even though it's at the high end of the furniture buying spectrum. What makes it such a great value?
1.Durability. Leather furniture lasts about 4 times longer than cloth covered. It will stain if spills are left unattended, but spills on leather are easily wiped off.
2.The tough nature of leather allows for rough housing children and pets on the furniture.
3.As leather furniture ages it acquires a patina, a soft sheen to the leather from age and use that is desirable and attractive.
4.Warm in the winter and cool in the summer, leather is furniture for all seasons.
5.Caring for leather is a breeze. Wipe up spills with a soft cloth or use manufacturer's recommended products. Because liquid bubbles up and is wiped off makes leather a great addition to any room.
6.Non-allergenic with an added feature of stretching to mold to the shape of your body.
Kicking the Tires at the Store
Once you've answered the lifestyle questions, pondered the advantages of buying leather furniture, and have learned some of the industry jargon, it's time to take the plunge into the galleries to find the set you've been dreaming of.
1.Take a good look around the showroom. Be sure you are armed with notebook and pen and jotting down notes as you walk along.
2.Don't forget to check frames. What good is full grain leather on a weak frame? (See a "Buying Guide to Sofas" for more information on frames and what to look for)
3.Stand back 3 feet from the furniture. Do you like what you see? Are there pulls? Is the stitching even and taut?
4.Run your hands over the piece feeling the grain. Is it supple and buttery?
5.It's time to sit in or on the sofa, whichever is your preferred way of relaxing. How does it feel? Don't forget to lie down for several minutes.
6.Get the low down on the cushions and any options you may have. Remove the cushions and take a look at the deck of the sofa or chair. When pressed, the deck should be firm.

The Sale is in the Details
Now is the time to pick the brain of the leather furniture dealer. Ask questions. Ask about the type of leather used. Where did it come from? Is it top grain? Impress with your knowledge. Is it 100% full grain with no splits or vinyl? Insist on a warranty and walk away if none is offered. Ask about colors and if you may take swatches home. Inquire about delivery and the cost of delivering the leather furniture you're buying. Question the sales associate in respect to return policies if something is amiss upon delivery. After the barrage of questions have been answered to your complete satisfaction, take all the information you've gathered home. Think about it, talk about it, sleep on it. If you just can't stop thinking about the beautiful full grain texture with unique characteristics and the soft fabulous feel of the luscious leather, you know you love it. It's time for buying leather furniture. One company that sells top quality leather furniture online is Emfurn.