Thursday, January 3, 2019

How to Tell the Difference between Imitation and Real Leather Furniture

Leather furniture is a common staple in most homes. From its good looks to how easy it is to keep clean, many homeowners prefer leather for their furniture. If you’re looking to add a leather piece or full living room set to your home, it’s important to do your research and recognize the difference between real and imitation leather furniture.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between real and imitation leather. Sometimes, even the experts have a hard time with it. That’s why it’s important to know the differences between the two, and to trust the manufacturer when you are choosing a leather sofa for your home.

Keep in mind the many differences between imitation and real leather furniture. The main differences can be summed up by your senses, from smell to touch to durability. Once you’ve finished reading these tips, you’ll understand the difference between imitation and real leather just in time for your next furniture shopping trip.

beautiful whote leather furniture

Look, Touch, and Smell

The leather finish makes a difference in its feel and durability. Natural hide markings and even wrinkles in the leather are common in full aniline leather furniture. It has the most natural, luxurious feel, but also easily scratches. Semi-aniline leather will have some of the natural feel of full aniline leather, but it has a protective topcoat. Pigmented or finished leather is buffed and coated. This process removes imperfections and makes it more durable and cleanable.

When you touch genuine leather, it should be soft and supple, but also slightly uneven. Real leather will also feel warm when you sit on it and more pliable. Imitation leather often feels cold when you initially sit on it, it is also smoother to the touch and feels stiff.

You can often smell genuine leather upon entering a furniture showroom. The smell of real leather is very distinct, rich, and appealing. While imitation leather may have an unpleasant chemical aroma due to the processing it undergoes in order to be used as furniture.

Read the Label

Another way to determine if a product is real or faux is to look at the labels and price. Genuine leather labels will use terms such as nubuck, aniline or pigmented leather. Imitation leather may be labeled as Naugahyde, bonded leather or pleather. The price of genuine leather is generally higher than imitation leather. However, you can still find good leather furniture at a reasonable price.

Even though imitation leather can be less expensive than real leather, it is not always a bargain. It is less durable and lasts a fraction of the time that genuine leather lasts. You rarely hear about an imitation leather sofa being passed down to the next generation. However, there is nothing like the comfort and durability of genuine leather. While imitation leather may crack, peel, or otherwise show wear and tear, real leather develops a patina with use that is a part of its charm.

With a little bit of sleuthing, the information on the label can tell you a lot about the piece of furniture you are eyeing. Most companies and manufacturers will happily supply a description of the type of leather used in their furniture. If they do not, ask. If the salesperson or manufacture avoids the question or tries to confuse you, go elsewhere.

When you know the difference between real and imitation leather, you’ll be able to ensure that whatever piece of furniture you are purchasing is exactly what you want.

Find more design inspiration and read Baer's Furniture reviews on Houzz. Yiu can find beautiful, genuine leather furniture at a Baer's Furniture store near you.

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