Whether you are planning a full furniture makeover or already have beautiful leather pieces in your home, proper care of your leather pieces can offer you a sophisticated and classic look for any room in your home. Like most things in a busy house, day-to-day use can cause your leather furniture to collect debris, lose its natural oils, and appear dull without proper care. Professional cleaning can help families keep their timeless and durable leather furniture lasting for years.
At First Coast Home Pros, our team of experienced cleaners can care for all types of leather, helping you extend its longevity and keep it looking like the day you purchased it. Our Fernandina Beach cleaning and home improvement services can clean leather couches, chairs, ottomans, and more. Schedule your Fernandina Beach leather cleaning services today to enjoy the comfort and luxury of your leather furniture for longer.
What Is Leather?
The leather material used in furniture manufacturing is a natural material created by tanning hides of various animals. The most prevalently used leather in furniture is sourced from cows. Bovine leather is typically the most popular and cost-effective source for furniture leather, but other sources may come from sheep, goat, zebra, and kangaroo.
Since leather is a natural material, every hide used and piece of furniture made from the leather will be unique. Like a human fingerprint, it is impossible to create duplicates. For leather, this means that each piece of furniture has a history captured within each hide piece’s appearance as the leather changes throughout the tanning process.
Most Common Types of Leather Used on Furniture
Due to the wide variety of leather used in furniture, it is important to understand leather terminology. Most types of leather can be used for upholstering furniture. Though seven types are generally used, the five listed here are the most commonly used leathers.
The most luxurious leather furniture is crafted using full-grain leather made from only the highest quality animal hides that are as close to blemish-free as possible. Full-grain leather is not split, and the undiminished hide thickness is utilized. Full-grain leather has a thickness that can be more resistant to damage from mechanisms but also creates difficulty in molding around edges and corners.
Full-grain leather’s thickness means more fats and natural oils can be retained in the material, increasing the longevity of products made using full-grain leather. Unlike other leather products, full-grain leather is not corrected or buffed at the surface. The outward parts of the furniture are left untouched, allowing the natural grain and uniqueness of each hide to be showcased.
Coming in just behind full-grain leather, top-grain leather is a split leather that has been thinned with the top-grain buffed out. The appearance of top-grain leather is not as robust but provides a more uniform finish. Top-grain leather is easier to shape around sharp edges and corners without creating creases.
Corrected-grain leather is top-grain leather that has been embossed using an artificial grain impressed onto the surface. Corrected grain creates a unique decorative grain that is not found in nature. The embossing process mimics the grain found in exotic leathers with a lower price tag.
The upper surfaces of the hide contain the toughest fibers. These surfaces are used in the creation of top-grain leather. The remaining portion is used to create split-grain leather.
Split-grain leather is more flexible and softer than full-grain and top-grain leather, with a fuzzy appearance on both the flesh and grain sides. Split-grain leather is less durable and more fragile due to the weaker fibers. Split-grain leather has the top grain completely removed and will have no visible appearance change, nor will it have a polished, shiny finish like other leathers.
Suede and Nubuck Leathers
Both suede and nubuck leather have a similar velvety appearance, though these two types of leather have vast discrepancies in the manufacturing process, durability, and price. This leather is typically created using calfskin, though any leather may be used to create suede and nubuck leather. In suede, the top grain receives light sanding from the inside, whereas in nubuck, the top grain receives light sanding from the outside.
Making Your Leather Last
Proper care and cleaning of your leather furniture will keep it looking like new for years to come. Weekly dusting and vacuuming of leather pieces by our maid services will prevent the material from becoming scratched and dull. Professional cleaning done at least once yearly is necessary to keep your leather supple and conditioned to ensure long time use.
The location where you keep leather furniture in a room can be an important factor in how long your leather lasts. Since leather is created using animal skin, you should care for it similarly to how you would care for your skin. Never place your furniture in direct sunlight, near a heater or fireplace, or directly under an air conditioner vent.
Improper placement of your leather furniture can cause the leather to fade or begin to crack. Sunlight on the furniture is okay for part of the day, but damage to the leather can occur with long-term exposure. Leather can be in heated or air-conditioned rooms but should never be kept directly next to or under the source.
Cleaning vs Deodorizing
You should note that cleaning and deodorizing are different processes. Cleaning requires using a dry, soft cloth on all leather furniture surfaces. Deodorizing removes any potent smells lingering in your home that have settled on your leather furniture.
Not every deodorizing process is appropriate for all types of leather. Some leather can handle the acidity of white vinegar, while others will be destroyed through this deodorizing process. For odors such as smoke, place a full bag of coffee grounds nearby to absorb the smell.
Leave the Cleaning to Us
Furniture can be made from a variety of leather types, and knowing which cleaning method is best for your pieces can be difficult. Leave the cleaning to the professionals at First Coast Home Pros. Contact us today to schedule a cleaning service appointment using our online form.