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Is all leather the same?

No! For a start there is an enormous difference between the quality of the leather used in two identical-looking sofas. Many of the cheaper sofas these days are made from pig and goat hide, rather than luxury cowhide, meaning they are of poor quality and not the real deal. Low grade leather will feel stiff and plasticky, rather than the soft, luxurious feel you’re used to – it’s pretty easy to tell the difference. Keep an eye out when you’re looking for your new leather sofa or just stay right here, where all of our leathers are 100% real cowhide! Now you’re aware of the basics, let’s look at the different leather options out there:

5Semi Aniline Leather

Super smooth, semi-Aniline leather is a common choice for those buying a new leather sofa. The result is very modern as well as highly durable due to the light coating that protects the leather. This type of leather is far more soft and luxurious than the standard coated leather that many of the lower-priced sofas use and is a popular choice here at Darlings of Chelsea

Full Aniline Leather

This is the most luxurious leather you will come across. It is dyed using soluble dyes without covering the surface or creating a top coat and as a result retains the hide’s natural surface with the ‘grain’ of the original skin structure of the animal. The deep dying of the leather means it doesn’t scratch like other leathers, but it does need regular care and attention.

Extra Thick/Double Thickness

As you may have guessed, this leather is 1.5-2x thicker than standard leather. As a result, it’s highly durable and very well protected. Thick leather looks incredible on larger suites and retains the soft, luxurious feel despite the extra weight.

Natural Waxed Hide

Natural waxed hide or pull up aniline leather has all the benefits of semi-aniline, but with the added protection of an oil or wax applied to give it a distressed look. As well as being very stylish, this leather is highly durable and well protected against stains and marks, making it a popular choice among leather sofa buyers.

Pigmented Leather

A layer of pigment is applied to cover most of the natural imperfections which exist in every skin. The grain is then embossed onto the skin and a protective coating is applied, which gives good wear characteristics, high light resistance and consistent colour. It is less soft to the touch than Aniline, but is particularly easy to care for.

Antique LeatherLeather

This has a two part surface pigment process: after the furniture has been made up, part of the top coat is rubbed off by hand to expose the contrast colour underneath, creating the effect of ageing. The top colour continues to wear away in use, enhancing the Antique appearance.

Nubuck Leather

This type of leather is dyed and its surface is buffed to give a soft velvety feel, smoother than suede. Nubuck is not suitable for family use, as it is particularly prone to staining and soiling.