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Thread: Leather Furniture and what you can - and cannot expect

  1. #11
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    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: Leather Furniture and what you can - and cannot expect

    I don't particularly like the terms "Unprotected" and "Protected" because it implies one is fragile and the other is armored, and its not true in either one. What is a scratch but a pressure mark? Your fingernails can exert quite a bit at the tip of fingernail as we all know. Certain leathers such as pull-ups are designed to color-burst when pressure is applied and that is frequently the 'scratch' that one hears about. They can be 'pushed-out' by head and pressure from the palm of ones hands. In finished leather (Protected) there is a painted top coat. Its harder to scratch a painted surface but its doesn't mean you can't do it. Most anilines have some kind of a topcoat on them. Sometimes its a wax, other times teflon - but its always thin and doesn't interfere with the beauty of the leather. A Semi-Aniline has a heavier topcoat with pigmentation added.

    As a general rule, the softer the leather, the less topcoat is on them. More topcoat + more resistance to things. In H&M, Equestrian and any of the Burnished leathers are a great choice for Anilines that can take a lot of wear and tear and still look good.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  2. #12
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    Jan 2015
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    Port Neches Tx
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    Default Re: Leather Furniture and what you can - and cannot expect

    I was just wondering about Burnished leather today and how it compared with Protected leather. Is it just a light coloring or is it painted on like I've read that a protected coating is. Would it chip or wear on welting etc. When I think of burnished, I think rubbed to smooth out. Like burnishing an edge of a scraper tool.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Leather Furniture and what you can - and cannot expect

    Burnished leather is a toner coat applied to a pure aniline hide and then sealed onto the leather. I have it in my own home. It has a good track record for holding up well.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Leather Furniture and what you can - and cannot expect

    An update to this thread as this seemed a good place to post this topic.

    One or two customers a year receive their leather furniture and will decide they have a defect or damage in their leather and pursue a remedy for that aggressively. This mostly happens on distance deliveries as any local ones to my store I can simply go over to the customer's home and see the piece easily enough. However when there are many hundreds of miles distance, that's not possible. Customers will send me photographs, but those photos are largely un-reliable, as the cameras are not good enough to show the kind of high resolution for that kind of evaluation and they are sometimes run through Photoshop to exaggerate any markings to make them more dramatic. The only sure-fire way is to have someone who knows leather very well to take a look at it. Often this means the piece has to be returned to the maker to be looked at, which incurs transport costs to and from. In 85% to 90% of all returns done this way, there is nothing wrong with the hide - its natural markings. I kid you not. EIGHTY-FIVE TO NINETY PERCENT. The remaining 10% to 15% is split between freight damage and / or defective leather.

    When a customer does this return process - at their expense - they expect something to be done to the piece to correct it in their eyes. However, if there is nothing wrong with the item and it meets the build and quality control standards, then nothing will be done except to return it to the customer. This is not what that customer wants to hear, and most often they will refuse to accept the piece back. This creates an entire set of new problems as it then becomes 'abandoned freight' and will eventually be disposed of. Typically challenges of legal action, credit card chargebacks and the like develop and it gets difficult. All the explaining in the world does not change their thinking because they have a perception of the hide being flawed when it is not.

    Folks, remember that leather, REAL LEATHER is the skin of an animal. It is not perfect any more than your own skin is perfect. If you demand a 100% unflawed and totally uniform surface on your upholstery, then buy vinyl or bonded / bi-cast leather, which are essentially plastics and are done with a mold. You cannot get this perfection out of genuine top grain leather. Some hides will be 'cleaner' than others, and severe flaws are 'marked out' during the layout and cutting phase of the hide. Things such as healed scars, tick bites, fat wrinkles, grain variances and the like will be left in the leather and used. Most all the time, this is what that customer that has returned their furniture is seeing. While the vast majority of customers are very pleased with that is delivered to them, if you know you are a person seeking perfection in a leather piece, then you should buy local off the floor where you can examine the piece throughly before purchase to make sure it meets the standards you have set.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Leather Furniture and what you can - and cannot expect

    if I may add my two cents (and I usually do!)......last year I got a recliner in Capri claret. When it arrived, I was bowled over by how very beautiful it was (and still is). That being said, the leather in the seat had this weird wavy pattern. It was very faint, but of course, I noticed it. I was sick, but I didn't do anything about it. And here's the thing.....in under a week, I had come to love it. It made my recliner special -- a one-of-a-kind. In short, it had character.

    A year of so later, this wavy pattern has gotten a bit more noticeable. This is not due to sun exposure; its cleaned regularly, yada, yada, yada. And you know what? I love it even more now than when it first arrived. There's a lot to be said about character. Once in a while, someone will comment on it. My response is, "Yes, isn't it beautiful? I wonder what part of the cow it came from."

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Leather Furniture and what you can - and cannot expect

    Here's a few photos I took today of some leather pieces that are perfectly acceptable, but would be considered unacceptable faults by those looking for perfection such as one would get with a vinyl covering. First is the back of a H&M Sundance sofa in Portfolio Claret, you can see welts in the hide at this angle. This is not a defect, this is a natural marking.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next are these wonderful fat wrinkles on Weston Cane Burnished. I've had people say "I can't stand the stripes", and all that tells when they say that is they are not used to seeing real leather:

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    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    95

    Default Re: Leather Furniture and what you can - and cannot expect

    That's what the strippe in the seat of my recliner are -- fat wrinkles! I love it! Mine are much more subtle, and they are a but wavy. But as I said earlier, I like the character of it.

    BTW...I've had back surgery twice since late February (Happy birthday to me!), and o haven't been able to sit in my recliner for a while. I have a friend who has repeatedly said what a shame it is that I can't enjoy it. But she's wrong...I enjoy looking at it, and I rub my hand across it when I walk by it! Meanwhile, Leon Kitty has taken it for his own. But I am now able to sit in the first reclined position with a small pillow behind my back for short periods. And I have no doubt that eventually, I'll be napping there again! Still my favorite purchase in a long, long time.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Minneapolis
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    144

    Default Re: Leather Furniture and what you can - and cannot expect

    Hi Duane,

    I saw this photo of a pottery barn sofa online today: ]

    I was just wondering, what happened to the leather that made is so loose and wrinkly, and how do you prevent that from happening?Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #19
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    Default Re: Leather Furniture and what you can - and cannot expect

    That is one used-up sofa. Used and Abused.

    1) Sun Damage, lots of it
    2) High use
    3) Low Cow Hide Grade, not High Quality Steer Hides - Steer hides stretch out much less than Cow Hides.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    6

    Default Re: Leather Furniture and what you can - and cannot expect

    Quote Originally Posted by drcollie View Post

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next are these wonderful fat wrinkles on Weston Cane Burnished. I've had people say "I can't stand the stripes", and all that tells when they say that is they are not used to seeing real leather:

    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	276 
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ID:	7243Click image for larger version. 

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    I love the fat wrinkles. No two are alike. My chairs in Tiburon Sable have some, but they are difficult to see against the darkness of the colorway.

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