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Thread: Ashley leather furniture

  1. #1
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    Dec 2017
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    Default Ashley leather furniture

    Hello, I am looking for advice after what has been a 4 year ongoing nightmare. Long story short, I purchased a durablend couch from Ashley which fell apart and was returned for credit. I then purchased a "top grain leather couch" which after 2 years has started peeling on my head rest area. The couch is an espresso brown and is revealing a yellow colored leather under what appears to be a paint like layer. If I rub the peeling area it peels away more material. I have contacted Ashley and after some fighting was given another credit for replacement. However, my confidence in their products is completely gone and a quick google search finds many complaints about peeling "top grain leather". I am working with under 5k but I'm considering going somewhere else to purchase a leather reclining sofa/love seat and just using the credit for bedroom furniture. Is this my best bet and just avoid Ashley leather all together? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ashley leather furniture

    "Real" leather does not peel. Any kind of peeling is a topcoat coming off the piece, most often that is seen on bicast and bonded leather products (which are in no way even close to being top grain). It's most likely the polypropylene (plastic) bonding agent that is coming off the cover. Bi-cast and Bonded are made of leather by-products or the Splits, which is the hide below the top grain. The polypropylene is literally holding the cover together and it can and does lift off over time. Neither is consider genuine leather in the industry.

    Real leather is either:

    FULL Top Grain (dyed leather, or aniline, or unprotected). This is the best leather in the world however it can fade in direct sunlight and pick up some staining.

    Top Grain (pigmented, finished, protected). This is still the upper crust of the hide however it is painted, rather than dyed. Like anything painted, it can wear away over time, but it will not peel.

    Ashley is not known for putting out quality products - your instincts are probably correct. There will not be any dual recliner sofa and loveseat combo out there in top grain for under $ 5k that is worth bringing home, trust me. Either go stationary or double your budget is my recommendation.
    Last edited by drcollie; 1 Week Ago at 06:49 PM.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Default Re: Ashley leather furniture

    Quote Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
    "Real" leather does not peel. Any kind of peeling is a topcoat coming off the piece, most often that is seen on bicast and bonded leather products (which are in no way even close to being top grain). It's most likely the polypropylene (plastic) bonding agent that is coming off the cover. Bi-cast and Bonded are made of leather by-products or the Splits, which is the hide below the top grain. The polypropylene is literally holding the cover together and it can and does lift off over time. Neither is consider genuine leather in the industry.

    Real leather is either:

    FULL Top Grain (dyed leather, or aniline, or unprotected). This is the best leather in the world however it can fade in direct sunlight and pick up some staining.

    Top Grain (pigmented, finished, protected). This is still the upper crust of the hide however it is painted, rather than dyed. Like anything painted, it can wear away over time, but it will not peel.

    Ashley is not known for putting out quality products - your instincts are probably correct. There will not be any dual recliner sofa and loveseat combo out there in top grain for under $ 5k that is worth bringing home, trust me. Either go stationary or double your budget is my recommendation.
    From what you described, it is actually top grain leather but I imagine just very poorly made. It's the paint layer peeling away to reveal the tan/yellow color of the undied leather underneath. Admittedly I never treated the surface with any products in 2 years and use hair gel so maybe this is what caused the paint to fail? I def can't double my budget so perhaps going with a similar setup with the credit and just using some type of protectant I can get more years out of it?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ashley leather furniture

    Are you or anyone familiar with the company called "Homestretch"? I went to a very reputable store locally that is selling the sofa and loveseat for 1900 each and claims to be made in the USA with top grain on all seating areas. Thanks again

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ashley leather furniture

    Again, I have never seen a top grain leather finish "peel" off, and I have handled thousands of leather pieces over the years. I seriously doubt Ashley is using that kind of hide, but without seeing it I cannot say for certain. It's the plastic coating that is failing, the bonding layer.

    As to the other company, if they say "Top Grain on all seating areas" then that means the arms, sides, back, kick panels, etc are again in sub-standard product, could be vinyl / bicast / bonded / splits, etc. THey may be doing the cushion casings in Top Grain, but not the rest of the piece. Good luck!
    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

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ashley leather furniture

    Here is a picture of the affected area. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond and I have already read your write up on proper care and products which I will ask for recommendation on which to purchase after we make a purchase.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ashley leather furniture

    Hard to say, that could go either way. Care products won't prevent that, however. That's a topcoat loss from poor adhesion at the point of production.
    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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ashley leather furniture

    Okay thanks for the feedback. I'm a car guy and I figured this equates to painting a car without a proper primer to make the paint "stick" to the bare metal.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ashley leather furniture

    It would be more like putting paint over a non-prepped ABS bumper cover.....guaranteed to come off!
    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. #10
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    Dec 2017
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    Default Re: Ashley leather furniture

    lol very true, Especially with the flexing material! Thanks again, please let me know what products you recommend to treat the new couch with. I am decided on the Homestretch leather pieces with the match backing. I can deal with the inferior back pieces for some quality leather seating.

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