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Thread: Document Latte Leather

  1. #1
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    Default Document Latte Leather

    I just started researching new furniture and came across your site. I went to a local H+M dealer but all they had was the Austin. I liked it ok but then I looked online and found the Westwood which I really liked. They quoted me a price and said it only comes in the Document Latte leather at that price. Sounds like one of the H+M promo deals. The color would work for us. I have read your opinion on this particular leather and also read some horror stories about it in other threads. Is this leather really that bad or is it more a case of improper care? I don't want to drop thousands of dollars on something that will give me problems. Also, how much more would this sofa cost in a grade 2 or 3 leather that wears better? My household has no kids or pets. I have also requested a quote in your quote section.
    Last edited by jeffmb; 07-14-2018 at 05:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Document Latte Leather

    The Westwood came about in an effort to update the Austin High Back sofa, which has been around FOREVER. Customers love the look of the Sundance sofa yet many wanted the comfort of the Austin, so H&M commissioned the designer of the Sundance to make that marriage happen - and the Westwood is the result I have to say when I have an Austin High Back and the Westwood both in the store together - 90% of the people that try them out will prefer the Westwood, it's a pretty terrific piece. As you found out, however - Document Latte is the is the only leather offered in promotional pricing.

    Document is probably the top-selling leather H&M has, because its soft, supple, drapes nice and is price-friendly. It's a finished leather which means its top-coated (painted) and over time I have seen small flecks of finish flake off as the piece ages. Not a huge deal, it can be touched up with a little water-based paint. In some colors (but not all) it can be too aggressively shaded for my tastes as well. What do I think about Document? Well, I think it serves an excellent price point - and a lot of people want to BE in a price point. If you are not price-sensitive, then you can get more interesting leathers as a cover but they will come at a significant premium. For some its worth it - others its not. Many H&M dealers sell virtually nothing but Document, because its comes on a number of program sofas. It's not problematic - this is Hancock and Moore after all - it really depends on if you like the hide and what budget you want to work within.

    Would I order Document for myself? Probably not - but I'm a leather aficionado. To me, premium leathers are worth the cost. However I will temper that with the fact I'd rather have H&M build quality in a promotional hide than a lesser brand build in a higher quality leather. It's all about the frame and suspension at the end of the day.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Document Latte Leather

    Duane,
    Thanks for the info. From what I've read so far in these forums you are a furniture savant. As far as the finish flaking on the Document, is this unique to the Chinese leathers or do pretty much all painted leathers do this? I am price sensitive to a point(as are most people I would think) but do not want to spend a bunch of money on something I won't love. I look forward to receiving your reply to my quote request for the Westwood sofa and 2 recliners in a better grade of leather.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Document Latte Leather

    All finished leather loses color at some point. It's just paint. Take any paint on any kind of item and add friction - it will eventually come off. Add to the fact that leather is moving, not a rigid surface - and then make it soft so you use less paint - and you can see why it happens. This is why I really dislike the term PROTECTED leather, which everyone uses to suggest there is an coating of some kind of armor on the leather - there is not - it's just paint. Antelope is a GR 4 finished leather from Germany, and it is more susceptible to paint chips than Document because its put on so thinly to keep the hide supple. So country of origin doesn't matter.

    Aniline leathers have there own set of issues, but they are dyed. A dyed leather has nothing to sluff or chip off, however they are more likely to sun fade and can also pick up stains more easily and some can set and be permanent. However, they will build patina over time which finished leathers will not -so properly cared for and not abused, they can keep a nice look a very long time which feeling richer as well. Alas, aniline hides are almost always more costly.

    The real key - in my opinion - it keep the leather clean/conditioned/protected using the Leather Solution Kits every 6 months. In most instances when I see leather upholstery where the cover is pretty much shot, the furniture has been in direct sunlight so it fades and the owner didn't want to spend $ 50 on a leather care kit and either ignored the treatment or bought a $ 5 leather care spray from Wal-mart that didn't do the job.

    I have (16) leather furniture pieces in my own home. Fifteen are aniline leathers, one is a finished hide. All are aging nicely and one sofa because of its location gets sun damage, but I re-dye it every ten years or so and its good to go. My oldest leather pieces are from 1986. All get the LS cleaning kit treatment as do my leather car interiors with the same product. It works.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Document Latte Leather

    I understand it better now. I initially thought you didn't like the Document series due to how it wears. I've seen pictures of sofas done in that color series and they do have a mottled sort of artificial look to them. What you seem to be saying is that all "protected" leathers will have some peeling/chipping issues. I like the idea of aniline but don't know if it's in the budget for a sofa and 2 recliners.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Document Latte Leather

    Everything wears with use and time. Doesn't matter what it is - roof shingles, car tires, leather sofa, a polo shirt. If you use it, then it's going to show signs of use. Finished leathers will lose topcoat over time and anilines will sun-fade. So there is not a perfect cover for any sofa, just different characteristics. What's more important is solid frame construction and the ability of the suspension to hold up over time. Covers can be re-dyed or re-painted, but when suspension systems fail and frames flex, the piece is done. My recommendation is to not focus on longevity of a particular kind of leather, but rather buy within your comfort zone and try to get the best frame and suspension build for your money.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Document Latte Leather

    Turns out the Document Latte won't work. Too light. I've seen Woodbridge Chippendale loungers in Alberta Harness which we liked the color of. Thinking of pairing two of these with a Westwood sofa. Trying to find a GR2 leather for the sofa that would work with the Alberta Harness on the chairs. I like the Cavilier Oxblood. What do you think?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Document Latte Leather

    Quote Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
    Everything wears with use and time. Doesn't matter what it is - roof shingles, car tires, leather sofa, a polo shirt. If you use it, then it's going to show signs of use. Finished leathers will lose topcoat over time and anilines will sun-fade. So there is not a perfect cover for any sofa, just different characteristics. What's more important is solid frame construction and the ability of the suspension to hold up over time. Covers can be re-dyed or re-painted, but when suspension systems fail and frames flex, the piece is done. My recommendation is to not focus on longevity of a particular kind of leather, but rather buy within your comfort zone and try to get the best frame and suspension build for your money.
    This thread helps me as I am concerned about flaking of married leathers that I'm considering. I've looked at the unprotected leathers but really haven't found but one or two that half-way appeal to me and my husband and they are a class 4 so probably considerably more in cost. I know time of use over the years weighs out the cost upfront, but I actually like the colors available in the protected so much more so will definitely take care of it once purchased and hopefully keep in mind your words of wisdom regarding frame being more important.

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