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Thread: Pigmented/Protected Leather Concern

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    Talking Pigmented/Protected Leather Concern

    A bit over 5 years ago I purchased a leather loveseat manufactured by Flexsteel and was in their “Latitudes Collection” series from a local retailer. As I was straightening a cotton throw I normally keep on the seat cushions, I noticed what I thought was a smudge of some sort. Upon closer examination it appears to be the leather pulling away!

    I’m in somewhat disbelief because although the loveseat is frequently used, I am primarily the only user - - empty nesters for around 10 years. The loveseat has never been abused, no harsh cleaners ever used and the cotton throw was meant to add a layer of protection since it’s a lighter color (I do drink a cup of coffee now and again while sitting on this furniture).

    I have learned so much reading this forum and know there’s always more to learn. People have been so helpful! I found the tags (along with my receipt) and there is absolutely no mention of what type of leather this is. Searching the Flexsteel website, it states: “Flexsteel uses only higher quality semi-aniline and pigmented leathers to ensure longevity, yet keep our furniture affordable.” I assume that the leather used on my Flexsteel loveseat is their pigmented (i.e. protected) leather. Has anyone had this type of experience with protected leathers? I am looking at ordering a couple Handcock and Moore (H&M) pieces with protected leather and am concerned if this could happen with H&M pieces. Knowing there’s only a handful of overseas leather tanneries for upholstery, how can a consumer be assured a leather piece won’t have issues when properly taken care of? I’ve seen posted pics of H&M pieces with protected leather that have worn on the welts, but not pulled-away like I’m witnessing on the Flexsteel. Any recommendations on what can be done with the Flexsteel to repair and/or stop

    In the phots attached is the loveseat, the cushion area of this area and a close up shot of the area. The close up shot allows a better view of what the leather is doing. Appreciate your insight and help!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
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    Default Re: Pigmented/Protected Leather Concern

    Flexsteel Latitudes is 100% made in China, and they have several bonded leathers in that lineup. What you are experiencing is typical of a bonded leather, which is not top grain leather, but a ground-up leather by-product bonded to a polypropylene sheet. Bonded leathers usually crack and peel after a few years use. I refuse to sell any piece or line that used bonded or bicast leather as I know this is exactly is what is going to happen to them as they age. Sorry.

    Hancock and Moore uses only top grain, Grade A steer hides in their builds. They will never use bonded, bicast or the splits as the cover.
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    16

    Default Re: Pigmented/Protected Leather Concern

    I’m actually relieved for your confirmation on this Duane! I suspected it could be a bonded leather, however, the term “pigmented” had tripped me up. I was relating this term to a ‘protected’ or as you say a “painted” leather. Although my leather knowledge wasn’t where it is now, if I’d had known it was a bonded leather I would have never made the purchase. Depending on one’s perspective, Flexsteel’s use of this term as either clever or deceitful marketing. As the old saying goes, buyer beware - - it pays to do the homework!

    Is there any way to repair or at least slow the deterioration? Would the leather conditioner purchased from The Keeping Room help?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pigmented/Protected Leather Concern

    There is no way to repair a bonded leather or bicast that will last more than a few months. Leather conditioner won't help. If that were mine, I would sell it while it still looks good and I could still get some money for it. Then replace it with something in genuine leather.

    Flexsteel Domestic (made in USA) is usually top grain leather, their Latitudes collection made in China has several m- if not all pieces - done in bonded and bicast covers.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

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