You will enjoy your leather furniture for years and years when it is made correctly and with the best materials. The best leather sofa is hand-made in the United States of America. The best leather furniture makers are
family owned and typically located in North Carolina. Traditional hand craftsmanship methods of
frame construction include puzzle joints or joints that are double doweled/screwed/glued, springs that support the cushions and cushions with the correct density/compression/fill-fibers. Hand cutting the hides and tailoring/upholstering directly on to the frame and then any nail trim applied individually one-by-one by hand.
The tanned leather cow hides that cover the furniture must be high quality top-grain hides. Each leather hide is cut into layers and each layer is used for different purposes. The top layer is called top-grain and is the most valuable part of the leather hide, with exceptional strength, durability and beauty. It is the top-grain hides that look the best and last the longest and is a measure of high quality. Only top-grain leather, covering the entire piece of furniture, is used in high quality leather furniture. The under layers are called splits or bi-cast, meaning they are split from the top layer. These splits are typically used for inexpensive furniture, or used on parts of the furniture, car seats, shoes, belts, wallets and handbags, etc. Click here for more leather information.
The 3 mistakes to avoid when buying leather furniture are:
- Buying furniture that uses split, bi-cast, bonded leather (ground up scrap leather mixed with resin) or vinyl on any part of the furniture. Some furniture is made using splits or bonded leather on the sides and back to lessen the cost. The color may look OK when new, but after a short amount of time the leather colors, texture and appearance changes. Also, split and bonded leathers may crack and deteriorate quickly over time and do not age the same as top-grain leather.
- Buying leather furniture made in China. It is said that over 80% of the leather furniture available is made in China. If it does not follow the above mentioned methods then it was made with cost cutting and quality cutting methods. It is very difficult to truely know the construction of the furniture when it is on the showroom floor or pictured on a website. I have never sat in a “comfortable” leather sofa made in China. Learn about the company that made the furniture, where they are located and their construction methods. Discover how that piece of furniture is made because some American companies will have parts of their furniture made in China and then final assembly is in America and they call that American made. Some American companies will have their leather hides cut and the pattern sewn in China (often called married leather) and then use that like a slip cover over the frame made in the USA, never quite fits right or wears well. The leather hides are typically medium or poor quality. It is also difficult to match color dye lots when covering a collection like a sofa, loveseat, chair and ottoman.
- Buying inexpensive leather furniture and expecting it to look good and last a long time. It is inexpensive because it eliminated the high quality materials and construction methods used for the frame, cushions, tailoring and uses split, bi-cast or bonded leather on parts or all of the furniture. It will not look good and not last a long time.
So when buying the best leather sofa or any leather furniture be sure to ask questions and learn about who made it, where it was made, what materials were used and what construction methods were used. Click here to see our American made leather sofas. Click here for more about our leather information and our customers frequently asked questions.
Leather Furniture USA