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Stop! Read This Before You Buy That Leather

Whether it’s an extreme makeover or just out to make an impression on those special guests visiting, why not settle for the all-time elegant leather?

But wait, it might save you a lot of agony if you read this and made an informed decision before you take the plunge.

Most customers complain that they thought they had a fantastic deal on good quality leather from some of the leading stores, only for it to seriously peel off and look so horrible hardly 6 months down the line. Had they known the different types of leather, they would have probably just added an extra 20% to get a much better deal that would have otherwise lasted them a decade.

Leather is classified as either Genuine/ Natural or Artificial leather.

Artificial Leather (aka Engineered Leather)

This is made from petrochemicals or polymers hence its sensitivity to fires. It comes in big pieces making it possible to churn out beautiful designed furniture, unlike genuine leather that comes in smaller pieces. It has a big cost advantage compared to real leather. The most common once are PVC, PU, Bonded, Ariel leather, leather air and finally the latest Highly Synthetic Leather.

 PVC (poly vinyl chloride) leather

This was the earliest invention of artificial leather.  It easily burns and cracks after exposure to adverse weather conditions hardly lasting 2 years. It’s cheap to buy and easy to clean hence commonly used in hospitals and other institutions

PU (Polyurethane)

It’s the second generation after PVC. Feels much softer and looks even more beautiful than real leather but easily peels off hardly 6 months down the line. It’s definitely cheaper but not value for money hence advisable to add a little more and get much better leather.

Ariel leather (Breathable fabric)

This is normal fabric with a realistic imitation of genuine leather but less susceptible to scratches and scrapes thus relatively durable. Also known as “breathable” - it has a special finishing treatment that allows air to flow through the polyurethane coating thus comfier. Ariel leather has been popular ever since its debut in 2012 because of the leather look and feel.

Bonded leather

Just like a bond between two people, what immediately click into your mind when you hear of something being bonded? So is bonded leather, the remains of skin blended together to form a seamless piece of leather material. It's often made of recycled materials and costs less compared to real leather. Bonded leather has a fancier look and it adds a sophisticated touch to any piece of office furniture. The disadvantage is that it is horrible for home sofas as the PU easily peels off .will hardly last 2 years.

Highly synthetic leather

This is the latest kid on the block - feels and looks better than genuine leather and has high durability. It can out last the genuine leather, especially if not well taken care of. If not careful some scrupulous dealers will always cheat you with this for the genuine leather

Leather Air

This is an engineered fabric and feels very warm especially for those who fear “cold leather seats”. Most have undergone SGS test and survived 20,000 crash hits before it showed any signs of strain. Assuming 10 rough seating per day or 3600/ pa would translate to say 7 years – Real value for money depending on the usage and care. It is also less prone to peeling.

Genuine Real Leather

As the name suggests this comes from different types of animals’ skin, but majorly cow and buffalo hides. The main difference being the size of the skin, the quality of the tanning and coloring. The following are but a few examples.

Buffalo leather

Mainly comes from India where the Cow is sacred and so the Buffalo takes the heat. Though cheaper, this type of leather is thicker and feels harder making it less comfortable.

Split leather


One thick skin is meticulously cut or split using laser into 2 pieces. The bottom part usually the weaker and harder layer is known as split leather. Because it lacks the original top cover, it will easily get damaged and won’t be as durable as the top cow leather. The price is therefore cheaper.

Top cow leather

Very common in China, this is the top part of the split aka top cow leather. As the name suggests, the texture is softer and feels very comfortable thus more expensive.

Brazilian leather

Most good leather comes from Brazil. It’s well colored and treated with a layer of polymer to achieve a uniform finish that’s free of imperfections and improved resistance against stains. Slightly cheaper than Italian but guarantees the owner pure luxury.

Italian leather

Trust the old and excellent Italian craftsmanship to produce some of the best and finest leather unmatched anywhere else in the world. Using the best-detailed treatment and technology for tanning only the very best selected quality hides with amazing colors. Italian leather will last for decades.

Furniture Elegance offers the perfect range of leather furniture that commands attention and brings an aura of belonging to both your living room and office space, to make your dream of pure luxury come true. Visit our showroom or website and be spoilt for choice with our wide selection of leather furniture.  



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