In recent years, the research for innovative solutions for home furnishings has made it possible to enhance the value of leather, using it as a covering for different areas of the home. In addition to the classic sofas and armchairs, leather can also be used to cover the walls of the rooms, giving each room a unique style and elegance. Through this short guide, we will embark on an interesting journey in the leather’s world, discovering the different types, their average duration, their advantages and disadvantages and learning how to clean it to keep it in excellent condition.
How long does leather last?
Being a natural coating, leather does not have a universally recognized average durability: in fact, its “longevity” is influenced by many factors, not least the conditions in which the animals from which it was derived used to live. In fact, different habitats can determine a different aesthetic rendering of the product: for this reason, it is advisable to inquire about the origin of the leather regarding the product with which it was made, with the aim of collecting as much information as possible about the origin of your furniture accessories.
Another aspect to consider in relation to the durability of the leather is its natural evolution over time, due to both the use of the product, the type of leather with which it was made and finally, the maintenance. To give a concrete example, the covering of a sofa or an armchair on which you sit on often will wear out more quickly. Similarly, the use of cleaning products that are not suitable for cleaning the leather and the exposure of the product to atmospheric agents or direct sunlight may affect the durability of the upholstery.
Types of Leather
Not all leathers are the same; on the contrary, there are different types, which are distinguished by the quality of the raw material, but also by the processing method they have undergone, the colours and the finishings. The main types of leather are:
- Full grain: it is soft and resistant at the same time, it is the most valuable part of the hide, that is the outer layer.
- Natural/printed grain: again these are high quality leathers, processed naturally or printed. While some small defects may be visible on natural grain leathers, such as a scar, printed leathers are generally more uniform, since the pressing due to the printing process helps to give homogeneity to the surface.
- Nabuk: this term refers to a type of leather in which the first layer (skin) of the animal is preserved and subjected to a specific shaving. It is soft, delicate and extremely pleasant to the touch.
- Crust: this is the lower layer that is obtained by splitting the full grain leather.
- Regenerated: the lowest quality leather, made from waste leather of about 80% and the remaining 20% using mixed compounds.
Advantages and disadvantages
Choosing leather as a covering for your home is a decision that has many advantages, even if you have to consider some negative aspects. Definitely to be considered among the advantages are the versatility, the sturdiness, the elegance and the incomparable aesthetic impact that characterize a leather product, especially if it is made with high quality leathers, produced by professionals of the sector. Moreover, leather (unlike fabric) is also suitable for those who suffer from allergies to mites, because it does not absorb dust and lint.
On the other hand, a product made of fine leather can have a high cost, requires special attention and meticulous maintenance and does not have a high degree of permeability.
Maintenance and cleaning
For leather upholstery, good maintenance is essential. Most leathers are cleaned by wiping them with a white cloth moistened with a few drops of mild soap and then drying them with a normal dust cloth. It is a procedure to be carried out only 3 or 4 times a year; the dusting, on the other hand, must be carried out on a weekly basis.
As far as anilinesare concerned, extremely valuable leathers that do not show any trace of chemical substances, in order not to alter their splendid beauty, a weekly dusting with a soft and dry cloth is sufficient.
Finally, any substance that accidentally comes into contact with the leather product must be removed as quickly as possible to prevent it being absorbed.