Types of Leather used for Furniture Manufacturing
Top Grain Leather
After leather is split, the outermost layer is called top grain. This is the most resilient surface layer that one can have; leather sofa made out of top grain leather is 4 times as durable as fabric sofa. Top grain can be natural, or finished for features such as grain or color. Leather sofa made of Top Grain Leather is the best of the best in terms of quality and comfort. Top grain leather is 100% organic, natural leather.
Full Grain Leather
Full Grain Leather contains the natural markings of the animal. The actual grain remains untouched and only the hair is removed. Leather sofas made of this soft, supple leather are highly desirable because they feature natural markings like insect bites and barbed wire scratches that make each hide completely unique.This is also 100% organic, natural leather.
Nubuck, which is 100% organic natural leather as well, is a top grain, aniline dyed leather. It is then buffed to create a soft nap that is more vulnerable to stains. Nubuck is usually finished for protection.
Split Leather, or suede, is the layer of leather that has been split from the top grain. It is usually imprinted with a grain pattern and finished for color. Suede is often used on parts of the item that are not directly in use, such as the sides and backs of the upholstery, because it is less flexible than top grain leather. Split leather is 100% leather.
Bi-Cast / Bycast Leather
Bi-Cast Leather is a split leather that is treated with a heavy layer of polyurethane and then stamped with a grain pattern. The treatment provides excellent durability, and makes the leather easy to clean, while replicating the qualities of top grain leather. 100% leather.
Bits and pieces of leather are ground up and recycled; then they are bonded together using cotton and polyester and attached to a nylon core to create a leather fabric. This leather fabric is then stamped with a top grain pattern and finished for color. “All leather”- NOT 100% leather.
Leather Match involves using 100% Top Grain Leather anywhere the body touches, and matches it with a vinyl or bonded leather in other places.
If it looks perfect, it may not be real leather.
Aniline Leather has all the markings of the live animal such as scars, wrinkles, insect bites, and stretch marks. It also exhibits natural color variation due to the differences in the way the hide accepts the color dyes. These natural markings and shadings distinguish genuine leather from imitations such as vinyl or stamped replicas. The differences between various hides creates uniqueness on individual items of furniture as well; no two animal hides are the same which means no two parts of a leather item are the same.